Dublin 9: 'Couples who bought before the bust can finally sell up'
Investors are back in Dublin 9 and have increased their share of deals to around one third - up from about a quarter of transactions the previous year.
Prices are up 8pc overall, with local agent Vincent Kelly of Kelly Bradshaw Dalton expecting similar for 2017. However, he estimates that apartments have increased in price ahead of other property prices - by 12pc in the last 12 months - and now account for a quarter of all deals.
Our agent reports the first signs that apartment owner-occupiers are now freeing themselves from the negative equity trap.
"We are seeing couples who bought pre-bust now finally finding themselves in a position to sell up. So let's say someone bought an apartment in 2005 for €285,000 -well, it might now be worth €250,000. So while they might be losing the €35,000 originally saved themselves, the loan is clear and they are free to sell up. Many now have children and are able to buy a house at last." He also reports far fewer bank-induced sales taking place.
The most competition is for period red brick two/three-up and two-down homes located on the streets off the main Drumcondra Road, and buyers are paying €325k to €375k varying on condition for doer-uppers. In refurbished condition these are pushing towards €450k.
Inflation and competition from investors is taking its toll however, and Kelly notices that young couples are now more likely to concentrate on the peripherals of Dublin 9, having being priced out of more central areas.
"They have moved their attentions to Santry, Whitehall and, particularly, Beaumont. You get a lot more bang for your buck in Beaumont than you do in Drumcondra or Glasnevin, and you stand a better chance of getting a garden, the possibility of extending into a garage and off-street parking. The houses in Beaumont are making between €350k and 400k now." In his view, Whitehall currently offers the best value for first-time buyers, with three-bed ex-Corporation houses going for €250k to €300k.
There's high demand also among the displaced for more affordable homes at Coolatree in Beaumont, for the ex-Corporation houses in Yellow Road in Whitehall and properties in that part of the Larkhill located closest to Santry.
"Griffith Avenue is still the Dublin 9 trophy home location, and homes sell for between €700,000 to €900,000," says Kelly. "And anything handy for the airport is always sought-after."
Kelly predicts steady growth of 6pc for the first quarter of 2017, as he expects the banks' discretionary exceptions to have a knock-on effect on prices, particularly at the beginning of the year. For the year as a whole, he forecasts growth of 8pc.
"There's still a shortage of new homes in Dublin 9 but the tide has turned at All Hallows and those homes will start to come on stream. DCU taking over St Pat's has livened up the area, you notice when the students are gone outside of term time, and they fuel rental demand. The demographic of the area is becoming younger, and the houses on the periphery that were built in the 1940s and 50s are coming to the market in probate sales."
At Iona and Hollybank, there is the potential for larger properties to be converted back from rental units into family homes.