The apartments at the iconic Alliance Building were launched with much fanfare in 2006, and justifiably so. The renovated gasometer, which was the focal point of the Gasworks development at Ringsend, Dublin 4, is visually stunning. The steel was constructed in London in 1885 by S Cutler and Sons, and the building is now a protected structure.
Developer Liam Carroll launched the apartments in summer 2006, a season that is traditionally quiet in the market, and once the autumn selling season began, there were signs that the Dublin market was coming off its peak.
The prices, even for Celtic Tiger Dublin, were high. Though the finish was top class, the apartments were small relative to the price tag. The €675,000 two-bedroom units measured 73sqm.
The higher you went, the higher the price became, though the dimensions stayed the same.
The fifth floor two-bedroom was quoted at between €900,000 to €950,000, with the highest apartment quoted at €1,075,000. Despite this, the day the apartments launched, the estate agents received 35 deposits.
However, Mr Carroll pulled out of deals to sell apartments and returned the deposits. There was talk of converting the development into a 500-bedroom hotel. But permission was refused and Mr Carroll decided to rent out the apartments.
In October 2008, he was asking rents of €2,200-€3,000 a month for short-term lettings, or €1,500 a month for 12-month leases. Since then, rents for two bedroom units have fallen to €1,350 per month.
Today, things are very different, and those who had slapped down deposits on the penthouses could, for the same money, buy The Gables, a four-bedroom detached home on Sycamore Crescent in Mount Merrion, for which Savills (01 2885011) is asking €1.075m.
The property has been upgraded in recent years to include new hardwood floors and a new shower room.
Extending to 217sqm (2,344sq ft) in size, The Gables offers potential to extend, subject to planning permission.
The ground floor is laid out with an entrance porch leading into the entrance hall, off which are the dining room, lounge, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, bathroom and playroom.
One of the property's four bedrooms is also located on the ground floor, while the adjoining garage is accessible from the main house.
Upstairs there are three more bedrooms and a shower room, featuring a double shower stall with power and rain shower and double hand basins. Outside, The Gables has an 80ft south-facing garden and patio to the rear and a cobble-lock driveway to the front with off-street parking.
Throw in another €25k and 18 Gilford Road, an Edwardian end-of-terrace red-brick home in Sandymount, Dublin 4, is on the cards.
Originally priced at €1.45m when it first came on the market in March 2008, the property now has a reduced asking price of €1.1m with Bennetts Auctioneers (01 2602520).
Number 18 has a 25ft front garden and is within walking distance of the village, the strand and the DART. Inside, the 130sqm (1,400sq ft) three-bedroom property has original fireplaces, ornate ceilings, centre roses, timber panel doors and gas-fired central heating.
The ground floor accommodation includes an entrance porch, hallway, interconnecting dining room and drawing rooms and kitchen. The main bathroom is located on the first floor return, while the three bedrooms are on the first floor.
Outside, there is a side entrance leading to the 45ft rear garden, which has double gates for rear access.
For the 2006 price of a two-bedroom apartment in the Gasworks, a three-bed semi-detached house in Mount Merrion is now an option. Number 33 South Avenue came on the market with Lisney (01 6382700) in September 2009. Originally built in 1950, the property extends to 98sqm (1,054sq ft) in size and consists of an entrance porch, entrance hall, kitchen and inter-connecting living room and dining room on the ground floor. A sliding door from the dining room gives access to the 82ft rear garden.
The kitchen also has a large picture window overlooking the garden, as well as a door to the side of the property. Upstairs there are three bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, a bathroom and separate WC.
Number 33 has potential to extend to the side, over the existing garage, or to the rear into the garden, subject to planning permission.
South Avenue is a popular residential road, within walking distance of the LUAS, Stillorgan QBC and the UCD campus at Belfield.
For another €10k, you can add an extra bedroom and buy number 51 Trees Road, also in Mount Merrion and on the market with Sherry FitzGerald (01 2961822).
The four-bedroom semi-detached family home occupies a large corner site. Built in the 1950s, the house is in need of modernisation and refurbishment.
Extensive gardens to the front (80ft x 52ft), side and rear (65ft x 42ft) of the house offer considerable development potential, subject to planning permission. And there is plenty of space for off-street parking. The rear garden is laid-in lawn and includes a large garage and three additional concrete storage sheds.
The ground floor of the 118sqm (1,270sq ft) house consists of an entrance hallway, guest WC, living room, dining room and kitchen. Upstairs, there are three bedrooms and a family bathroom. Number 51 has gas central heating, telephone, cable TV and broadband access. There are two bus routes only 100 metres from the house and the Luas line is also nearby.