8th November (Issue 372)

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.



Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2 The former AIB premises at no. 41 Westmoreland Street is expected to attract significant interest from both domestic and international restaurateurs seeking a flagship presence in the capital. The building is being offered to the lettings market by CBRE on behalf of the MHL Hotel Collection, the owners of the adjacent five-star Westin Hotel. The property briefly comprises a total floor area of 7,542 sq. ft. with 4,339 sq. ft. of this at ground-floor level and the remaining space at the basement floor with planning permission in place for restaurant use. The Irish Times, 2nd November

College Green, Dublin 2 A deal that will see the landmark building at 34 College Green, in Dublin 2, become an upmarket steak restaurant in the spring of next year is being billed as “the biggest flagship food and beverage international letting in the country” by CBRE. Hawksmoor, which was founded in the UK in 2006 by Will Beckett and Huw Gott, has taken a 20-year lease on the Clarendon Properties-owned building, which was previously occupied by the US clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. The project will focus on restoration rather than renovation of the building; the fit-out of the 14,176 sq. ft. ground floor is expected to cost c. €4m. The Irish Times, 2nd November

The Shelbourne hotel in Dublin registered “record months” of business in July and September this year, as its revenues and room rates bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. New financial results for the hotel released last week showed that it made €14.1m in sales in the third quarter of this year, up from €6.3m during the same period of 2021. Revenues dramatically declined at the St Stephen’s Green hotel when pandemic-related restrictions came into effect during 2020 and 2021. Between 2019 and 2020, sales declined from €42m to €12.2m and the hotel registered a loss of €7.9m. The decline in revenues and room rates caused the value of the hotel to fall from €213.9m to €202.5m. The average daily room rate at the hotel rebounded to €386 between July and September of this year, which is well ahead of the €311 average room rate it charged in the immediate period before the pandemic began in 2020. The Business Post, 5th November

Temple Bar, Dublin 2 The company behind The Temple Bar will return to profit this year after two years of Covid-19 related losses. New accounts for Temple Inns Ltd state that after the lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions, the company “has experienced a strong trading activity in the licensed premises and a slow return to trading in the retail shops”. Accounts show that the business recorded post-tax losses of €115.6k for the 12 months to the end of October 2021, which was a dramatic improvement on the post-tax losses of €3.4m in the prior year. Revenues had plummeted by 71% from €23.1m to €6.72m in 2020. The 2020 loss arose chiefly from a €2.85m investment property write-down. The Covid-19 grants and subsidies allowed the firm to retain its staffing at 81. Dividends amounted to €100k in 2021, the same as in 2020. At the end of October 2021, the company had accumulated profits of €19.6m. The Irish Independent, 2nd November

Enniskerry, Co Wicklow The company behind Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, has reported pre-tax profits of over €3.4m in 2021 – up 69% on the previous year. The figure was shared in the latest accounts for Powerscourt Estates Limited, the tourism and leisure company behind the famous Enniskerry attraction. According to the 2021 financial year accounts, turnover at Powerscourt Estates hit over €6.2m, up from €4.5m the previous year. The figure helped the company to improve its pre-tax profit to €3.4m. The Irish Independent, 6th November



Mahon Point Shopping Centre, Cork British luxury brand retailer Frasers has opened at Mahon Point Shopping Centre filling the void left by anchor tenant Debenhams who pulled out more than two years ago. Frasers is occupying the lower mall beneath Sports Direct, also owned by the Frasers Group and long associated with British businessman Mike Ashley, with the two stores spread across 75,000 sq. ft., c. 37,500 sq. ft. per floor. The Irish Examiner, 3rd November



Glasnevin, Dublin 9 Harvey has secured the letting of two industrial and office units at Dublin Industrial Estate in Glasnevin, Dublin. Having sold the properties earlier this year to pan European investor M7 Real Estate, the agent has now inked a deal with Howdens Joinery for units 107A and 107B on Lagan Road. Units 107A and 107B briefly comprise modern, semi-detached industrial and office properties extending to a total area of 10,000 sq. ft., which are located on a self-contained and gated site of c. 0.42 acres. The Irish Times, 2nd November



Donnybrook, Dublin 4 Having paid sums ranging from €330k to €724k in 2020 to secure ownership of the 43 residential units at Woodbine House in Dublin 4, the owner, a private Irish investor, has instructed Cushman & Wakefield to offer them for sale. The portfolio, which is being sold with the benefit of full vacant possession, is being brought to the market at a guide price of €24m (NIY 4.83%). Should Woodbine House be disposed of at that level, the current owner would stand to secure c. 8.6% uplift on their original €21m outlay. Built in 2002, Woodbine House has 43 residential units comprising 35 apartments (two one-beds, 31 two-beds and two three-beds) distributed across five floors, with terraced garden areas and eight terraced townhouses (two two-beds and six three-beds). There is a shared basement car park with 57 spaces. The Irish Times, 2nd November
For lending terms on these assets please contact rossmetcalfe@origincapital.ie

