Saturday 20 October 2018

Penny must drop on top end prices

It’s tough at the top for some of our high end homeowners who are now finding it difficult to accept the reality of lower prices for their stately piles

SELLING AT THE BOTTOM: Samantha Mumba's house on Dublin's northside
SELLING AT THE BOTTOM: Samantha Mumba's house on Dublin's northside

PUBLISHER Kevin Kelly must be getting desperate. He has knocked €2.5m off his home on Fitzwilliam Square and it has still to shift.

Kelly bought the house back in 1994 after he sold his hugely successful World of Interiors magazine to Vogue publisher, Conde Nast.

The house is, no doubt, in great order, and is lavishly refurbished. Indeed, Kelly bought it from art dealer Ib Jorgensen. Having put it on the market at €10m, he reduced it to €8.5m last September and has now cut another €1m off the asking price.

The five storey house has some 558sqm of living space and with a south facing garden looking over the city to the mountains, not to mention its architecturally perfect decorations, it would have been snapped up in the boom.

Across the other side of the city, others are also still putting their head in the sand. Sometime pop singer and actress Samantha Mumba is still looking for €2.2m for her pad a few doors down from former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

The five-bedroom house on the new estate in Drumcondra has been on for over a year, with no price drops, despite Mumba being back in Ireland just a couple of weeks ago to attend her dancer school's annual show at the Helix. In 2005 these houses would have changed hands for around €1m.

Other owners of luxury homes are also still refusing to see which way the wind is blowing. Almost four years ago, in April 2005, the Hardy family sold Milverton, a detached Edwardian home on Herbert Park, for over €8m. It was cited as one of the sales of that year, close to the peak of the boom. The house had been built as a show house by the Cramptons to coincide with the 1907 Dublin International Trades Exhibition in Herbert Park. The new owners, who also reputedly owned other homes in Dublin 4 and 6, surely bought it with a view to doing it up and perhaps selling it on.

However, the avocado bathroom suites remain in place and, apart from a paint job, the home looks much as it has for the last long number of years. Yet the asking price has increased some €5.5m since 2005 and it is still on for €13.5m. It is the most expensive house on the Sherry Fitzgerald website. Surely some mistake.

The chairman of the elite Sports Surgery Clinic (SSC) in Santry is selling his home in Dartry.

Michael Kinsella is also a medical and pharmaceutical entrepreneur, and is planning an international expansion for the SSC clinic which has already been used by players with Celtic FC as well as many an Irish punter. His 3,000sq ft home is on for €3.6m. On the same road, a neighbouring (though larger) home is on for €7.6m with the same agent.

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