Sunday 30 April 2017

'Watch your house!' say boys in Green

Some Irish footballers, including Niall Quinn, have done brilliantly out of their property investments: others, like Kevin Moran, have scored own goals

WHILE they're missing out on the World Cup, a number of Irish footballers past and present are having mixed fortunes when it comes to property investments.

According to new information, Ireland and Fulham midfielder Damien Duff bought several apartments in the Dublin suburb of Dundrum, first in 2003 and then at the top of the market in 2006, not far from his native Churchtown.

He bought one in the Dundrum Gate development in 2003 and here the prices skyrocketed to about €540,000 for a two-bedroom apartment in 2007. They have since hit the bar though and similar properties now sell for about €385,000.

Duff then bought two more apartments three years later, one of which was in the Southmede block built by Dorville Homes, where a one-bed would have set you back €380,000. At that time, two-beds were priced at €490,000 and three-beds could be had for €580,000.

Like all apartments in and around the commuter belt of Dublin, prices have since plummeted -- and two-beds here are now worth in the region of €350,000, while three-beds have been on the market for just €395,000. Based on these figures, Duff's Southmede apartment may have lost almost a third of its value.

Prices at Trimbleston on the Goatstown Road in Dublin 14, where the midfielder bought another apartment, were even higher at their peak.

Close to UCD, Mount Merrion and built by Sorohan Builders, the finish included larger than average bedrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, a marble fireplace, marble flooring, granite worktops and American white oak doors.

A two-bedroom apartment would have cost as much as €600,000 in 2006, while three-bedders started at a staggering €780,000. Several two-bedroom properties in the development were advertised for between €440,000 and €465,000 earlier this year, suggesting a fall in value of about 25 per cent.

Another young Ireland player who was attracted by the property game is Aston Villa defender Richard Dunne. Through the wealth division of sports management firm the Formation Group, he is thought to have invested in the development of two luxury apartment complexes at Aldgate, near Liverpool Street Station in London.

The same firm was also behind a venture that lured former Ireland international Kevin Moran, who had an interest in the €400m Clancy Barracks development near Heuston Station in Dublin through shares in the Group.

It invested in the development along with developer David Kennedy and Bank of Scotland (Ireland), who had established a €230m joint venture in the project. The property crash saw the investment become an own goal, however, and both the bank and the Formation Group declared their investments worthless last December.

Meanwhile, former Ireland striker and current Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn was lured by property in the sun, and was the face of Oceanico Developments, a developer of property in the Algarve. As well as owning a house there, he is also believed to have invested closer to home some years ago when he bought a stake of about 10 per cent in Killashee House Hotel near Naas in Co Kildare, which is owned and run by businessman Jack Tierney.

Former Ireland player and manager Steve Staunton has also had some success in the property game, thanks partly to his brother David, a highly regarded accountant who assists in the management of his property affairs.

Also believed to own property in Spain and his native Co Louth, Staunton was among a consortium of investors who paid more than €82m for the La Touche building, a blue-chip office block in the IFSC.

A tax break coupled with a healthy rise in its value saw the consortium benefit from a share of a €47m tax write-off of rental income and then score with a share of a €7m payout in 2007 when the property was refinanced.

As with affairs on the pitch, it seems that the right teammate can also be an advantage in the property game.

Sunday Independent

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