28 Aug 2019

Irish Builders: Cairn Homes – 282-unit PRS sale to Urbeo for €94m

Cairn Homes yesterday announced the forward sale of 282 apartments at its development site at The Quarter in Citywest, Dublin to Urbeo Residential. 

Urbeo will pay a total cash consideration for the development of €94m, with the six-block development expected to begin a phased delivery in late 2020. The sale of The Quarter is the second large multifamily PRS transaction completed by Cairn following the 120-apartment sale at Six Hanover Quay last year. 

Separately, a decision on Cairn’s proposed 472-unit development in Castletreasure in Cork has been delayed by An Bord Pleanala until October 10th, with a decision having previously been expected last week.

Irish economy: LFS shows employment +2.0% y/y as population increases to 4.9m 

The latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) from the CSO showed continued positive developments within the Irish labour market in Q219, with total employment up 2.0% or 45,000 to 2,300,000 in the year to Q219, while unemployment was down 9.4% or 13,600 to 130,800. While remaining very positive, the data marks a decrease on the growth levels seen in the Q119 LFS when total employment had increased by 3.7% y/y, and a slowdown vs the Q218 LFS which showed employment increasing by 3.7% y/y. However, as the economy approaches a level close to some theoretical level of full employment, it is not surprising to see some of the previous growth levels with the labour market begin to slow down, and at the same time see wage growth start to accelerate (as evidenced by the Q119 average weekly earnings +3.4% y/y).

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from 5.1% in Q119 to 5.2% in Q219 (this represents a material increase from previous estimates around 4.5%, but there has not been any material deterioration in the underlying situation). Within the 45,000 annual increase in total employment there was an increase in full-time employment of 39,300 (+2.2%) and an increase in part-time employment of 5,700 (+1.3%), while employment increased in 11 of the 14 economic sectors contained within the LFS, with the largest increases in the transportation & storage (+8.6% or 8,400) and education sector (+7.8% or 13,000). 

Related to this, the CSO population and migration estimates were also released yesterday, with population growth estimated at +64,500 in the year to April 2019, with the total resident population increasing to a new post-independence high of 4,921,500, and now at the highest level since the 1850s. Inward migration was estimated at +88,600 in the year to April 2019, while outward migration was estimated at -54,900, with a natural increase of +30,800. 

Irish REITs/builders: Chartered Land seeks buyer for €650m

Irish developer Chartered Land is seeking offers of c.€650 million for a portfolio of 1,695 new apartments it plans to deliver across four landmark Dublin sites, according to reporting in the Irish Times this morning.

Agent CBRE is managing the Project Chase sale aimed at institutional buyers and which contains four residential development sites within the portfolio, located at Parkgate Street in Dublin city centre, and in the Dublin suburbs of Rathborne, Finglas and Kellystown.

The proposed units are expected be constructed in phases by Chartered Land’s sister company, Castlethorn, between 2021 and the final quarter of 2022. On completion, the purchaser will take ownership of the entire portfolio. The portfolio’s €650 million guide price equates to an average price of €383,480 per apartment or €636 per net sq ft.

Emergency debate after summer recess

Yesterday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hosted a meeting of opposition leaders (Tory rebels were apparently unable to attend due to diary commitments) in an attempt to flesh out plans to prevent PM Boris Johnson leaving the EU on the 31 October without a deal. Effectively, the agreed plan revolves around securing parliamentary time to introduce a bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit. 

The opposition plans to achieve this by requesting an emergency debate (using Standing Order 24) next Tuesday (3 September) and using that time to acquire parliamentary time to introduce a bill to prevent no-deal Brexit. How this will proceed will partly depend on whether the Speaker, John Bercow, allows the initial emergency debate to occur. 

Notably, yesterday’s meeting also saw opposition parties go colder on the idea of pushing for an immediate no confidence vote in the government, with several party leaders suggesting that it would not necessarily prevent the UK leaving without a deal on 31 October, given that it would hand Boris Johnson control of the election date.

Dudley goes after Trump

In a Bloomberg opinion piece published yesterday, former NY Fed President, Bill Dudley urged his old Fed colleagues not to cut rates any further while Mr. Trump continues with his tit for tat trade spat with China. 

In an unusually strong worded piece (from an ex-Fed member), he suggested that they (the Fed) should attempt to sway opinion in the upcoming 2020 presidential election saying, “after all, Trump’s reelection arguably presents a threat to the U.S. and global economy, to the Fed’s independence and its ability to achieve its employment and inflation objectives.” On the subject of Mr. Trump’s insistence on constantly sticking his oar into the Fed’s business by trying to politicise the US central bank, he said the Fed’s “policy decisions are guided solely by its congressional mandate to maintain price stability and maximum employment. Political considerations play absolutely no role.”

Economic Releases

Nothing to note.