Property consultants frustrated at latest Government intervention in the property market

CBRE despair at Government’s proposed planning reforms

Dublin, 2nd October 2014 – Property consultants CBRE this evening reacted strongly to the proposed planning reforms announced by Government earlier today, saying that the proposals are likely to cause more problems than they will solve. The property consultants do not agree that proposed changes to social and affordable housing provision announced today will have the desired effect of increasing the supply of much-needed social housing and in fact could have the opposite effect.

CBRE say that proposals to implement a ‘use it or lose it’ site tax of 3% on the owners of vacant sites may well lead to some increase in the supply of housing in the capital. However, they were shocked to hear that the Government intend implementing this site tax in all urban locations with a population of more than 3,000 people. According to Marie Hunt, Head of Research at CBRE “It is nonsensical that owners of vacant sites in provincial locations where there is little or no housing demand are to be penalised for not developing vacant sites. How is this going to help increase the supply of housing in the Dublin market where the supply situation is most acute? Worryingly, it could have the opposite effect of the one intended and force development to occur in the wrong locations, which is clearly not desirable”.

CBRE also point to the fact that in many cases there are genuine reasons why sites are not being developed. Besides than the fact that many developers do not have access to funding to complete developments, CBRE say that in many cases, development is simply not feasible as a result of prohibitive development levies, developer contributions, VAT and overly stringent building regulations, all of which are impacting on the feasibility of development. Instead of focussing their attention on implementing measures to reduce development costs in an effort to kick-start much-needed development in locations where it is required, the Government are proposing implementing a vacant site tax which will add further to developer costs.

CBRE say they are shocked that the Government are also proposing to impose a ‘vacant tax’ on retail facilities saying that despite an improvement in consumer spending and retail sales over recent months, there are many provincial towns around the country which continue to suffer from extremely high levels of dereliction and vacancy on their high streets. Instead of coming up with solutions to help reduce vacancy on high streets across the country, the Government are proposing penalising the owners of vacant stores which will only exacerbate the issue. CBRE have called on the Government to engage with the property industry to test the potential implications of proposals before rushing to implement measures which will cause more problems than they will solve.


CONTACT: Marie Hunt – 00 353 (0)1 618 5543 / 00 353 87 2727115 or e-mail:marie.hunt@cbre.com

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. ((NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2013 revenue). The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through approximately 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

In Ireland, with offices in Dublin and Belfast, CBRE is the country’s largest commercial real estate services company, now employing over 130 employees and offering a full range of property services including property sales and acquisitions, leasing and management, investment, corporate services, debt advisory, project management, consultancy, valuations and research. Please visit our website at www.cbre.ie or www.cbre.ie./ni