North County Dublin is notoriously difficult to value in terms of price given the incredibly strong 'micro-market' of Malahide and Howth, for which a significant premium must be applied.
Anything in these areas, particularly with a sea view can double the price available for the same property in areas like Donabate, Lusk or Swords.
For those seaside towns, Margaret Healy of DNG McKenna Healy says 2014 was a strong year but the biggest problem was lack of stock.
There was a good mix of loan-approved and cash buyers, and more credit was definitely evident.
|Dublin North County|
|Bungalow acre +,||€525,000||€610,000||€659,000|
|"Large Period Detached, own grounds",||€600,000||€725,000||€783,000|
Cash buyers preferred the lower end of the market, accounting for up to 40pc of sales. The strongest mortgage demand was in family homes.
"Three and four beds in Lusk and Rush are still affordable for first-time buyers, while Skerries and Lusk had new developments opening with a good bit of interest in all properties during the year," says Healy.
She added that the Central Bank deposit rules, if implemented, will have the greatest effect here.
"It's wait and see. We definitely need more stock and buyers are still there, but growth for 2015 won't pass single digits - I'd say 5pc might be too high if these rules come into play."
In the more salubrious Howth and Malahide, Melanie Brady of DNG Fairview says this valuable market was very busy in 2014, seeing up to 25pc increases in some places.
"Five beds in the area, especially with sea views can command €800,000 for instance, a big jump on other areas. We're seeing four beds go for €650,000-800,000".
Other property types which saw a good increase are mews and bungalows which Brady says are 'quaint' and lent themselves to cash buyers as banks are reluctant to lend on properties which need improvements or extensions, which many of these do.
Period homes saw a rebound also as pent up demand from trader-uppers was released.
"The market had been waiting for special properties which were released as lots of executor sales came on market. They made up for half of all sales as families, sitting on larger homes for a few years, reluctant to sell up were now encouraged to, attracted by the bounce in price".
The apartment market benefited from a late surge to close off before the CGT deadline approached at year end. Findlater in Howth and Malahide Marina saw this.
Cash buyers were still evident but many had already taken the leap and Brady says there are investors still looking, with money to spend.
She noticed a particular grouping of newly retired with lump sums to spend, but buying somewhere they themselves wanted to retire to, after renting out for a few years.
"They're going for safety over yield and want to know there's a home waiting for them when they're ready for it".