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Housing prices up 70% on recession lows: 5 things to know in property this week

Plus why you could be waiting until next year for your water refund.

THE FACE OF real estate in Ireland is changing at a rapid pace, with new builds, new policies and rising house prices keeping buyers and homeowners on their toes.

To help you keep abreast of developments without falling behind, each Friday we gather five of the most crucial pieces of property news from the week just gone, from commercial land deals to news on real estate trends.

Here’s what’s been going on this week, from a seven-year high for Irish residential house prices to a new owner for Dublin’s Gibson Hotel…

1. Irish housing prices see fastest growth in over two years

shutterstock_636666736 Source: Shutterstock/Jon Chica

New figures published by the Central Statistics Office this week reveal that Ireland’s housing prices are up 70% on 2013′s low point. The Residential Property Price Index shows that residential property prices at a national level increased by 12.8% in the year to September 2017, the fastest spike in over two years.

News of our rising property prices even made headlines in the UK, with The Guardian referring to the CSO’s figures as “fresh evidence that the Celtic Tiger is roaring again.”

2. Your water bill refund might arrive before Christmas (but then again, it might not)

Irish Water Issues Former Environment Minister Phil Hogan speaking at an Irish Water press conference in 2014. Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

The Government says it plans to issue as many water refunds as it can before Christmas, but delays mean some people could be waiting until next year. Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said this week that legislation delays have slowed down the delivery of refunds.

Irish Water has said its systems are ready to go to issue refunds, once the Water Services Bill legislation is passed, but it has appealed to customers to update their details if they have moved house, by calling 1850 448 448.

3. German investment fund poised to snap up Gibson Hotel

6363321905_170e24e7b6_z Source: David Jones/Flickr

German investment fund Deka has put in a bill to buy the leasehold for Dublin’s Gibson Hotel. The hotel is currently controlled by Nama-appointed receivers and was put up for sale for €87m in August 2017.

Deka already owns several major assets in Ireland, including Cork’s Mahon Point Shopping Centre and the Whitewater Shopping Centre in Kildare. In 2016 it also acquired the former Burlington in Dublin, now operated by Dalata.

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4. Own land in Clare? You could be sitting on the site of a new data centre

river Source: Shutterstock/mikroman6

Clare’s local council is calling on landowners and developers to nominate sites that could be used to build data centres in the region, in the hopes of developing at least one centre before 2023.

The council says Clare’s “cool temperate climate” is a big selling point, because lower temperatures make it cheaper for companies to cool the large networks of computer servers they use to store information.

5. ‘Rogue landlords’ could soon face tougher sanctions and jail

pastedimage-8196 One of the overcrowded properties shown in a recent RTÉ Investigates Nightmare To Let programme

The way in which rogue landlords and rental standards are dealt with under Irish legislation could be set to change. Earlier this week, a Sinn Féin motion calling for an NCT-type certification for private rentals was approved by the Dáil, although Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy did express some concerns.

Instead, he outlined an approach whereby landlords would need to certify each year that a property was not overcrowded and was compliant with fire safety standards, and would face prosecution if they failed to do so.

And finally, this week’s property buzzword…

We’re breaking down the complicated world of property jargon, one buzzword at a time. This week, it’s leasehold, a term often used in commercial property dealings – like the Gibson Hotel purchase mentioned above. A leasehold gives the property owner the right to use the land for a term of years. It differs from a freehold, which gives the holder outright ownership. 

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