Archive for September 15th, 2011

Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) this morning released its population estimates for April 2011. Given that we had a census in April 2011 and preliminary results released in June, we already knew that the population had grown by 8.1% (341,421 people) in the past five years from 4,269,848 to 4,581,269. So the CSO release this morning with its estimate of 4,484,300 for April 2011 looks a little ridiculous because we have the actual numbers; but the reason for the difference is down to the CSO’s method of estimating population change from year to year. In simple terms, the CSO undertakes a quarterly survey of households every quarter and uses that survey of a sample of the population to extrapolate totals for the entire country.

So the total population of the country in April 2011 will not have changed as a result of this morning’s publication but we have learned the following that is new:

(1) The CSO estimates that 76,400 people emigrated fromIrelandin the year to April 2011, up 17% from 65,300 who were estimated to have emigrated the previous year.

(2) Annual immigration has, perhaps counter-intuitively, also increased – by 37%, the biggest % increase since 1988 – from 30,800 for the year ending April 2010 to 42,300 for the year ending April 2011

(3) Net outward migration is estimated at 34,100 of which 23,000 were Irish nationals

(4) 67,500 of emigrants are aged 15-44

(5) The CSO estimates the population of Dublin today at 1,199,300 down 0.7% from its estimate of 1,207,000 for the previous year. The preliminary census results for 2011 showed that Dublin’s population today is 1,270,603 up from 1,187,176 in 2006 (change of 83,427 or 7%). Plainly the CSO’s for the year ending April 2011 are different to the preliminary census but the indication is thatDublin’s population is falling. The so-called Mid-East region, Dublin’s commuter belt shows the greatest regional increase in the year ending April 2011 according to the CSO’s estimates with a 1.8% increase. An interpretation of these estimates is that people are moving out fromDublinto commuter belts.

(6) Our remarkable birth rate has seemingly increased and our mortality rate has continued to decrease giving us a natural population increase of 47,700 – the biggest annual natural increase since at least 1987.

(7) Population overall is estimated to have increased last year by 13,600. On a very simple basis, with an average of 2.7 souls per Irish household that would indicate a need for 5,037 new dwellings. Of course with the gradual splintering of Irish households, estimates on here were for 17,000 new homes just to accommodate smaller household sizes in the population generally. Figures on obsolescence in Irish housing are nigh-impossible to come by but we do know that new construction, based on connection to the national power company, will run at about 10,000 this year. There is an overhang of vacant housing estimated at over 100,000 properties including 33,000 on so-called ghost estates. From a supply:demand viewpoint, it seems in general terms that prices of property generally will continue to come under pressure for some time.


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Nearly 21 months after the agency was legally established, it seems that NAMA will next week sell its first residential property in Ireland. I say “seems” because NAMA generally doesn’t provide information on its sales (the off-market Montevetro sale was an exception) and you can’t dismiss the possibility that NAMA has sold some house or apartment, somewhere to the general public. And remember that developers whose loans may have been acquired by NAMA didn’t stop selling property in their own name just because their loans were absorbed by the agency. But next week, according to the Irish Times today, NAMA will launch in its own right what are considered on here to be its first apartments inIreland.

The apartments are in the Beacon South Quarter in Sandyford, south Dublin. You will find quite a lot of background information on the development here where a sale by NAMA of 58 apartments in the same development to a housing association, Cluaid, was reported two months ago. The development is most associated with developer Paddy Shovlin, one of the first developers against whom NAMA moved in 2010, foreclosing on property and obtaining liability orders in Dublin’s High Court.

The sales to Cluaid in July 2011 indicated prices of €250-300 psf. The launch next week will reportedly include 13 apartments in a building in the large mixed-use development called “the Tower”. As noted with the sale of the 58 apartments to Cluaid, these units appear to be high-spec and the apartments on offer next week are over 1,200 sq ft in size and have “en suites with double sinks, walk-in wardrobes and built-in coffee machines in the bedrooms”. The selling agent is not mentioned by the Irish Times but Simon Coyle at Mazars is the receiver. It is not clear at this stage if NAMA will launch its much-vaunted negative equity mortgage product to coincide with the launch. Details of the sale including selling agent, management fees, accommodation have been requested from the receiver and will be posted here as an update if they become available.

Although NAMA doesn’t generally provide details on its sales, there is a dedicated page on here which attempts to draw together all reports (17 to date) of NAMA sales.

UPDATE: 15th September, 2011. The receiver has advised the selling agent is DTZ Sherry FitzGerald and I see that the apartments are now listed on the Sherry FitzGerald website here but prices are not given.

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