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Cairn Homes warns apartment schemes with full planning aren’t being built

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Cairn Homes says it delivered over 1,500 new homes in a calendar year

Cairn Homes says it delivered over 1,500 new homes in a calendar year

Cairn Homes says it delivered over 1,500 new homes in a calendar year. Photo: Getty Images

Cairn Homes says it delivered over 1,500 new homes in a calendar year. Photo: Getty Images

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Cairn Homes says it delivered over 1,500 new homes in a calendar year

The head of Cairn Homes, the country’s biggest residential property developer, has warned that large-scale apartment schemes with full planning permission aren’t being built and hinted strongly that Government support is needed to get them over the line.

Cairn chief executive officer Michael Stanley said that a lack of new apartment developments close to areas of high employment or public transport links remains a challenge in Ireland.

He said the focus to date has been on lower density homes in suburban or residential areas and suggested the industry needs to work with Government, to tackle this “damaging supply imbalance”.

“Today, there are over 80,000 planned apartments in the pipeline, all of which meet new design and size standard,” he said.

“While many have been held up by our planning system or objections, nearly one third have full planning permission and should be under construction.

“Viability and funding remain challenging, however, our industry has the capacity to deliver, and working collaboratively with Government support, can address this damaging supply imbalance. Ireland’s sustainable social, environmental and economic future depends on it.”

Apartment building is capital intensive but in recent years international institutional investors – or cuckoo funds – have been key buyers. However there are strong signs that funding is becoming scarcer.

In a trading update, Cairn Homes says it delivered over 1,500 new homes in 2022 and recorded a 46pc rise in revenues across the year. Around a third of that total was new social housing.

The company pointed to “significant” inflation across the year, with the cost of building typically rising by around €20,000 per home.

As a result of this embedded build cost inflation, the company said many first-time buyers would not have been able to access new homes without “impactful Government support,” such as the First Home shared equity scheme.

Cairn generated total core revenue of around €610m in 2022, a jump on the €419m in revenue reported the prior year.

The company now anticipates an operating profit of €100m for the year, in line with existing guidance. The full year gross margin is also expected to be around 21.5pc, marking a rise from 19.8pc recorded in 2021.

The company now has a sales pipeline of over 1,100 new homes across 20 development sites for 2023, with Cairn “confident of making further financial progress”.


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