Given the week that was in it, it was impossible to escape blanket coverage of the CAO offers to a record 52,289 applicants on Monday.
Thankfully for the construction industry there was a surge in applications for courses in engineering, architecture and other construction related courses, where points increased most.
Unfortunately these graduates will take 3-5 years to come onstream in the industry, so the lack of young graduates will continue for at least the next few years as demand continues to outstrip supply.
In 2016 it is believed that graduate numbers in construction related courses will fall yet again.
As we recently predicted earnings at CRH, Ireland’s largest publicly quoted company, hit record numbers in its mid-year report which came out on Thursday.
The building material giants mid-year earnings more than doubled to €1.12 billion. Interest was piqued recently when the Dublin based company raised its forecast to €1.1 billion, a 10 per cent increase on its original forecast.
Now that earnings have exceeded even this figure, speculation is now that the company could take in €3.1 billion for the year as a whole.
CRH is not the only Irish construction supplies firm to have a good first half of 2016, as shares in Kingspan rose by 6% on Monday following the firm reporting a 50 per cent year on year increase in its profits, which Group Chief Executive Gene Murtagh described as its best six month performance ever.
Kingspan does a lot of business in the UK and should the British government formally notify the EU of its intention to leave, things could be tough but for now the good times are rolling – profits in Kingspan to June 30th rose by 50 per cent to €154 million, helped by strong growth in Europe and North America.
There is yet another new player on the “build to rent” property market as a recently established joint venture between Tristan Capital Partners and SW3 Capital have paid €72.5 million for the Neptune building in Dun Laoighre.
The development is currently being developed by Cosgrave Property Group, with the backing of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).
The Neptune Building is a prime residential apartment block being developed on the former DÃºn Laoghaire golf course and the group say that the deal is the first large-scale commitment by the group to high quality, signature buildings which the group say will be seen as “a destination of choice for the increasingly discerning renter“.
The most recent Daft.ie report, which covers the second quarter of 2016, continues to document the spiral of the rental market into ever decreasing circles.
The report shows that the number of properties available to rent on the open market continues to decrease, with just 3,600 homes available to rent – about 1,000 less than at the same time last year.
Of the properties to rent, just 1,100 are in Dublin, which is creaking at the seams – there are new jobs to be created in the capital, but no office space and nowhere to house new employees.
Rents are up approximately 11 per cent year on year and are now at their highest recorded level – past the peak of 2008. You can read the full report here.
Clancourt Holdings is owned by the Kenny family – founder Charlie Kenny started investing in the property market in Dublin in the 1960’s and his heirs are now heavily involved in the business. The Group is worth an estimated €200 million, though those estimates are conservative ones.
It is believed that the former nightclub may be transformed into office space and become home to a tech firm.
Cairn Homes turned heads last year when it became the first major Irish construction firm to go public in almost 20 years and this week Chief Executive Michael Stanley made another big prediction – that the company will be supporting 1,000 jobs by the middle of next year.
The Financial Times quotes Stanley saying that Cairn, “… are currently building new homes on five sites, with a further five developments commencing within the next 12 months. By mid 2017, we will support over 1,000 construction jobs, including apprentices, leveraging the substantial economies that that we will benefit from as a home-builder of significant scale.”
Irish Residential Properties REIT, which is the largest landlord after the state in Ireland in is to spend €18.3 million to purchase 89 apartments and 145 car parking spaces at Coldcut Park in Clondalkin, Dublin.
The purchase by the Canadian backed, Irish quoted real estate investment trust brings to 2,377 apartments according to David Ehrlich, Chief Executive of Ires REIT.
The purchase will bring some economies of scale as the development is in close proximity to other large apartment blocks in the Ires portfolio.
DekaBank, the German investment bank looks set to take control of the former Burlington Hotel site from Blackstone, according to the Irish Times.
It is believed that Blackstone, which is the world’s largest private equity property investor, is asking for €180 million for the hotel and grounds, a substantial profit on the price it paid in 2012. Blackstone picked up the hotel for €67 million and then invested a further €20 million, it is believed.
This is the second big purchase by DekaBank in Ireland – in March it bought the Whitewater Centre, a two-storey shopping mall in Newbridge, Co Kildare for a substantial price.
The construction business is a challenging one at the best of times and the potentially negative impact of Brexit means that builders in Northern Ireland have a more on their plates than most.
According to the Belfast Telegraph there is a new challenge facing construction firms north of the border however – a lack of bricks.
The ‘Bel-Tel’ featured a story on Thursday which said that Northern Irish builders are “dogged by a lack of bricks” and that some firms are regularly downing tools due to a lack of bricks.
The newspaper quoted Jamesy Hagan, Managing Director of Hagan Homes as saying that the situation is so dire that “We have had to put building on hold at times when we have had no bricks“.
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