NI’s La­gan Homes sets its sights on the Repub­lic

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - John Mul­li­gan

NORTH­ERN Ire­land’s largest home-builder, La­gan Homes, is set to tap into huge la­tent de­mand for houses in the Repub­lic as it plans to en­ter the mar­ket south of the Bor­der next year, the Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent has learned.

The com­pany, owned by Kevin La­gan and con­nected to the wider La­gan Group, is un­der­stood to have al­ready held dis­cus­sions with a num­ber of par­ties re­gard­ing site ac­qui­si­tions and op­er­a­tions.

It’s be­lieved that the com­pany, which was es­tab­lished in 1983, will ini­tially fo­cus on con­struc­tion in the Dublin com­muter belt, where pent-up de­mand for homes has helped to fuel soar­ing prices.

The com­pany de­clined to com­ment on specifics of its en­try to the mar­ket in the Repub­lic or con­firm if talks have been held re­gard­ing site ac­qui­si­tions.

“While de­vel­op­ments are at an early stage, we see sig­nif­i­cant po­ten­tial to de­liver af­ford­able and high-qual­ity hous­ing in the Repub­lic of Ire­land, build­ing on our 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence and suc­cess in the North and Bri­tain,” said a spokesper­son for La­gan Homes.

The de­vel­oper’s ar­rival in the Dublin mar­ket is likely to see it com­pete with com­pa­nies such as stock mar­ket-listed Cairn Homes and Kennedy Wil­son Europe for valu­able sites around the cap­i­tal. How­ever, La­gan Homes fo­cuses on build­ing houses rather than apart­ments.

Dur­ing the sum­mer, Cairn Homes agreed to pay €107m to buy part of RTE’s Mon­trose cam­pus in Dublin. It in­tends to build 500 apart­ments on the site.

La­gan Homes is linked to both the Belfast-head­quar­tered La­gan Group, and to Dublin-based La­gan As­phalt Group. La­gan As­phalt Group op­er­ates ag­gre­gates and as­phalt plants around the coun­try, as well as a large quarry in Cork.

La­gan Homes is ex­pected to com­plete 500 homes this year be­tween the North and Bri­tain.

Last year, it se­cured plan­ning per­mis­sion for de­vel­op­ments in both Belfast and Ban­gor for a com­bined 1,200 houses. The schemes will cost about £200m (€221m) to de­velop, it’s un­der­stood.

The lat­est set of pub­licly-avail­able ac­counts for La­gan Homes in North­ern Ire­land show that it made a £1.6m op­er­at­ing profit in the six months to the end of 2015. The North­ern Ire­land firm was ac­quired by La­gan Homes UK in 2014. Ac­counts for that firm, also for the six months to the end of 2015, show it made an op­er­at­ing profit of £2.5m in the pe­riod on turnover of £18.6m. Fig­ures out this week showed that an­nu­alised house price in­fla­tion hit 12.7pc in Dublin as a short­age of sup­ply con­tin­ues to drive up prices.

Davy Stock­bro­kers es­ti­mated last week that be­tween 35,000 and 50,000 hous­ing units a year need to be built in Ire­land up to 2021 to meet de­mand. Last year, just 7,500 units were com­pleted.

This week, Kennedy Wil­son Europe’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Peter Wil­son said that the group wants to add about 3,000 hous­ing units to its cur­rent stock of 2,100 over the next three to four years. Such an ex­pan­sion would make the com­pany the coun­try’s largest pri­vate land­lord.

Ire­land’s Fittest Com­pany – a work­place well­ness chal­lenge de­vel­oped by in part­ner­ship with health and well-be­ing ex­perts Roz Pur­cell, Karl Henry and Gerry Hussey – in­cludes a se­ries of work­place sem­i­nars rais­ing aware­ness of the im­por­tance of nu­tri­tion, fit­ness and men­tal re­silience in the work­ing en­vi­ron­ment. The chal­lenge ends this year in a unique cor­po­rate 5k run at the Na­tional Sports Cam­pus in Blan­chard­stown on Oc­to­ber 5. This run caters for peo­ple of all abil­i­ties and fit­ness lev­els. At the launch of the event were Gerry Hussey, men­tal health ex­pert; Alan Mur­phy, man­ag­ing part­ner Ever­sheds Suther­land; Roz Pur­cell, model and di­eti­tian; Ais­ling Gan­non, part­ner and head of CSR, Ever­sheds Suther­land; and Karl Henry, Op­er­a­tion Trans­for­ma­tion fit­ness guru. Photo: Tony Gavin

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