WHAT is it about Ranelagh? It seems the D6 suburb has been generating an uncommon lust for title deeds among the capital's yumsters – the alpha league yummy mummies with a hipster's nose for the "super now" trends in footwear, cafés, health foods, Brown Thomas fare . . . and of course, houses.
The recent CSO barometer has shown Dublin's property prices up 10pc plus and signals a fast-heating market.
So yours truly decided to ask the city's two largest estate agency networks (Douglas Newman Good and Sherry FitzGerald) for a heat map of the city to pinpoint, in order of intensity, the parts which have been generating the most multiple bidding sessions, the most cash buyers and where supply is tightest.
Both agencies singled out Ranelagh, with DNG nominating it as the runaway number one property hotspot in the capital. This is where bidding has been most ferocious and where houses are in the tightest supply nationwide.
For those who are unfamiliar with the scene, Ranelagh is D4 for the trendier and edgier – more Dublin's Notting Hill than Mayfair. A land of red brick and shabby chic where the turf is power-walked in Isabel Marant wedges and the back gardens are paved in gold and coral (Indian sandstone).
The competition seen for houses there can only be accounted for by the theory that the southside's highest rolling bugaboogers have been squirreling away family incomes throughout the downturn years from halfway houses in D8 and Portobello.
Now they've all pitched in at once for the chance of some sacred ground in the land of Seagreen, Mortons and Cinnamon. The bell sounded at the bottom of the property cycle and skin, hair, Loulerie and cashmere scarfs have been flying down at the estate agents. (And I'm not being sexist – as any estate agent knows, the ladies buy the houses.)
DNG describes Ranelagh thus: "One of the trendiest and most cosmopolitan villages in the city and home to some the best restaurants and bars in town. With quaint boutique shops, a host of supermarkets, two LUAS stations, a central position to town and a slew of top junior and senior class schools, all make this position absolute prime."
Few homeowners are selling which means that while the demand is for period and pre-war houses, apartments are also selling well.
So what's next on our list of Dublin's most fought for?
Both agencies seem to agree that Clontarf in Dublin 3 is bubbling with intensity. The city's second hottest crucible for bidding competition has never really seen demand die down, even in the worst recession years.
DNG adds "Everything sells in Clontarf and sells well." Multiple bidding is the norm and the most intense battles of Clontarf are for "character" homes with a bit of difference and with best proximity to the sea.
Third on our list of hottest spots is Sandymount and Ballsbridge. DNG says: "The leafy suburbs of Ballsbridge and Sandymount come third in our list with buyers seeking all type of homes in these Dublin 4 hotspots. Don't be surprised to be bidding against six or seven other parties in this locality."
Back to Dublin 6 for fourth place is Rathgar. This location has a huge tranche of home types which appeal most to the wealthier Dublin buyer – red-brick, two-storey Edwardian and pre-war Stringers and Strains which are the large period homes best laid-out for a modern family.
Fifth comes South Dublin County – Foxrock, Blackrock and Dalkey/ Killiney where houses are once again starting to move.
Sherry FitzGerald mentions the southside mature suburbs of Dundrum, Templeogue, Terenure and Blackrock as likely spots for bidding wars.
And the firm cites the North Docklands and Dublin 2 as the prime spot for an investor spat.