While the Charlemont area in Dublin city centre has seen a significant number of new office developments over recent years with schemes such as Charlemont Square, Charlemont Exchange and Park Place all adding to its capacity as a key location for major employers, the delivery of new residential accommodation there has been subdued in comparison.
The combination of that particular imbalance and the ongoing delays being experienced in the planning system makes the sale of Charlemont Quarter – a rare greenfield plot with full planning permission for 19 apartments – all the more interesting. Located immediately next to the Luas Green Line and at the junction of Peter Place and Adelaide Road, the Charlemont Quarter site is being offered for sale by agent Bannon at a guide price of €1.8 million.
The subject property is primed for development, having secured approval from An Bord Pleanála in May of this year for the construction of 19 apartments, a mix of three studio units, 10 one-bed units and six two-bed units. Notwithstanding this permitted scheme, Reddy Architecture has prepared plans for a larger 24-unit development which prospective purchasers may opt to pursue at their discretion.
Notably, the proposed building does not include a basement level, while prospective purchasers may also avail of the Government’s time-limited waiver in respect of local-authority development contributions (subject to meeting certain qualifying criteria). In addition, the scale of the site will exempt the owner from the requirement to provide Part V units to Dublin City Council. The combination of these three factors should enable the purchaser to achieve significant cost savings and increase profitability, according to Niall Brereton, who is handling the sale on behalf of Bannon.
He says: “Charlemont Quarter is likely to attract strong interest from developers, contractors and approved housing bodies, given that it’s effectively a shovel-ready project. Opportunities to deliver a new residential scheme in such a centrally located area are particularly rare.”
The Government has been grappling with a housing shortage for several years. As the demand for housing continues to outstrip supply, creative solutions are needed to address this pressing issue.
One potential solution that is gaining traction is the conversion of office spaces to residential units. This has come to the fore over the last number of weeks as the Government faces unyielding pressure to tackle the accommodation shortfall. Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is reportedly considering making planning exemptions to rules which would apply to repurposing office space to housing.
In an article in The Irish Times on May 22nd, it was reported that the Minister has “lobbied his Cabinet colleagues Simon Coveney, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, on the issue, seeking his support for a plan that would convert offices built during the recent construction boom but are now underutilised”. The question is, is it feasible to repurpose a recently constructed Dublin office building into residential use?
The assumption here is that there is an oversupply of recently built office accommodation in Dublin city centre, but that is simply not the case. Offices built in the boom are in the main environmental, social and governance compliant (ESG-compliant), sustainable buildings. As has been widely reported by many in the property industry, these are and will be the buildings that are in demand for office use. The location of these buildings further enhances their desirability for that use, as we are seeing increased demand for well-located city-centre office buildings due to the availability of employee amenities and unrivalled transport links.
Converting offices into residential units presents an opportunity to address this but there are challenges involved, and as we have seen from other countries, caution is advised for such projects
This movement in the market provides vacant possession to the owner to allow for redevelopment or refurbishment of these brown buildings into ESG-compliant offices or alternative uses. This is where the question of residential conversion is most relevant…residential conversion will be most practical where the office value is lowest and the conversion costs to residential use are more sensible than the cost of “greening” the building for office use. Ultimately, it is about sorting the “wheat from the chaff”.
Working with our sister company Evia Sustainability consultants, the Bannon office team is assessing the cost and practicality of bringing older buildings up to standard from a green perspective, and what that entails. If the maths don’t add up – that is, if the cost of greening an office asset exceeds the end value – then the owner is looking at a stranded building which is then a candidate for residential conversion.
Without a doubt, Dublin’s housing shortage necessitates innovative solutions. Converting offices into residential units presents an opportunity to address this but there are challenges involved, and as we have seen from other countries, caution is advised for such projects. Consideration must be given to zoning, building and planning guidelines and regulations. This consideration must relate to the practicality and ability to convert but also to the social factors, with access to amenities, transport, employment opportunities and social connections fundamental for the residents of the schemes and thus their successful transformation.
Embracing this potential solution and implementing it correctly may hold the key to not only helping to solve a housing shortage but also providing options to owners of potentially obsolete office buildings.
Lucy Connolly is divisional director and head of offices at Bannon property consultants
A contentious and topical issue for some time now, the Residential Zoned Land Tax (RZLT) will impact a range of stakeholders across the development land sector. The RZLT, which was introduced in the Finance Act 2021 effectively replaces the Vacant Site Levy, with a similar objective of increasing the supply of residential accommodation.
As an annual tax charge, it will be calculated at 3% of the market value of land zoned suitable for residential development which is or can be readily serviced. Each local authority is obliged to generate a residential zoned land tax map, with draft maps published from the start of November 2022.
Land suitable for residential development from the 1st of January 2022 and development not commenced prior to the 1st of February 2024 will be liable for taxation. Landowners seeking to be omitted from the tax have until the 1st of January 2023 to make an appeal to their Local Authority. Impacted landowners will be expected to self-assess or engage with a registered valuer to conclude the market value of their land in anticipation of the 23rd of May 2024 tax return date.
The limited circumstances under which the RZLT may be deferred include the following:
– Planning permission has been granted in respect of the residential land and a commencement notice, in respect of the residential development, has been lodged with the relevant Local Authority.
– If an appeal relating to the inclusion of the site on the register has not yet been determined.
– Judicial review or appeal to An Bord Pleanála is brought by a third party in relation to the planning permission that was granted.
For more information on the potential implications of RZLT contact email@example.com.
The combination of current and expected future demand for housing in Dublin’s commuter belt counties should see strong interest from investors and developers in the sale of a 12-acre land holding in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.
