North County Dublin: Huge discrepancies in prices
In Dublin North County, 2016 got off to a good start, reports Grainne McKenna of DNG McKenna Healy.
"It looked promising, with plenty of new stock and plenty of buyers," she says. "But there was a slowdown heading into the summer. Things picked up again after the budget, and towards the end of the year we saw lots more buyers going for it."
As always, the three-bed semi-detached family home is the property type most in demand.
"These always sell well in Lusk," says McKenna, "but we are now dealing with a shortage of stock. The Dun Emer estate is always popular. Over in Rush, at the lower end of the market, two and three-bed homes are selling well, while we are seeing good demand for four-bed family homes in Skerries. Properties are generally selling for in and around the asking price."
What was not selling well in 2016, says McKenna, is anything priced over €5/600k.
"There is a lack of demand for detached four and five bed homes with large gardens other than period house with sea views," she reports. "We found that people didn't want more than an acre anywhere, unless they were looking for somewhere to put stables or have a particular use for it. I am hoping that the relaxation of the Central Bank rules will bring some impetus to the market this year to allow trader-uppers to move on. Depending on supply, I'm predicting growth of around 4pc."
McKenna says that a typical semi-detached house in Lusk will go for €250k, while the same house in Skerries will make €330k.
"There are huge discrepancies in price across North County Dublin," she says, "and Howth and Malahide are a whole different ballgame."
Melanie Brady of DNG Fairview confirms this.
"We had strong sales in Howth from the middle of the year onwards. I'd say Howth was flying since May and June. It's been quite dramatic and it hadn't stopped by the end of the year. We were still viewing and valuing right up until Christmas. A cottage in walk-in condition on St Naessans Terrace went on the market at €475k and made €550k, while one needing work on St Peter's Terrace made €420k, having been valued at €375 - 390k. Malahide Marina was also very strong last year."
Brady reckons that some hotspots saw growth as high as 15pc to 20pc, but that generally Howth and Malahide were up by between 5pc and 10pc. She is hoping for the same in 2017. As in the rest of North County Dublin, properties at the upper end of the market or needing lots of work were very pinched and there was a lack of buyers, with bank lending proving difficult for more expensive properties.
"Properties in walk-in condition achieved better prices and sold quicker," she says.