Business Irish

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Top house prices won't rise for at least 'a generation'

Roisin Burke

IT will take take a generation for house prices on leafy Shrewsbury and Ailesbury Roads, Dublin 4, to recover, a top estate agent says.

"Optimistically it will be a generation before a return to anything like their peak level," Sherry FitzGerald chairman Simon Ensor told the Sunday Independent.

He predicts a minimum of 15 to 20 years for the Ballsbridge addresses, beloved of tycoons, to achieve boomtime prices again.

But it could take even longer than that. A source at another big estate agency says: "The price drop for these des res homes is 68 per cent since 2004 -- a good 30 per cent more than the average fall in house prices nationally."

Ensor puts the drop at around 50 per cent and says values on these uber high-end houses would need to grow by an unlikely five per cent a year for the next decade to reach anything even approaching the massive sale prices they had up to 2006.

"It's very optimistic that we would get that," he contends. "We currently would see no material growth for the next couple of years for a start. Then are you going to get five per cent in the early years of returned growth? I think not. So it could be 12 years after that for a return."

Ensor's agency sold the Shrewsbury Road home Walford for a record €58m in the heady days of 2005. It is currently being painted and refurbished, with speculation that it is being prepared for a sale by its mystery owner (developer Sean Dunne denies it is his). If sold it could fetch less than half its boom price-tag.

Sunday Independent

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