Cairn Homes sells 150 homes in Maynooth for €53.5m

Housebuilder has also acquired additional land in Dublin for €21.5m

Mariavilla development in Maynooth comprises apartments, duplexes and houses. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Cairn Homes has sold 150 properties which have yet to be completed in Co Kildare for €53.5 million while also acquiring additional land at a strategic site in Dublin.

The Dublin-listed housebuilder said it had forward sold 150 units comprising apartments, duplexes and houses which will be completed from December at its Mariavilla development in Maynooth.

Property investor Urbeo, which is backed by US investor Starwood Capital, bought the units, having previously dealt with Cairn. In August, the company picked up 282 units in Dublin's Citywest for €94 million. Urbeo is led by former Hibernia Reit founder Frank Kenny as well as its former chief investment officer Richard Ball.

Cairn’s Mariavilla development consists of two areas under construction totalling 380 properties. The 150 properties being bought by Urbeo form part of the development designed for the private rental sector. The remaining 230 homes will be bought by private tenants.


“This is another significant acquisition as we implement our strategy to deliver quality rental housing projects in well-serviced locations with good connectivity to employment centres,” said Mr Ball.


Also on Thursday, Cairn announced it had acquired a further 97 acres of land within the Clonburris strategic development zone (SDZ) for €21.5 million. The deal was done through two separate transactions from Nama and O’Callaghan Properties. Cairn already owns an adjacent 70 hectares (174 acres) of development land within the SDZ and this deal means its total holding in the area represents 44 per cent of the overall SDZ.

In a statement to the stock exchange, Cairn said it views Clonburris, close to Lucan, as a “unique opportunity to build a substantial number of competitively priced and affordable new homes in this well-connected location”. The company will build more than 5,000 homes in the area together with retail, commercial and employment space.

"Essentially we are creating a new town of significant scale close to Dublin city," said Cairn Homes chief executive Michael Stanley.

“Cairn will deliver a progressive urban design in Clonburris which will reflect best international practice. This development is a game changer for the shortage of affordable new homes in Dublin,” he added.

At the end of last month, An Bord Pleanála cleared the way for Cairn Homes to lodge plans to build 611 apartments on the Donnybrook site it bought from RTÉ for €107.5 million over two years ago.

That meant Cairn Homes could make its formal planning application to the appeals board under the Government’s fast-track planning regime, with a decision to be made within 16 weeks of its receipt.

Before the 2017 deal, Cairn Homes chief executive Michael Stanley said: “If an opportunity like the RTÉ site comes along, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to acquire a site of that quality.”

In March, Mr Stanley said that Cairn Homes hopes to commence construction on the former RTÉ site in 2020.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business