Thursday 27 June 2019

Two of Ireland's biggest developers to boost Cork housing as Dublin prices cool

Developers out to gain fast-track approval for 750 units in two schemes

Michael O'Flynn
Michael O'Flynn
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Two of Ireland's biggest developers are preparing to build around 750 housing units in separate major Cork projects. Cairn Homes is planning more than 500 units for a site in Douglas.

A representative for the stock market listed housebuilder said it is working with Cork County Council and aims to submit a fast-track planning application for the site by the end of May.

It's a significant move for Cairn, run by chief executive Michael Stanley, which to date has primarily focused on projects in the Dublin area.

Meanwhile, O'Flynn Construction Group, led by developer Michael O'Flynn, has acquired a 27-acre site at Lakeview House in Midleton.

The company aims to submit a fast-track planning application to An Bord Pleanala in the summer, and is mulling a development of some 230 units.

O'Flynn, who is from Cork, was earlier in the week granted approval for a development of more than 600 units at a site in Glanmire.

The project at Ballinglanna is set to include retail units, a creche and a community building.

"The solution to Ireland's housing crisis lies in large-scale developments such as Ballinglanna, built to the highest standards," O'Flynn said.

"We look forward to bringing this new scheme to the people of Cork as quickly as possible."

The fast-track system enables applications to be made directly to An Bord Pleanala, which holds consultations with the developers and the local authorities before coming to its conclusion.

The system aims to see decisions made within 25 weeks.

News of the Cork developments emerges as price increases in Dublin slow.

The rate of increase in three-bed semi-detached home prices in Dublin slowed to 0.5pc in the first three months of the year, according to the Irish Independent/Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average House Price Index.

"The Dublin market has become quite price sensitive, even though we are seeing healthy demand and good liquidity with plenty of mortgage lending," said REA spokesman Barry McDonald.

"What we may be seeing, after the rapid increases of recent years, are the Central Bank mortgage lending restrictions imposing an upper level on purchasing power for some buyers."

In Cork City, the average increase was 1.6pc in the first quarter.

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