Hitting the roof: the houses that made records this year

Kevin Murphy

WITH little likelihood of any more record prices in the auction rooms this year, now is a good time to look back at the big sellers of 2006. These are the top 10 prices under the hammer. Houses that sold quietly for big money are not included in the list because no exact prices were available.

And it's worth noting that, of the top 10, the total value of the houses amounted to almost ?100m (?96.65m) and nine of them were sold by Lisney. The average price they went for was ?9.7m - 44 per cent above their AMV.

1. ?31m Gortanore, Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18

Went for 55 per cent over AMV of ?20m. Sold by Lisney

This is a four-bed detached house on 2.85 acres and it sold last May. Four developers were bidding on the property and it was bought by developer David Arnold.

Built in the Twenties in the heart of Foxrock, it'll most likely be developed as a village centre.

2. ?10.6m Wilmer House, 7 Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4

Went for 18 per cent over AMV of ?9m. Sold by Lisney

Tucked in between two embassies on this exclusive road, the five-bedroom, 4,167 square foot three-storey Victorian house came with a mews at the back.

It was also sold in May, during one of the busiest auction periods of the year. In fact, during the same week the same agent agreed an after-auction price of ?12.5m for number 21 on the same road.

3. ?9.6m 84 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Went for 37 per cent over AMV of ?7m. Sold by Lisney/Turley and Associates

Still with exclusive Ailesbury Road, this was the sixth house on the road to sell this year, the second at auction.

It's a new house for such an established road, built in 1992, and it has four bedrooms and 4,000 square feetof living space. Designed by De Blacam & Meagher, it is part of a row of red-brick and granite-fronted houses on the site of the original large house.

4. ?9.5m 70 Park Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin 4

Went for 90 per cent over AMV of ?5m. Sold by Lisney

This big five-bedroom Edwardian red-brick semi on 0.4 of an acre on Sandymount's best road was expected to sell well but not this well. It sold in early March and ?5m was the road's ceiling price at the time.

All that changed with this house, though. Once owned by Bank of Ireland and used to house some of its staff, it was bought 30 years ago by the people who sold it. With a 250-foot-long garden at the rear, it also had space at the front and side of the house.

5. ?9.05m Subiaco, 1 Temple Gardens, Dublin 6

Went for 17 per cent over AMV of ?7.7m. Sold by Sherry FitzGerald

This is a semi-detached six-bedroom home on the Palmerston Road end of Temple Gardens and it went to auction last month, so this was a good price considering the market was on the slide.

Although a semi, it has 3,450sq ft of living space and had been in the same family for 40 years. It still has its 19th-century features including two fine reception rooms with Victorian detail.

There are six double bedrooms and outside large gardens wrap around the house, so plenty of room to extend if needed. The front garden alone is almost 60 foot long.

6. ?7m 1 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Went for 40 per cent over Lisney's AMV of ?5m

This big old Victorian house was sold last February. With 4,090 square foot of living space, it occupied an end-of-terrace position and had been rented out for the past few years. It was going to need a lot of renovation and, surprisingly for a house this size, it only had three bedrooms (very big ones, mind you).

Another surprising feature was the very small back garden. To the side there was a gravelled courtyard with large garage and the front could fit about six cars. Not all the original features of the house were intact but that's not an obstacle these days.

7. ?6.8m Marlay, Saval Park Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin

Sold for 51 per cent over AMV of ?4.5m by Lisney

This was a four-bedroom detached house on 0.75 acres which was sold last March to a property developer. Since then the house has been demolished and two new houses have been built in its place.

8. ?6.6m Hillside, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18

Sold for 47 per cent over AMV of ?4.5m. Again, by Lisney

Again a Victorian house, this time on Foxrock's finest and most sought-after road. It is a roomy house (a protected structure) with five bedrooms and a total of 3,750 sq ft of living accommodation.

As well as that, it came with just under an acre of gardens, a swimming pool and a big mews - all of which probably contributed to the handsome excess that it made over the AMV last June.

9. ?6.5m 67 Northumberland Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.

Went for 62 per cent over AMV of ?4m. Sold by Lisney

A Victorian four-bedroom, two-storey over garden semi that was sold at auction last April, number 67 has over 4,000 square foot of living space and was fully refurbished by the vendors who bought it in 1999.

Back then, neighbouring number 68, a house with the same style and the same space, was a 10-bedroom guesthouse and was on the market priced at ?1.35m. So in seven years the value on the road has risen nearly five-fold.

The big selling points of these houses are the Dublin 4 address, location beside a Dart station, massive space inside and such Victorian features as granite steps up to the front door and tiled porch; as well as the various period features inside.

10. ?6.4m Aclare, 8 Marlborough Road, Glenageary, Co Dublin

Sold by Lisney for 28 per cent over AMV of ?5m

On one of the best avenues in south Dublin, Aclare is also one of the largest houses on the road. Sold by former AIB boss Gerry Scanlan last March, it was big to start with but was then extended. With 4,600 square foot of space, five big bedrooms, five bath/shower rooms, a games wing and a 0.8-acre garden with tennis court, this double-fronted red-brick (which dates from the 1870s) had everything to offer.

And of course the other thing that buyers at this level want is privacy. Aclare is accessed through electronic gates at the end of a long, laurel-lined drive. The new owners started adding extra bits almost immediately.