Buyers take a €1m 'bite of the D4 cherry'
Tim Ryan views the Aviva Stadium from an apartment called 'The Dickens' in the Gasworks, Dublin 4, and right, a section of the Gasworks. Damien Eagers
A FIRESALE billed as a "bite of the D4 cherry" managed to net sales of €1m within the first two minutes of officially opening last night.
Investors snapped up a total of seven apartments, mostly one-beds, at the landmark Gasworks development in Dublin 4, which went on sale almost two years after being seized by Ulster Bank from bankrupt developer Liam Carroll.
It wasn't quite in the league of last month's property shemozzle at the Shelbourne when more than 81 properties were sold for €15m. But in a nostalgic nod to the property's go-go years, a crowd of about 20 people came along to a special "preview" of showhouses at the Gasworks last night.
Among them were families, several pregnant women, and young couples keen to dip a toe into the property market.
At a 65pc discount from the boom years, they were as confident as they could be of a canny buy.
Tim Ryan was casting an eye over the development for "professional reasons" and believes the Shelbourne auction was the turning point for investors.
The PR consultant was confident that buyers can now be "fairly sure" that prices have more or less bottomed out.
Conferring in low voices, the visitors toured the apartments, which are decorated in bland good taste. But some display signs of a hasty departure by builders, with cracked grout in some bathrooms, dusty mirrors, and skylights dribbled with plaster.
"We looked at these when they were three times the price about five years ago," confided one would-be purchaser, who preferred to remain nameless.
Sanam Khosraviani (31) and her fiance Daragh O'Shea were looking for a family home. Ms Khosraviani is already renting an apartment at the Gasworks but yesterday they were viewing houses and apartments -- ranging from €325,000 to €370,000.
"I really like living here and the location is great, but the price is still expensive," she said, expressing some surprise that so many had come to view the development.
"I think it's a good time to buy -- at least I hope so -- but there is always a worry that prices will go down again."
Anne McGillycuddy, another would-be purchaser who is also renting nearby, said she "might" be interested in buying.
But she cautiously added that she would prefer to rent there for a year in case prices fall further and also so that she can see if she likes it enough to buy.