New homes project leaves first-time buyers in cold
Ireland's largest private landlord has been given the go-ahead to build 428 units in south Dublin - but they won't be available to buy.
The development at Rockbrook in Sandyford, Dublin 18, is made up of two apartment blocks containing studio units, as well as one, two and three-bed homes.
In addition, it will have a crèche, four retail units, and a communal space for residents.
However, first-time buyers will be deprived of the chance to buy the Ires Reit apartments when they are built, as the homes will be rented out.
Set up after the economic crash, Ires is the biggest of the so-called 'cuckoo funds,' which are increasingly block-buying homes in Ireland, leaving families muscled out of the market.
The group charges an average rent of €1,598 per month.
Margaret Sweeney, chief executive of Ires Reit, said: "We engaged in a detailed process to ensure the application met all of the requirements for a Strategic Housing Development (SHD) including extensive engagement with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to understand its priorities and objectives for the locality."
The SHD process, aims to fast-track applications of 100 or more housing units, or student accommodation of 200 or more bed spaces, by bypassing local authorities and having applications made directly to An Bord Pleanála.
Following this approval, Ires now has planning permission for a total of 628 units on its existing sites.
Other complexes in its portfolio include the high-end Marker apartments at Grand Canal Square in Dublin and Elm Park, near St Vincent's Hospital and the RTÉ campus in Dublin 4.
It has modern developments in Tallaght and Inchicore in Dublin, as well as Harty's Quay in Cork.
Rental income at Ires jumped by 18pc to €27m in the first half of this year.
The SHD arrangements, introduced in 2017 in an attempt to ease the burden on the housing market, will apply until the end of this year.
There is a possibility of extending the scheme to the end of 2021, subject to a review of the operation and effectiveness of the measures.