Sunday 23 October 2016

Back from the boom at €2.25m - Foxrock home for a third of Celtic Tiger price

Foxrock home is for sale for a third of its 2006 price

Published 04/12/2015 | 02:30

Hillside on Westminister Road with its imposing facade.
Hillside on Westminister Road with its imposing facade.
The hallway of Hillside in Foxrock.
The swimming pool at the rear of the house.
The landing with intricate window frame work.
The large kitchen of Hillside.
A reception room.

'Beautiful building sites for mansions and pretty villas - the improvements recently made on this property, and still progressing, together with its natural attractions, render these sites unrivalled for suburban residences."

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So read the promo advertising for "Foxrock Estate" at the end of the 1850s when four developers, inspired by the extension of the Harcourt Street to Bray railway line, decided to build a scheme of luxury homes, essentially in the middle of nowhere.

William and John Bentley and Edward and Anthony Fox had visions of an exclusive rural paradise for Dublin merchants fed up with high local taxes, crime and slums and got to work in 1859 building the first three streets with suitably aspirational Anglophile names: Westminister Road, Brighton Road and Torquay Road. But the homes and sites failed to sell and the developers ended up bankrupt. Foxrock became Ireland's first ghost estate.

Constructed in 1860, Hillside House off Westminster Road was one of the first to be constructed in this illustrious brave new sylvan Victorian world in Dublin south county. But since the initial collapse, the area gradually picked up momentum and is today a preferred location for many of the capital's high brow achievers.

But Hillside wasn't yet done with property crashes. It also became one of the last trophy homes to make big bucks just before the market caved in a decade ago.

Looking back now we can see that the Easter property auctions of 2006 became the genesis of the Irish property crash when a series of trophy homes failed to sell under the hammer. Those who had held off selling then plunged into the market all at once. The stampede to sell caused buyers to stand off and properties to be withdrawn in greater numbers. By early 2007 prices were being cut. Within a year it was happening countrywide.

But in June 2006, Hillside, with almost an acre attached, sold under the hammer for €6.6m through the Lisney agency on the podium. The house had guided at €4.5m (AMV) and sold for almost 50pc above. Otherwise that week was grim with less than a quarter of properties offered selling - including more than 15 trophy properties guided at between €2m and €7m.

Hillside has just been brought back to market by private treaty once again through the Lisney agency. A decade on and the price is two thirds less at €2.25m. In the intervening years the house became the subject of a well reported court case involving a leading bank. Today the owner is keen to sell.

Post boom, there is a real scarcity in Dublin of double fronted detached period homes on good sized sites. Most have long ago been demolished or had their large gardens devoured for town house estates and apartment blocks.

While the house could perhaps do with having its kitchen and bathrooms updated, the overall condition is good, according to the agents. It spans 3,750 sq ft and includes a substantial entrance hall with a stone floor, ceiling coving and ceiling rose, a diningroom with timber floor and period fireplace, a drawingroom, family room and kitchen/breakfastroom with styling from Design House with a gas fired Aga.

There are five bedrooms with a plush ensuite off the master chamber that includes its own claw foot stand-alone tub. The gardens of just under an acre include an outdoor heated pool (dry at the moment) and a garage outbuilding. Importantly, the land also includes a two bedroom coach house with a rental potential of €1,500 per month.


Westminister Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18

Asking price: €2.25m

Agent: Lisney Leeson Street (01) 6382700

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