Dublin 13: First-timers dominate in Dublin 13
First-time buyers are dominating the market in Dublin 13, one of the few parts of the capital offering new homes to those seeking to get on the first rung of the property ladder.
New developments in Clongriffin and Balgriffin were selling from the plans, something that has not been seen here in many years. These new developments took a cohort of potential buyers of second-hand houses out of that market and caused a degree of cooling.
Local agent Dave Kelly says there is now much more money in circulation and, as a result, there are between three and seven bidders on most second-hand houses. Properties in good condition are generally achieving above their asking prices.
"The banks are lending to buy but not to renovate," says Kelly. "It used to be that buyers went after the worst house on the best street with the intention of doing it up, but now that seems to have been reversed, and they want the best house on the worst street. They are prioritising turnkey condition over location. It's a trend that has been building ever since the 20pc deposit rule was first introduced. It was still very evident in 2017 even though the deposit requirement has been reduced to 10pc."
Kelly says that lately there has been far less evidence of investors buying in Dublin 13, other than involvement in the purchase of one- and two-bedroom apartments in new developments.
"Generally, these investors were looking for a return and buying off the plans. They were not dabbling in the second-hand market, which in turn has made the latter more accessible to first-time buyers. We did not see any investors who were borrowing to invest."
Overall two-bed apartments generated more interest than one-beds. "They are better for couples, and for singles, who either work from home or, post- divorce, need an extra bedroom for the kids at the weekend," explains Kelly.
Prices in Baldoyle are now showing significant gains after a number of flat years. "Baldoyle was very slow in recovering from the crash," says Kelly. "The new developments on the periphery of Dublin 13 near Donaghmede, Clongriffin, Balgriffin and towards Kinsealy don't yet have shops or much of a sense of community, and so some buyers are attracted to the more mature locations."
At the upper end of the market, Kelly reports "a bit of a pinch point" at €850,000, beyond which it was difficult to sell. But at this end he is also starting see a new interest from expats coming from a lower tax base and able to appreciate the value available.
"The majority of properties that sold for more than €1m went to expats," says Kelly. "Mostly, they rent them out to the upper end of the corporate market until they plan to return. We also saw some interest from banking people based in the UK. They are from the Northside originally and they are not drawn to Dublin 4. They like Sutton, the peninsula and the coast, and being within half an hour of the city centre."
For the year ahead, Kelly predicts a modest increase in values in the region of 5pc, with growth taking longer to show at the upper end of the market.