The lands, on the Dublin Road and just 700m from Mullingar town centre, are being offered to the market by joint agents Bannon and James L Murtagh & Sons on behalf of St Finian’s Diocesan Trust at a guide price of €2.75 million.
The subject holding surrounds the diocesan office, which the trust is retaining for its continued use, and is distributed across two parcels of land extending to a combined area of about 4.85 hectares (12 acres). The entire holding is zoned “Proposed Residential” in the Mullingar Local Area Plan 2014–2020 (as extended). An architectural feasibility study prepared by Altu Architects indicates potential (subject to planning consent) for the development of a housing scheme of about 116 units, comprising 27 two-bedroom houses, 35 three-bedroom houses and 54 four-bedroom houses.
While the lands have a sylvan setting adjoining St Paul’s Catholic Church, St Colman’s National School and Clonard House, they are near all the amenities of Mullingar.
Mullingar is a well-established commuter town and sits about 80km or a one-hour drive from Dublin via the N4 and M4 motorway. The town is also served by mainline rail services.
Niall Brereton of Bannon says: “This is a rare opportunity to acquire a development site in one of the most desirable residential locations within the Dublin commuter belt. Mullingar is a highly accessible town given its proximity to the N4 as well as Mullingar train station offering daily services to and from Dublin city centre. The subject land has terrific development potential, subject to planning permission, and will appeal to developers seeking opportunities to deliver new housing units in an area of high demand.”
Residential property prices increased by 1.1% nationally in the year to September. This compares with an increase of 2.0% in the year to August and an increase of 8.5% in the twelve months to September 2018.
In Dublin, residential property prices decreased by 1.3% in the year to September – house prices decreased by 1.5% and apartments decreased by 0.2%. The highest house price growth in Dublin was in Fingal at 1.5%, while Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown saw a decline of 6.8%.
Residential property prices in Ireland excluding Dublin were 3.6% higher in the year to September, with house prices up by 3.4% and apartments by 4.8%. The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the Border at 11.8%, while the smallest rise was recorded in the Mid-East at 0.2%.
Overall, the national index is 16.9% lower than its highest level in 2007. Dublin residential property prices are 21.4% lower than their February 2007 peak, while residential property prices in the Rest of Ireland are 20.0% lower than their May 2007 peak.
Property prices nationally have increased by 85.3% from their trough in early 2013. Dublin residential property prices have risen 94.7% from their February 2012 low, whilst residential property prices in the Rest of Ireland are 84.0% higher than at the trough, which was in May 2013.
Extending to an area of 10.38 acres (4.2 hectares), the land is located off Glenamuck Road South, and 900 metres from the Park Carrickmines retail park. The site is highly accessible to both the M50 motorway and the Luas green line service at Ballyogan, offering easy access to both Dublin city centre and beyond.
While planning permission was obtained in June 2019 for a residential scheme comprising 173 apartments and 30 houses, a feasibility study prepared by Ferreira Architects in advance of the sale indicates the site’s potential for a private rented scheme of 333 apartments.
Full details of the existing permitted development can be accessed at the dedicated strategic housing development (SHD) website, www.glenamuckshd.ie. In addition to the residential units the permission also provides for 299 sq.m of communal/amenity space, a 480 sq.m creche facility and an 84 sq.m retail unit.
A further full suite of information which includes site investigations, drawings and planning permission details can be found in the data room, www.glenamuckroad.com.
Contact Niall Brereton today on 01 6477900 to discuss.
Residential property prices increased by 3.1% nationally in the year to April. This compares with an increase of 3.8% in the year to March and an increase of 13.3% in the twelve months to April 2018.
In Dublin, residential property prices rose by 0.5% in the year to April, with no change in house prices and apartments rising by 2.2%. The highest house price growth in Dublin was in South Dublin at 4.0%, while Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown saw the greatest decline in house prices (1.5%).
Residential property prices in Ireland excluding Dublin were 5.6% higher in the year to April, with house prices up by 5.8% and apartments by 5.9%. The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in property prices was the Border at 11.4%, while the smallest rise was recorded in the Mid-East at 1.5%.
Overall, the national index is 18.5% lower than its highest level in 2007. Dublin residential property prices are 22.5% lower than their February 2007 peak, while residential property prices in the Rest of Ireland are 21.8% lower than their May 2007 peak.
Property prices nationally have increased by 81.9% from their trough in early 2013. Dublin residential property prices have risen 91.9% from their February 2012 low, whilst residential property prices in the Rest of Ireland are 79.9% higher than at the trough, which was in May 2013.
Residential property prices increased by 3.9% nationally in the year to March. This compares with an increase of 4.3% in the year to February and an increase of 12.6% in the twelve months to March 2018.
In Dublin, residential property prices rose by 1.2% in the year to March, with house prices rising by 0.7% and apartments by 2.5%. The highest house price growth in Dublin was in South Dublin at 3.4%, while the lowest growth was in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown at 0.4%.
Residential property prices in Ireland excluding Dublin were 6.8% higher in the year to March, with house prices up by 6.7% and apartments by 8.6%. The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in property prices was the Mid-West at 11.9%, while the smallest rise was recorded in the Mid-East at 1.6%.
Overall, the national index is 18.6% lower than its highest level in 2007. Dublin residential property prices are 22.3% lower than their February 2007 peak, while residential property prices in the Rest of Ireland are 22.3% lower than their May 2007 peak.
Property prices nationally have increased by 81.6% from their trough in early 2013. Dublin residential property prices have risen 92.5% from their February 2012 low, whilst residential property prices in the Rest of Ireland are 78.8% higher than at the trough, which was in May 2013.