Dublin North County: North county demand strong but stock scarce
As we push into 2018, there's very little stock on offer in the North Co Dublin area. Shortage means the value of standard three-bed semis is surging ahead of other types in the region, which has traditionally held some of the largest stocks of more affordable family homes in the capital.
Meantime, larger homes at the top end of this market, which had remained unsold over long periods, are now starting to shift. "Demand has been very strong from March last year onwards," reports local agent Grainne McKenna, "and we have had numerous situations with multiple bidders chasing the same property".
"At the upper end of the market (€500,000-€1m), properties are selling. As a result there is an ongoing lack of stock of good four-bedroom family homes in Skerries, which are now going for the late 400s and early 500s."
There was no summer lull in North Co Dublin, not even in August, and a busy summer has been followed by an even busier autumn, with lots of new stock and properties going "sale agreed" speedily. McKenna says that by the end of last year, the only properties left on her books were individual houses that were compromised in some way.
"The better a house is presented," says McKenna, "the quicker it moves. And anything a bit different, with sea views or a really nice countryside setting, attracts a lot of interest." McKenna says investors are slowly coming back into this market, picking up one- and two-bedroom apartments in Balbriggan and Donabate, and apartments and duplexes in Skerries. "Rental is strong everywhere," she says, "but it's still possible to pick up a two-bedroom house for €150/160,000 in parts of North Co Dublin."
McKenna reckons the market saw a 9pc increase last year, with some three-bedroom semi- detached types increasing in value by as much as 12-15pc due to shortage of supply. She is predicting growth of a further 8pc this year, but cautions that new developments due to come on stream in Fingal are likely to have a cooling effect on the inflation of second-hand homes.
Melanie Brady of DNG, meanwhile, says sales in Howth were strong last year, particularly at the lower-middle end of this market, which has some of the north county area's more expensive properties. "Fishermen's cottages and apartments shot up in value," she says, "and there was lots of competition for anything priced below €600,000 from young professionals and downsizers."
Elsewhere in Howth, Dane's Hollow sold last September for one of the highest prices achieved anywhere last year: €8.2m. The vendors were Riverdance duo John McColgan and Moya Doherty; the purchaser, concert promoter Peter Aitken.
Wayne O'Brien of DNG says that new developments in Malahide have been selling well over the past year, and that there is strong demand from investors, particularly in properties in the village centre and marina.
The family-home market dominates, though, with prices in the area showing growth of around 10pc over the last 12 months. O'Brien reports that some larger houses requiring total refurbishment are achieving stronger prices in Portmarnock.