Tuesday 25 October 2016

Prime penthouse? That'll be €3,700...

Shane O'Riordan takes the lift to the top of the Dublin rental market, while Ryan Nugent pokes around in the bargain basement

Shane O'Riordan and Ryan Nugent

Published 13/06/2015 | 02:30

How much bang for their big bucks do apartment hunters get at the top end of the capital's rental market?

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Focusing on two and three-bed apartments in coveted areas in Dublin - starting at €3,000 per month - such properties will come with more than ample sunlight, south-facing views, generous balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows.

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In the case of penthouses, you'll often get two parking spaces and key-only elevator access. CCTV and gated security are frequent features.

But it's when you look at the finer details that you see what separates the men from the boys.

For instance, currently on the market is a two-bed house on Sussex Terrace, off Leeson Street.

This is at the 'cheaper' end of the spectrum at €2,300 per month.

Lap of luxury: Shane O’Riordan in the three-bed penthouse, Wyckham Point, Dundrum
Lap of luxury: Shane O’Riordan in the three-bed penthouse, Wyckham Point, Dundrum

An architect-designed home, it brilliantly makes the best of what it's got.

The elegantly tiled entrance leads to a spiral staircase. The stunning house really feels like a home but renters will still feel like they're living in luxury when sitting in the beautiful gallery on a summer's day. Every door in the house is sliding and most are mirrored to increase the already exceptional level of light in the house.

Climbing steeply then in terms of rent is the penthouse on Hanover Quay, Dublin 2.

This is a three-bed penthouse with south-facing views, something that hikes up prices massively.

The three-bed penthouse, Wyckham Point, Dundrum
The three-bed penthouse, Wyckham Point, Dundrum

Another penthouse close by is a cool €1,000 cheaper per month because it does not have a south facing view.

Owen Reilly, from Owen Reilly Property, says: "Features that will tick the boxes for the more discerning tenant include the fabulous roof garden, high ceilings, Siematic kitchen, great storage space, air conditioning, luxury bathrooms and under-floor zone heating."

Lap of luxury: Shane O’Riordan in the three-bed penthouse, Wyckham Point, Dundrum
Lap of luxury: Shane O’Riordan in the three-bed penthouse, Wyckham Point, Dundrum

At the apex of penthouses is Wyckham Point, Dundrum, which rents at €3,700 per month.

Features of this split-level house include: "Superb views over the Dublin mountains and the city centre, two designated parking spaces, bespoke furnishings, marble flooring, Valcucine Italian kitchen with a range of hi-spec integrated appliances, surround-sound system and underfloor heating, 24-hour concierge service and gym, sauna."

Lap of luxury: Shane O’Riordan in the three-bed penthouse, Wyckham Point, Dundrum
Lap of luxury: Shane O’Riordan in the three-bed penthouse, Wyckham Point, Dundrum

But with these prices not looking set to lower anytime soon, it begs the question: is renting in Dublin returning to Celtic Tiger crisis levels? Are we paying too much for what we're getting?

Bartholomew, from Bartholomew McElhatton Estates, says: "If you're going to look at that particular market, you have to look internationally. Compare that market with the likes of London, LA, Chicago, San Francisco... then renters are still getting good value for money."

Meanwhile, what's out there for those on more realistic budgets?

Not much, by the look of things. This week a browse through some of the city's available apartments and flats found that if you're hoping for a cheap, well-furnished home, look elsewhere.

The first port of call was a studio apartment in an old Georgian house near Portobello on the South Circular Road.

Its city-centre location was pointed out as one of its selling points. It was the only selling point. Immediately upon opening the front door, there was an issue. It wouldn't open, not fully anyway. The bed, located in the living room/kitchen, was the obstruction.

The cooker was rusty, the sink unclean and the floors sticky. There was rubbish on the floor and a broken sweeping brush lying there too. There was little attempt to make the place look attractive.

The bathroom, with a toilet, sink and shower, was smaller than a toilet cubicle in a pub. It was grim.

What really compounded the rental issue in the city was that the landlord found an occupant immediately that evening, for a price in the region of €800 a month.

The next area visited was Ranelagh, and by chance another Georgian building. This apartment was larger, had a kitchen/living room area, a bathroom and one bedroom, but the monthly rent payments were in excess of €1,000.

Most of the kitchen appliances were old, and a washing machine was nowhere to be seen. It seemed to be a building with communal clothes washing facilities, but having been brought around the inside and outside of the apartment, the back garden, upstairs and downstairs, I, along with the auctioneer, couldn't locate these facilities.

Another viewing, in Dublin 8, was the best of the lot; another one bedroom, but well-kept and a lot more spacious. The price range was closer to €1,200, this time.

The clear message upon viewing a number of properties was that the prices are continuously high, no matter what the conditions, because if you turn up your nose up at it, chances are, the next person won't.

What's the real cost of renting in your area?

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