25th August (Issue 261)

Welcome to the Origin Capital Weekly Irish Property Review. This update is designed to provide you with a full recap of the latest property news from the media over the last seven days.




Blessington, Co Wicklow An Bord Pleanála has rejected an application by Bray-based development company Windlynn to build 330 houses, 30 apartments and a crèche at Kilmalum Road in Blessington under the fast-track planning application process. The proposed development would have consisted of a mix of houses, duplexes and apartments ranging up to three storeys in height, and also provided for an upgrade of local roads to include a pedestrian crossing and cycle track. One of the grounds for refusing planning permission was that it would have resulted in excessive population growth to that planned for the town. The Irish Times, 21st August

Dartry, Dublin 6 An Bord Pleanála has given the green light for 358 student bed spaces at Trinity Hall at Dartry despite strong opposition from local residents. The proposal brings the total number of bed spaces to 1,283. The college is aiming to begin construction on the project next year in spite of the impact of Covid-19 on the third level sector. The Irish Independent, 22nd August

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 The Shrewsbury Road Residential and Environmental Protection Association (SRREPA) has lodged an objection against the Bartra Property proposal for a 111-bed shared co-living development at 98 Merrion Rd, Ballsbridge. In total, the city council has received 38 third-party submissions. The five storey proposal for 98 Merrion Road is to include 96 single rooms, six double rooms and three accessible rooms, along with a gym and cinema room. The Irish Times, 22nd August

Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Sherry Fitzgerald is guiding €1.1 million for a 1,744 sq.ft. (€630 psf) semi-detached 3 bedroom property at 1 Tudor Road, Ranelagh. The property has undergone meticulous renovation, refurbishment, and extension by its current owners. Tudor Road is within easy reach of Ranelagh’s many amenities, just off Park Drive. The Sunday Business Post, 23rd August

Milltown, Dublin 6 Sherry Fitz is guiding €1.15 million for a 1,700 sq.ft. (€676 psf) 3 bedroom Mews at No 50 Palmerston Gardens, Dublin 6. There is a lift between the kitchen and dining room that takes you to the first floor, where two of the three double bedrooms have en suite bathrooms. The property is located next to Palmerston Park and the Cowper Luas stop is just a short walk. The Sunday Times, 23rd August

Residential Sales 2020 The Irish Times are reporting that an analysis of the sales registered on the residential property price register shows c.5,800 fewer transactions in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2019. A total of 19,662 sales took place between January and June 2020, compared with 25,509 transactions during the corresponding period last year. Average monthly sales between April and June 2019 were just under 4,600 but the figure decreased to just over 2,700 this year. The number of property transactions in the first quarter was largely unchanged on the previous year but the slowdown was pronounced from April onwards. The Irish Times, 24th August

Residential Tenancies The SCSI have released a report on the residential property market showing 8% of residential tenancies did not pay their monthly rents as a result of the pandemic, with the number of tenants in arrears expected to increase further as wage supports are scaled back. One third of the tenants that did not pay provided “satisfactory evidence for the inability to pay” which should mean there will be a decent chance of recouping monies owed once the ban on evictions is lifted. Goodbody Irish Real Estate Report, 24th August



Dublin Airport Hotel A new hotel planned for near Dublin Airport is at risk of not going ahead due to a lack of meeting rooms, the owners of the site have claimed. Trimstar Limited has secured permission to construct a 100-bedroom hotel near Dublin Airport, which will be operated by Aloft. The firm said changes were required to the building plans before Aloft can commit to taking on the property. Trimstar’s application proposed minor internal changes to the hotel that would create meeting rooms on the ground floor and fourth floor. In total, the rooms would have capacity for 136 people. Fingal County Council has told the landowner that meeting rooms will not be allowed in the hotel because it would likely lead to an unacceptable number of people being present in the hotel at any given time and be contrary to public safety. The Sunday Business Post, 23rd August

Dalata Hotel Group Dubai-based Zahid Group Holding Company has built up a 4% stake worth more than €18 million in Dalata, the listed hotel group. The company spent more than €19.2 million buying a stake in the company in two separate tranches. When the firm bought the stake, Dalata’s shares were trading at just below €2.60. Since then, the shares have fallen slightly to c.€2.45, valuing the total stake at €18.2 million. Dalata’s current share price is substantially down on the price of nearly €5.90 at the end of 2019. The Zahid family’s stake building comes just after CI Investments, a Canadian investment firm, built up a stake of more than 3%, which was worth just over €14 million at the time it was acquired. The Sunday Business Post, 23rd August

Pearse St, Dublin 2 One hundred rooms in the Maldron Hotel in Pearse Street, Dublin, have been rented by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) as part of its response to Covid-19. The Sunday Times are reporting that the fee is likely to be c.€300,000 a month. Guests seeking to book into the Maldron Hotel, now run by the Dalata Hotel Group, are being accommodated in other nearby Dalata hotels. The company said the homeless accommodation was being provided “in the short term”. Occupancy rates in Dublin hotels fell to 17% in July, which compares with 42% across the country as a whole. The Sunday Times, 23rd August



Opera Lane, Cork O’Callaghan Properties (OCP) and Iput have sold their combined interest in the Opera Lane retail centre in Cork city centre to a group of private investors assembled by Alanis Capital and funded by Deutsche Bank. The deal involves 16 of the 20 shops in the fashion shopping precinct. OCP has also sold 59 apartments in the same development. The remaining four shops in Opera Lane are being retained by owners New Ireland Assurance and Johnson and Perrott, a local motor group. Opera Lane tenants include H&M, River Island, Tommy Hilfiger, Next, Topman and Gap. The Sunday Times, 23rd August



Irish Construction Sector The Irish construction industry is likely to have suffered the biggest quarterly crash in activity on record as a result of coronavirus, with output falling by more than 30%, Ulster Bank chief economist Simon Barry has warned. Moreover, the extent of the downturn will not be known until next month when the Central Statistics Office (CSO) publishes second-quarter growth numbers for the Irish economy and its constituent sectors. Barry said it was safe to assume the construction sector here would under-perform international aggregates by some way because of the tightness of restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. He said the reversal is likely to be similar to that experienced by the UK. Figures last week showed construction activity in the UK fell by 35% in the second quarter, compared to a 12% decline in the euro area. The Irish Times, 25th August

Carlow Terra Solar, an Irish-owned renewable energy developer, has been refused permission for a planned 127-hectare solar farm in Carlow. The company was seeking to develop the facility on agricultural lands c.6km from Tullow. It applied for permission for the development, which would be connected to the national grid, in May this year. The request has been refused by Carlow County Council as it “significantly exceeds” the threshold allowed for such developments in the county. The Sunday Business Post, 23rd August

Ires Reit A report from Investec has highlighted that growth in rental income at the State’s largest landlord, Ires Reit, is likely to stagnate this year, while building projects will be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The report also notes that market indicators have been relatively reassuring, and suggest the impact on market rents has been limited to date. The Irish Times reports that Investec said it was comfortable with its forecast for 0% like-for-like rental growth in 2020, and now assumes that rents will also remain unchanged next year. The Irish Times, 24th August


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