Tuesday 30 May 2017

Dublin 1: Dapper Docklands are a boon to this diverse area

41 Belvedere Place, North Circular Road, sold for €490,000 last April
41 Belvedere Place, North Circular Road, sold for €490,000 last April

At the heart of the city centre, Dublin 1 is becoming a more diverse market daily, as the Docklands continue to stride upmarket while less salubrious parts of the inner city continue to remain quite run down in some pockets. Across the board, stock here is predominantly apartments, and the buyers see investors outnumber owner- occupiers by almost three to one.

Overall prices rose by 7pc with an average two-bed apartment now costing around €285,000. Estate agent Owen Reilly reports that the last 12 months performed "quite differently from quarter to quarter".

"In the second quarter in particular, there was a dramatic drop in supply, but this picked up quite strongly in the third. The market took a small breather after Brexit, which led to fewer sterling buyers, who had been a factor up until the summer. Irish people buying with sterling more or less disappeared after Brexit, as properties suddenly became 20pc more expensive. Those who bought in 2015 were delighted!"

Reilly is keen to point out that Dublin 1 is a very diverse market, with property values in the north Docklands far higher than those in the inner city, and average values in 2016 distorted by the sale of some luxury penthouses in Spencer Dock.

"The Docklands market is predominantly made up of apartments and dominated by investors. Seventy-three percent of buyers in Dublin 1 are investors and 27pc owner-occupiers. The average price in Dublin 1 is €280,000 but in the north Docklands that rises to €400,000. Spencer Dock distorts the figures, as the prices there are much higher than everywhere else."

Reilly reckons that there is good value to be found in the north inner city, and that pockets of the area will benefit from the development that will happen in the Docklands in the future.

"There was not a single new apartment delivered in the Docklands in 2016, and I am not aware of any that will be delivered in 2017. Ballymore's Dublin Landings is due to come on stream in 2018, and Ronan Group Real Estate will be building more apartments at Spencer Dock but they will not be available until 2018 at the earliest."

According to Reilly, property in the north Docklands is only going one way.

"The Central Bank is moving into its new building at the moment, and permission has been granted for a 900-bed student residence, which is due to be completed in 2018. Paddy McKillen is planning a hotel, and all the brownfield sites between Spencer Dock and the 3Arena will get going over the next few years, as soon as the cost of construction and finance can be reconciled. I'm predicting growth of 6pc, but that could be surpassed if there's an increase in demand.

"The big questions are whether people will have the confidence to sell, and whether we will start seeing properties coming on stream from the funds buying mortgage books. Will they initially engage with the borrowers or look to sell? What the funds do in 2017 is a key factor in terms of supply."

Irish Independent


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