Tuesday 26 September 2017

Bounceback in Ballsbridge

2 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4, former home of former hunger striker and property developer Tom McFeely which NAMA is expected to bring to the market
2 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4, former home of former hunger striker and property developer Tom McFeely which NAMA is expected to bring to the market

Donal Buckley

With the bounce in the south Dublin housing market, it is understandable that NAMA is taking its time about selling off former hunger striker Tom McFeely's house at 2 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4.

The state body is not alone. 'Dragons' Den' star and Black Tie chain store operator Niall Farrell has been seeking a buyer for about four years for his seven-bedroom detached house, Thorndene, on adjoining Shrewsbury Road.

He had initially been asking €14m for the property but reduced the asking price to €8m about two years ago. Agents Colliers say that there has been increased interest in the house in recent times.

If he were to achieve €8m it would be the highest price for a Shrewsbury house since the recession struck.

The property price register shows that the highest price paid for the road since 2010 was the €7m achieved for property speculator Derek Quinlan's Derrymore in February last year.

Another Shrewsbury Road house to test the market was Walford, which was brought to the market late last year with reports that the guide price was as much as €15m.

That was a sharp drop on the €58m which was paid for it at the peak of the market. It appears not to have reached that price as its sale is not recorded on the property price register.

On Ailesbury the highest price achieved in recent times was the €10m paid last year for 22/24 Ailesbury Road, which was bought by JP McManus' family.

That house was only a few years old as its vendor, Bernard McNamara, had previously demolished the two semi-detached houses on the site and built a completely new home for his family there, including a swimming pool with a retractable dance floor.

The agents were Sherry FitzGerald.

While it can be difficult to compare house prices on the two roads, the publication of the property price register shows that most of them sell for millions of euros although they are now less than half what they were achieving at the peak of the market.

For instance, the most recent house to sell on Ailesbury Road, number 84, sold in July this year for €2.5m. That's a drop of 74pc from the price of around €9.6m that was reported at the peak of the market.

Its latest sales price is considered to reflect its position as a terraced house which shared a front drive way with another three houses. The four were developed by impressario Harry Crosbie.

Nevertheless, its price is more than double the €1.1m price recorded by The Property Price Register in the depths of the downturn when 10 Ailesbury Road sold for only €1.1m in January 2010.

A much higher price of €3.65m was achieved earlier this year for the better positioned semi-detached house owned by solicitor developer Noel Smyth at 14 Ailesbury Road.

An even better price of €4.625m was achieved in August 2011 for 11 Ailesbury Road, which has the benefit of being described as an imposing five-bedroom semi with a south-facing rear garden.

Agents say that houses on the road with south-facing gardens achieve better prices than those on the opposite side of the road.

Despite the departure of some of the country's best-known developers from the area, and the protected status of a number of its houses, it has not completely lost its development lure.

For instance two derelict mews coach houses are shown in the register as having sold recently for a combined €2.7m.

Located at 14A & 16A Ailesbury Road, they had potential to be developed into two houses on generous sites with good gardens of 0.3 acres and 0.25 acres.

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