Docklands, Galway Niland House in Galway city’s docklands, which comprises 27 residential units and three retail units, is being offered to the market by Cushman & Wakefield at a guide price of €8.5m (NIY 5.6%). The accommodation, which is 100% occupied briefly consists of 21 two-bedroom apartments, five one-bedroom apartments, and one three-bedroom duplex. The overall development is distributed across two interconnecting buildings connected by a raised courtyard. One element faces on to Merchants’ Road and comprises a five-storey building housing 24 apartments and two retail units. The second element, which faces on to Dock Road, comprises of a ground-floor restaurant and three overhead apartments. Niland House is currently producing a gross overall income of €528.2k pa. The Irish Times, 2nd November
For lending terms on these assets please contact rossmetcalfe@origincapital.ie

Residential Construction, Ireland The number of new homes being built has fallen significantly over the last year as soaring construction costs and a lack of finance hit developers. The number of new home starts has declined to 26,396 in the year to October from a record high of 34,850 in March. On an annual basis, the number of new starts fell 14% from 30,947 in the year to October 2021 to 26,396 at the same point this year. The department published commencement figures for the months of July to October last week that showed a steady decline in the number of homes being started. In July, the figure stood at 2,438, but fell to 2,121 and 2,211 in August and September respectively. An analysis of data published by the Building Control Management System (BCMS), upon which the department relies to calculate its commencement figures, has shown that the figure fell further last month with developers starting just 1,600 new homes in October. The information from the BCMS is based on real-time data. Notice of new commencements is supposed to be filed at least a fortnight before works begin. The Business Post, 5th November

Residential Market, Ireland Kennedy Wilson, one of the biggest landlords in Ireland, has told investors that the ongoing shortage of rental homes in Ireland “bodes well” for the company. Last week, the US investment fund, which has a large portfolio of residential property across the US and Ireland, released its financial results for the third quarter of 2022. Kennedy Wilson’s portfolio of residential assets includes Capital Dock and Clancy Quay. The reassurance to investors by Kennedy Wilson has come as rents in its Irish portfolio have stagnated across the past four quarters at €2.3K on average a month. After expenses were accounted for, the firm recorded an income of €27.8m from its Irish residential operation. The Business Post, 5th November

Raheny, Dublin 5 Dublin City Council is facing legal action over its decision to “dezone” housing development lands earmarked for c. 600 apartments in north Dublin. Marlet Property Group is expected to initiate judicial review proceedings in a bid to overturn the council’s decision to zone lands beside St Anne’s Park in Raheny for open space in the new city development plan. The 16.5-acre site to the east of St Paul’s College at Sybil Hill between Raheny and Clontarf has been the subject of multiple housing applications and court actions since it was bought in 2015. The High Court last year overturned the latest permission granted by An Bord Pleanála for a SHD of 657 apartments on the site. In recent months, Marlet applied to Dublin City Council under the new large-scale residential development (LSRD) system for 580 apartments and a 100-bed nursing home on the site. The city council last month refused permission for the scheme. The Irish Times, 4th November

Housing Planning Permission, Ireland A property developer has complained that local authorities’ planning rules were acting as an “impediment” to large housing projects being built, in a recent letter to Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien. Bartra criticised planning policy in South Dublin County Council, where it said the local authority was holding up significant residential housing developments. The letter said while Bartra was highlighting problems it faced in South Dublin County Council, “other local authorities are equally culpable”. In a November 1st response, Mr. O’Brien said he was planning to introduce “a significant programme of planning reform”. The Minister said the reforms would be aimed at providing more certainty when it came to planning applications. The Irish Times, 4th November

Social Housing, Ireland Dublin City Council paid out €40m to private developers since the start of 2021 to secure 139 residential units for social housing under Part V agreements. The spend of €15.16m on 71 homes to date for 2022 follows a €24.96m outlay on 68 Part V homes in 2021. The average spend per home by the council is €213.5k this year and €367k last year. The highest amount paid out in 2022 was €450k in the Part V system for a two-bed apartment at St Clare’s Park, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6W. The spending details come as Cairn Homes put an indicative price tag of €39.14m on the sale of 69 units from its planned Montrose mixed-use scheme for social housing. The home builder has put an indicative price tag of €683.1k on four three-bed apartments it plans to sell for social housing to the council. The Irish Times, 3rd November

