Despite signs of stability, the capital remains a city of contrasts
IT'S a city of contrasts, where dozens of €1m-plus homes have been sold at the same time that people are snapping up properties for €100,000 or less.
Some 7,086 houses and apartments have been sold in Dublin so far this year, with the average price of a home now at €294,274 – some €100,000 more than the national average.
The property market in the capital was always expected to recover first, and almost €2bn in sales have been completed in the first 11 months of the year.
The range of properties available shows that, for the first time in many years, first-time buyers can buy a good-sized home for an affordable price.
Among the least expensive houses in the capital was 17 Rutland Terrace in Summerhill, Dublin 1, which went for €27,000. The 350 sq ft, one-bedroom, end-of-terrace cottage was guiding at €40,000 and needed a lot refurbishment.
It was among 285 properties which sold for €100,000 or less, with homes in the city centre, suburbs including Coolock and Crumlin and the outer suburbs including Swords, all having properties available at this price.
However, for some, money is no object. Some 147 homes sold for more than €1m, with 'Lissadell' at 9 Shrewsbury Road topping the bill at €6m.
Former Attorney General and AIB chairman Dermot Gleeson sold his home next door at 8 Shrewsbury Road for €5.2m, while other high-profile property sales include former Independent News & Media chief executive Gavin O'Reilly, who sold Bartra House in Dalkey for €3m last month.
Properties formerly owned by developer Bernard McNamara on Ailesbury Road fetched €2.7m; the former Swedish embassy in Greenfield Park, Donnybrook, sold for €2.6m while Ronan Keating's home in Abington, Malahide, went for €1.42m.
Estate agents say the market is "at the bottom" in pricing terms, with further substantial reductions unlikely.
In prime areas – Dublin 4, Dublin 6, Clontarf, Howth and Malahide, for example – there's been some increases.
"Within Dublin, we are at the bottom in terms of prices and falls," said Lisney's head of research, Aoife Brennan. "Prices have stabilised, and in certain prime areas, there have been some increases in the last year. In the better areas, people living abroad are taking a medium-term view to moving home to raise children or retire, and are buying now, mostly with cash."