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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 25 January, 2020
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State fund set to deliver 7,500 new homes in five years: 5 things to know in property this week

Plus, Dublin’s Suffolk St is about to be pedestrianised… but just for six weeks.

EACH AND EVERY week, we put together a round-up of the week’s biggest property news stories around Ireland.

Stay on the real estate pulse with our five-minute digest, featuring the vital news from the week just gone.

This week, Dublin City Council is considering an expansion of its city parking zones – and Suffolk Street is to be pedestrianised for six weeks.

1. New State lender set to fund 7,500 new homes

shutterstock_496400053 Source: Shutterstock/Rudmer Zwerver

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy announced this week the opening of a new State lender that aims to deliver 7,500 homes within five years.

Home Building Finance Ireland has been given €750 million to lend to small and medium size builders and developers, many of whom are facing difficulties in getting loans from the establishment banks. The finance minister said the reason this body is needed is because there are a number of market failures happening in the housing sector at the moment. 

2. Locals unhappy with plans to increase suburban parking charges

shutterstock_678625222 Source: Shutterstock/Bilanol

Dublin City Council is considering an expansion of its city centre parking zones into the suburbs amid plans to increase parking charges across the capital. During the presentation of a report on changing the city’s parking bye-laws on Wednesday, councillors heard about proposals to broaden the areas where parking charges apply.

The council’s parking enforcement officer, Dermot Stevenson revealed that the local authority was considering an increase ‘high demand’ red and yellow zone areas across the city.  It would mean charges would increase in the area of Phibsborough around the Mater Hospital, in Kilmainham, near the South Circular Road and Dolphin’s Barn, south of the city centre in Ranelagh and Rathmines, and to east of the city near the 3Arena.

3. College Green could close to cars for summer events

File Photo The proposal to remodel College Green as a pedestrian – priority plaza is a Dublin City Council and National Transport Authority initiative Source: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The closure of College Green for a series of summer events is being considered by Dublin City Council to showcase the potential of a pedestrianised plaza in the area. Council officials are discussing the possibility of closing the thoroughfare between 7am and 7pm on an unspecified number of Sundays in July and August.

Similarly, the council will begin a six-week trial of pedestrianising Suffolk Street from tomorrow, Saturday February 2. Plans for the pedestrianisation of the street have been mooted by DCC for years, as part of a wider initiative aimed at cutting the number of private cars coming into the city. 

4. Excessive water usage charge introduced 

shutterstock_372164368 Source: Shutterstock/Romiana Lee

This week, the Cabinet approved the introduction of excessive water charges for households. The threshold for excessive use is set at 1.7 times the average household use, with the average consumption per person determined to be 133 litres per day.

While the original water charges regime was scrapped, the government moved to ensure there was some sort of penalty for those that use “too much” water. This week the government said those that use an excessive amount of water will get their first warning notices from June this year. However, no charges will be levied until next year. Meanwhile, people in Mullingar and surrounding areas have been asked by Irish Water to conserve as much water as possible to reduce the risk of summer outages. 

5. Smithfield office block sells for double 2015 price

An office block in Smithfield, Dublin 7 has been sold by a Norwegian investor for €57m – double the €28.65 it was purchased for in 2015. That’s according to Justin Comiskey in the Irish Times, who notes that the investor did put around €5m of refurbishment into the property in the intervening years.

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