Valuable neighbours on Ailesbury Road
RALPH BENSON THE auction of 27 Ailesbury Road is likely to entice the fat cats. Owned by restaurateur Peter White (father of Dubliner magazine's Trevor), the Victorian redbrick will be auctioned in 10 days. with a guide price of ?7.5m
In the last fortnight, three houses in Dublin 4 and 6 have gone for more than ?6m, so it's clear that this sort of money is in the market.
That didn't help haulier Eugene O'Reilly of O'Reilly Transport, who has been hawking 78 Ailesbury Road (next door to the Belgian Embassy) since October. Following a change of estate agents from Ganly Walters to Sherry Fitz, the contracts were signed on Thursday, April 21, for a figure upwards of ?4m.
Ailesbury Road residents are among Ireland's best known names. Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds is under constant guard at number 18, and can always call in to builder - and former FF councillor - Bernard McNamara, who resides two doors down at 22. McNamara's house, where the Japanese Embassy once stood, reportedly has its own ballroom, cinema, and swimming pool.
Supreme Court judge Nial Fennelly's house is down the way at number 57, and Dermot Desmond is on the same side of the road, at number 89. His next-door neighbour is Chris Comerford, former MD of Irish Sugar. You'll also find no fewer than 11 ambassadors behind electric gates on Ailesbury Road, including the French, who own 36 and 53, the Chinese (26 and 40), and the Russians, at 75.
Stockbrokers have their own reasons to be bearish about property prices: confidence in property values means less money for equities. But even so, the past pronouncements of stockbrokers on the property market would not instill confidence in their judgment.
In March 2003, Goodbody warned that the housing market was entering "bubble territory". Houses rose 13.7 per cent that year. Three months later, NCB forecasted a decline in prices of the following 18 months. Prices went up more than 15 per cent over that period.
In November 2003, Davy forecasted "an early end to the recent house price inflation and a reduction in the volume of new housing output". That was before prices went up another 11 per cent and 2004 was a record year for housing completions.
Merrion added their own tuppence worth in August of last year, advising that zero growth was likely for 2005 and 2006. Guess what? Prices are up 1 per cent so far this year.
Harry Potter's 4 Privet Drive may be a humble address, but author JK Rowling has not imitated her creation when it comes to housing. She lives on Britain's most expensive street. Property website mouseprice.com has surveyed the prices paid for housing on every street in the last five years, and the average price on Rowling's street, Earl's Terrace in London, is ?6.3m.
Strictly Come Dancing host Bruce Forsyth is also a resident of the Kensington Street, where many of the Georgian houses possess six bedrooms and swimming pools or cinemas at basement level.
The cheapest street in Britain is in Prime Minister Tony Blair's constituency of Sedgefield in Durham. It's 600 times less expensive than Earl's Terrace - and any first-time buyers in Ireland should look away now, because on Chapel Row, Durham, terraced houses sell for just ?10,000.