WHAT can you get in the property market for €20m these days? How about a country estate of 1,000 acres with a period house that offers the floor space of 30 average family homes?
Or if you slide down the scale a bit for €12.5m, you can have a pocket estate near Dublin in Enniskerry with a huge indoor swimming pool complex.
But to be among the exclusive club who can afford to buy one of Ireland's 10 most expensive homes for sale, you'll need to have won the average national lottery jackpot at least three times. Because €5m is your entry level spend.
The mean asking price of a top 10 property for sale in Ireland is €8.65m and around half of these are located in the famous Dalkey/Killiney coastal belt.
It's a specialist international market with a majority of the likely buyers now living abroad. Properties can take years to sell; as evidenced by fact that our 10 are for sale for combined period of 25 years, or 2.5 years on average.
With Covid-19 travel restrictions, this market segment has been on ice since the start of the year, but now a combination of factors has generated new interest: looming Brexit, stock market concerns, zero interest on savings, US politics and the discovery at top executive level that home working is effective.
Market sources say that many of the homes featured here today will be posting "sold" by the end of this year.
Simon Ensor of Sherry FitzGerald adds: "Demand for average properties never really slowed down and then that activity gradually worked up into homes in the €1m to €1.5m range. But it's only in the last eight weeks that there's been a noticeable uplift in enquiries for houses above €5m.
"Viewings are up and the quality of viewers is much better. Homes which were overpriced have had those prices cut and many are now close to a deal. Values are solid." The agent in particular reports enquiries from executives at British-based companies which are relocating here to remain within the EU. Next comes interest from the USA. "Almost all potential buyers have some sort of Irish connection," he concludes.
For the rest of us, if you win the Lotto three times and fancy one special forever house, here's your go-to shopping list:
1. THE ABBEYLEIX ESTATE, Co LAOIS - €20m +
The most expensive house for sale in Ireland today is an 18th-century mansion in Abbeyleix spanning 26,900 sq ft. Nestled among 1,000 acres of park and woodlands, it has its own frontage to the River Nore. There are nine bedrooms, three big receptions, a music room, a classical library and a conservatory. It was refurbished in 1995 and modern additions include a family room, kitchen, and butler's pantry. The grounds have 10 guest lodges installed. For horse lovers, there is an on-site stud farm with 24 loose boxes. With a mile-long driveway it will take a while to get to the front door. Listed three years ago, it's on offer through Colliers International Sotheby's.
2. BUSHEY PARK, ENNISKERRY, CO WICKLOW - €12.5m
If your budget doesn't quite stretch to €20m, Bushey Park in Wicklow, might be your winning ticket. The 19th-century home of 1980s crooner Chris de Burgh, covers 23,158 sq ft, more than 20 times the floor space of an average semi. The 12-bedroom house has a fabulous indoor pool within its own leisure complex, 27 acres, a guest house, and gate lodge, bringing the total to almost 26,000 sq ft. There's also a cinema, music studio, games room plus four stables. Listed just over a year ago with Sotheby's.
3. SEAFIELD HOUSE, KILCREA, DONABATE, CO DUBLIN - €9.95m
Listed two years ago, this mid-18th century mansion is the perfect spot for city slickers to combine urban and rural life. Situated on 80 acres of rolling parkland on the shores of Malahide Estuary, buyers would be close to the sea, the village, the city centre and the airport. There are five reception rooms and eight bedrooms in the 10,000 sq ft property which also has a gate lodge and studio apartment. A slipway provides private access to the estuary. Sotheby's is selling with Sherry FitzGerald.
4. SUMMERHILL, MARINO AVENUE WEST, KILLINEY, SOUTH CO DUBLIN - €8.9m
On the market since September 2018, the Victorian mansion overlooks Killiney Bay. It dates from 1850 at 7,550 sq ft and has five reception rooms, seven bedrooms and a guest lodge. In the basement there's a bar, gym, games room, sauna and the home's own laundry centre. Tuscan-style terraced gardens, tennis courts, a stable block, and two par 3 golfing greens. Sotheby's and Lisney.
5. MOUNT ALVERNO, SORRENTO ROAD, DALKEY, CO DUBLIN - €7.95m
On an elevated site looking over the sea, the modern five-bed makes the most of the views with an abundance of glazing. Built a decade ago on an acre, the 7,050 sq ft home has a custom-built floating staircase, an elevator leading to the first-floor dining room with atrium ceiling, the principal bedroom suite, drawing room, family room, kitchen and breakfast room. The ground floor has a guest suite and three more bedrooms. Sherry FitzGerald is selling.
6. MONTE ALVERNO, SORRENTO ROAD, DALKEY, CO DUBLIN - €6.5m
Its neighbour, Monte Alverno, has 1.2 acres overlooking Killiney Bay. On the market for three years, it has a floodlit tennis court and 65-ft heated swimming pool. This six-bed has a viewing turret, a formal dining room, breakfast room, kitchen, drawing room, study, dayroom, conservatory and a wine cellar. Sherry FitzGerald is selling.
7. HIGH CROSS, TEMPLE ROAD, DARTRY, DUBLIN 6 - €5.75m
First listed five years ago at €7.5m, this classical detached Victorian house is said to feel like a country home within the city. The six-bed spans 6,000 sq ft and is set on 0.80 acres.. Sherry Fitzgerald.
8. ROCKVIEW, COLIEMORE ROAD, DALKEY, CO DUBLIN - €5.25m
On the market since February 2019, it overlooks Dublin Bay with direct shoreline access on 0.28 acres. Set over three floors, the five-bedroom property has been refurbished. Sherry Fitzgerald
9. LISS ARD ESTATE, CASTLETOWNSHEND ROAD, SKIBBEREEN, CO CORK - €5m
The 163-acre West Cork estate was listed 4.5 years ago, with 15-bedrooms, a private lake and beach, a gate lodge with guest lodges and tennis courts. Including the 1850-built main house, there are 25 bedrooms. Sherry Fitzgerald Country Homes.
10. BARTRA COVE, HARBOUR ROAD, DALKEY, CO DUBLIN - €4.85m
On the market since June 2019 and set on half an acre near Bullock Harbour, it spans 4,250 sq ft with panoramic sea views. Several reception rooms, a kitchen, and five bedrooms are spread over two floors. It has its own private coastline. Sherry Fitzgerald is selling.