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The Viewing: Your vital round-up of property news from the week

Everything you need to know in one quick guided tour.

shutterstock_188623478 Source: house via shutterstock

IT’S BEEN SOMETHING of a  hectic week for property news.

NAMA has been back under the spotlight amid the news that most of its fire-sale assets have gone overseas, rather than to Irish buyers – and also because of its plans to wind down its operations within the next four years.

There have also been concerns about property prices shooting up, meaning that rent control is back on the agenda (although will anything actually happen this time?).

Read on for everything you need to know about property over the past seven days…

The Big Movers

Property prices on the move  

There has been more news this week about the continued rise of property prices, with figures from the CSO showing a rise of 15% on the same time last year. There has been a 1.8% rise in figures since last month – which is the first time prices have failed to rise by more than 2% since March.

house prices Source: cso

There has also been a spike of 35% in apartment prices over the past year – in the same period house prices rose by 22.6%. 

Despite the spike, CSO noted that prices are still 38% off of their 2007 peak. There was even some hope that a plateau may be starting to take hold in the property market.

Dublin real estate firm Savills Ireland said that house prices could be entering a cooling off phase – a view endorsed by Davy Research analysts,  who said they felt price inflation could have peaked. 

shutterstock_124451341 Source: house prices via shutterstock

While there may be cause for faint optimism for those entering the housing market, things are still pretty bleak for businesses looking to set up shop in Ireland’s capital. Davy Research analysts have said that they feel the “deep demand and limited supply” could see prices back at boom-time levels.  

NAMA back in the news 

The State-owned bad bank has been back in the news this week for a number of reasons.

It has emerged that less than 7% of Nama’s €17.5 billion in fire-sale assets have gone to Irish buyers. Speaking this week, CEO of the agency Brendan McDonagh said that if foreign ‘vulture funds’ wished to buy up the sale assets, there was little he could do to stop them. Almost 90% of the portfolio sold off has been bought by US funds.

brendan mcdonagh NAMA CEO Brendan McDonagh Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall

Due to the improvements in the market, Nama also annouced that if everything goes to plan, they should have wound up their operations in the next three to four years. The agency have targeted the end-2017 or mid-2018 as their end date.

By that stage, the shortage of supply in the property market should have been addressed. As part of this drive to re-energise supply, Nama has announced that they will be selling off 588 apartments around Dublin, as part of a deal with Savills and DTZ Sherry Fitzgerald.

Rent controls 

There has been more debate about rent control this week in the wake of Budget 2015. In a report issued yesterday by the Private Residential Tenancies Board, it is warned that rent controls would do little to curb the growth of the rental market.

It is also argued that rent control could curb investment and limit the number of rental units available around the country.

This comes amid criticism that new measures proposed by the Central Bank recommending buyers pay a 20% deposit on the price of a house could prevent many first-time buyers from getting onto the property ladder.

Under construction

  • Over the past two years almost 90% of rentals in Dublin city were ruled not up to standard by Environmental Health Officers. Out of 5,228 that were served with enforcement notices, 3,392 later complied.
  • Over the past week landlords have been feeling the heat in the Irish Water debate. The head of the Residential Landlords Association, Fintan McNamara, has rejected the idea that members of his group will act as collection agents for the semi-state body.
  • According to some experts, “panic buying” has now disappeared out of the Irish market. This is according to the chartered surveyors group the Real Estate Alliance, who say that houses are now taking a week longer on average to sell. 
  • The first commercial property fund set up in Ireland is doing pretty well for itself. The Green Real Estate Investment is taking around €53 million a year in rent, 15 months after launching on the stock market. 
  • A surge in house prices in Cork has been linked to property being bought by emigrants now living in America and Australia, as reported in The Examiner. The increase has seen the price of a three bedroom house rise close to €200,000.
  • This 18th century house in Mayo sold for €765,000 at auction. This was part of the Allsop property auction in the RDS in Dublin yesterday that saw ten properties sold for more than €1 million.
  • In one of the more unusual property cases to hit the courts, a Catholic priest won a property dispute with his former Franciscan friar ex-partner last Friday. The case saw him awarded a 27% share in Rose Cottage in the Bluestock Mountains. 

Des res

Here are some of the views from one of New York’s highest apartments. The shots are from the newly contructed 432 Park Avenue, now one of the tallest buildings in the city.

The Viewing: Your vital round-up of property news from the week
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  • New York Apartment

    Source: Mia Stalnacke/ Flickr
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And finally…

This week, Oliver Wainwright’s architecture blog in The Guardian looked at the Swedish city of Kiruna, the mining town that plans to move 2km up the road to avoid being swallowed into the mine that provides the town’s employment.

The project will see the 23,000 Iron Ore mining town moved by Stockholm-based architects ‘White’. 

Read: Ireland’s biggest hotelier buys two landmark properties in Galway and Wexford

Also: Four years, 10,000 units: Here’s how the Government plans to boost social housing

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