Friday 16 November 2018

Cairn CEO: Irish want to own homes, not rent them

Michael Stanley, chief executive of Cairn Homes
Michael Stanley, chief executive of Cairn Homes
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Cairn Homes chief Michael Stanley has insisted that the rapid growth of Ireland's build-to-rent (BTR) residential sector will do nothing to dampen the desire of Irish people to own their homes.

An increasing number of apartment schemes are being developed for sale to institutional landlords as opposed to individual buyers.

But Mr Stanley downplayed the suggestion that the balance in the market is now shifting towards the long-term rental model found in Germany and elsewhere.

"It [the balance] will change but if you look at other countries where they have a similar high propensity to own - the UK, North America - those rates have drifted very little over generations," Mr Stanley told the Irish Independent following the release of Cairn Homes interim results yesterday.

"You're not going to turn the Irish into Germans overnight," he added.

"People are arriving out at our schemes with prams, they want a back garden, they want to have their own home.

"Their parents owned their own home and live down the road, so they'll mind the kids, so these people want to own," he said.

In its latest results covering the six-month period to the end of June, Cairn Homes reported operating profits of €18.1m, up from €2.5m last year.

Half-yearly revenues rose to €130.2m from €41.2m. Cairn said it closed 293 sales at an average selling price of €393,000, excluding Vat. This comprised 221 houses at €326,000 and 72 apartments at €599,000.

Mr Stanley added that "summer next year is a reasonable target" to start work on Cairn's development of 500 apartments on the 8.64 acres it acquired at RTÉ's Montrose campus for €107.5m.

The RTÉ plans are at the design stage and Cairn is engaged in pre-planning consultations with Dublin City Council with a view to submitting a fast-track application to An Bord Pleanála.

Irish Independent

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