Dublin 5: Future-proofing is the name of the game in D5
Demand for family homes in areas like Raheny, Harmonstown and Artane contributed to strong inflation in Dublin 5, with prices up by an average of 12pc across the postcode.
Local agent Wayne O'Brien says there has been a particular interest in anything standing on a large site, with a garage to the side or with a "decent garden".
"Buyers have been looking to future-proof," he says. "They can buy a three- or four-bed now and know that they can extend and create a five-bed in time."
O'Brien reports that asking prices were consistently exceeded throughout the year, despite realistic valuations and that there was an average of four or five bidders on most properties. He says the busiest months in Dublin 5 were July, August and September - "a hot time for viewing and buying" -but that he saw "a slight tailing-off" in November and December.
Raheny village has become very smart over the past few years, with a fine selection of shops including a new branch of the upmarket Butler's Pantry. O'Brien says that the tree-lined section of the Howth Road on the way into the village is seen as particularly desirable, citing the example of a three-bedroom semi-detached house in poor condition "that ticked all the boxes, with a garage and south-facing garden" making €600,000 during the year.
Upmarket buyers who have been priced out of Clontarf are now fighting it out for properties in the immediately adjoining neighbourhood.
Raheny's desirability is cemented by its Dart station; lovely green St Anne's Park for its leisure amenities, including football pitches and tennis courts, and good schools, including three primary schools and secondary schools, Manor House for girls and St Paul's for boys.
"Proximity to the city is what it's all about in Dublin 5," says O'Brien. "The QBC is a big draw, as well as the Dart stations at Raheny and Harmonstown. The journey time from Raheny into Connolly is just 13 minutes."
When it comes to the smaller property types here, the most active buyers of apartments in Dublin 5 at the moment are older people downsizing from larger homes in the area.
"There are not as many investors in Dublin 5, as there is better value in terms of returns to be found in Dublin 13 and 17," says O'Brien, whose market is affected by rent controls.
O'Brien is predicting an average increase of 6pc in 2018. "Price rises on the scale of what we have seen are not sustainable," he says. "But there is not enough supply, not many new developments and not enough stock."