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It has been a year of two halves for Dublin property – galloping price rises, then a reality check.
DUBLIN: Top six residential sales
€7.9m Deepwell, Rock Hill, Blackrock, Co Dublin. Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
€6.5m No 2 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Agent: Off market
Gallery: the top-selling houses of 2014
€6m No 73 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Agent: Off market
€5m No 27 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Agent: Hunters
€4.8m No 18 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Agent: Lisney
€4.75m Thorndale, 31 Temple Road, dartry, Dublin 6. Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
COUNTRY: Top six residential sales
Region €6m Boystown House, Blessington, Co Wicklow. Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
€1.95m the Palisades, Ardbrack, Kinsale, Co Cork. Agent: Dominic Daly
Region €1.85m Glasheenaulin, Castletownsend, Co Cork. Agent: Savills & Charles McCarthy
€1.7m Violet Garden, Glandore, Co Cork. Agent: Charles McCarthy
€1.558m Windy Ridge, Rochestown Road, Cork. Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
Region €1.5m Oldcourt House, Donadea, Co Kildare. Agent: Savills
If 2013 was the year when the tumbling property market found a floor, 2014 was the one where property values, particularly in the capital, not only picked themselves up but started running.
Analysis of the Property Price Register shows that transactions nationally between January and November are up 34 per cent on the same period last year. In value terms, the 15 per cent growth recorded in Dublin house prices in 2013 is approaching 25 per cent as 2014 draws to a close. Prices may be rising from a low base, but such rapid growth also brings its own problems.
There is universal concern about uncertainty around the proposed 20 per cent deposit requirement in 2014 and whether it will have an adverse impact on buyers seeking mortgages. Industry experts envisage a slowdown in growth next year of between 5 and 6 per cent.
It has been a year of two distinct halves for the capital, where the first was characterised by galloping price rises and frenetic buying activity. Despite a limited stock of properties, many buyers decided to jump simultaneously, driving prices up.
Traditionally popular residential areas on both sides of the Liffey became almost unaffordable for many again. Established leafy suburbs and coastal areas saw record numbers attending viewings and the practice of gazumping made its ugly return. The market showed all the signs of repeating the same mistakes of the recent past.
The second half of the year brought something of a reality check, especially at the higher end. Where a number of auctions had achieved eye-popping results, a series of high-profile properties failed to sell at auction as summer approached. Although most have since sold, the “grab them at any cost” appetite ebbed away.
The autumn market has been far less frenzied, although the stock of properties available is a growing concern. Sellers may be holding off in the belief that prices will rise further and the demand side is no longer dominated by cash buyers and investors (mainly ex-pats planning a return), but a more normal mortgage-assisted and very price sensitive buyer.
Michael Grehan, head of residential at Sherry FitzGerald, says they are seeing the greatest price inflation in traditional family homes of less than €600,000 in value. “That said, we have also noticed a significant uplift in activity in the €1 million plus bracket during 2014.” This has been borne out by Dublin sales of almost 300 properties for €1million or more.
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