Vacant and Derelict Homes, Ireland Waterford City and County Council has led the way in bringing vacant and derelict homes back into use for social housing by creating a special unit which identified suitable properties, an Oireachtas Committee will be told on Tuesday. The council will appear before the all-party Committee on Housing to outline its progress in supplying social, affordable, and cost rental properties in Waterford. The committee will also hear from Limerick City and County Council. It is part of a series of committee hearings to evaluate how local authorities are implementing the Government’s Housing for All strategy. The council has made 85 units available on the Repair and Lease Scheme alone since 2019, by far the highest number pro rata in the State. The council provided a total of 664 units for social housing in the three years from 2019 to 2021. It has a target of delivering 1,216 units (or c. 250 annually) between 2022 and 2026. The Irish Times, 8th November

Housing, Dalkey and Killiney Hill An effective ban on new housing in Dalkey and Killiney Hill, one of Dublin’s wealthiest suburbs, has been overturned. For over a decade, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council had large parts of land around Dalkey and Killiney Hill designated as a ‘0/0 zone’, meaning that “no increase in the number of residential buildings will normally be permitted”. Councillors had planned to maintain the 0/0 zoning in the council’s new development plan covering the six years from 2022 – 2028. However, the housing minister has now issued a directive overturning this measure, saying it is “disproportionate”. The Business Post, 8th November



The Applegreen Service Station on Sallins Road, Naas, Co Kildare, is to go for auction on December 15th with a €1.9m+ guide price (NIY 7%). Let to Petrogas Group Ltd on a 21-year lease from 2016, it generates €145k in annual rent. The lease also offers a rent review in 2026 based on the Consumer Price Index. Set on a one-acre site, the property comprises a forecourt with four double-sided pump terminals under a canopy, a double bay car wash and valeting system, a parcel motel, laundromat, a 2,906 sq. ft. convenience store with toilets and a workshop. The Irish Independent, 3rd November

Phibsborough, Dublin 7 Dublin City Council has announced its design plan for the redevelopment of Dalymount Park in Phibsborough at a cost of c. €40m. The option recommended by the architect-led design team would include the full demolition of the existing stadium, the building of a four-sided stadium with a capacity of 7,880 (5,880 seats and 2,000 terracing), and the inclusion of upgraded club facilities and all relevant match-day accommodation to meet League of Ireland criteria. Relevant stakeholders and the local community will be consulted while the preliminary design is completed and the council prepares for the planning process. If planning is approved, the construction phase would be completed by March 2026, the council said. The Irish Times, 3rd November

Social Housing Vacancy, Ireland Figures published by the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) show that 4,448 local authority dwellings were unoccupied last December out of a total housing stock of 141,483 owned by councils – a vacancy rate of 3.2% which was effectively unchanged from the previous year. The annual review by the NOAC of the performance of the country’s 31 local authorities showed the number of homeless adults living in emergency accommodation rose by more than 9% over the same period. The organisation also revealed that the average time taken to re-let council homes has been increasing steadily since 2018 and averaged c. eight months in 2021. The report showed vacancy rates in council housing exceeded 7% in Longford and Galway County – over twice the national rate. In Dublin where the country’s housing crisis is most acute, the vacancy rate ranged from 1% in South Dublin to 2.8% in the administrative area covered by Dublin City Council. The latest figures show the total stock of council housing rose by c. 2% last year through the net addition of c. 2,600 properties including 392 in Dublin city (+1.6%), 387 in Cork county (+5.3%) and 154 in Kildare (+3.2%). The average amount spent on getting a council dwelling ready for a new tenant, meanwhile, ranged from c. €7.4k in Tipperary to c. €50k in Offaly with an average of €19.6k. The Irish Times, 6th November

Sherry Fitzgerald Irish Residential Market Review The Irish Residential market continues to perform robustly through the third quarter of the year, though there has been some moderation in the pace of price inflation in the second-hand market. The imbedded imbalance between supply and demand continues to underpin the market, but there are undoubtedly challenges ahead. Transaction activity has now surpassed its pre-pandemic levels, with a 5% increase in the number of second-hand sales when compared to H1 2021, and 10% on H1 2019. New home sales have also exceeded 2019, recording a 3.4% increase on the number of transactions completed in the first six months of 2019. There has been a moderation in the pace of price inflation in the nine months to the end of September. The average value of second-hand homes in Ireland increased by 1.1% in the third quarter of this year, with values rising 5.5% over the first nine months of 2022. This compares to growth of 7.1% in the same period in 2021. Sherry Fitzgerald Irish Residential Market Review, 7th November

Longford Objections made to a €100m planned expansion to the Center Parcs Longford Forest resort are based on a lack of proper infrastructure in the local area, according to those who have appealed Longford County Council’s decision to grant planning permission. Plans for 198 new lodges, external saunas and pods, a new lakeside restaurant and coffee shop and extension of existing facilities were put on hold in recent weeks following a number of appeals to An Bord Pleanála. A decision is due to be made by An Bord Pleanála on March 2nd, 2023. Center Parcs has stressed that its holiday villages have a track record of using increased deciduous woodland cover and well-informed management plans and practices to ensure an improvement to the natural environment within its forest resorts. The Irish Times, 8th November


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