Looking for ... a one-bedroom apartment

This week: apartments for under €200,000 with parking in Dublin, as an investment property

Thu, Aug 28, 2014, 01:00

While property prices in Dublin 2 and Dublin 1 have sky-rocketed in the last two years, rents too have climbed substantially and demand remains extremely high for properties in the city centre, thus while double-digit returns are long gone, some one-bedroom properties remain viable investment options.

27, Trinity Plaza, Tara Street, Dublin 2
Asking price:
€160,000; Agent: Gunne; 484 sq ft with parking

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Apartment 27 is a quintessential Section 23 apartment – laminate floors, bulky storage heaters and absolutely no frills. While it is undeniably boring, it makes fora perfect investment property. Trinity Plaza was launched in November 1998, at which point one-beds were offered at between £155,000 (€197,000) and £170,000 (€216,000) and this price did not include a parking space, which cost an outlandish £30, 000 (€38,000).

This third floor one-bed with parking would have commanded as much as €254,000. Granted, at the time those prices would have come with the added benefit of the highly attractive tax breaks, but at €160,000 this apartment is undoubtedly strong value in the current market.

A recently let agreed one bed in the complex was asking €1,150 without parking, and this particular apartment could expect to rent for c. €1,250 per month. Based on a purchase price of €165,000 including purchase costs, this would equate to a gross yield of about 9.1 per cent, which is a solid return.

One of the downsides of the property is that the management charge for both the apartment and parking space amounts to €1,995 per annum and this will eat into the gross yield. While this figure may seem high, this amount is standard for a relatively small block with underground parking and elevators.The location, however, is perfect for city centre living, with Tara Street Dart station, Trinity College and the Luas Cross City extension (currently under construction) all on the doorstep.

35, New Row Place, Dublin 8
Asking price:
€130,000; Agent: Flynn; 450 sq ft with parking

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New Row Place is a development dating from c. 1998 located just off Dean Street in Dublin 8. The development, like Trinity Plaza above, was originally a Section 23 development, albeit a far less expensive one. The 16 one-bedroom units were launched at approximately £63,000 (€80,000) to £70,000 (€89,000), although these prices were most likely not including parking, as not all units appear to have the benefit of parking. The apartment is one of the cheapest currently on the market in the South City and yet enjoys a convenient location, being approximately 10 minutes from St Stephen’s Green.

A similar apartment has recently been rented with an asking price of €1,000 per month including parking. At this price the return on a purchase price of €135,000 including purchase costs would equate to a gross yield of 8.89 per cent. Last year, a one-bedroom apartment at 13 New Row Place sold through an Allsop Space auction for €107,000, however I believe this did not include parking. Then 41 New Row Place, described by the agent as a 2/3 bed with parking, sold for €139,000 shortly after. One of the major downsides of this property is its G BER rating, which will negatively affect both the ease of selling and renting the property in the future and, of course, the prices achievable. Renters especially are concerned with ratings as they are responsible for paying the utility bills and there is quite possibly nothing worse than a property that requires perpetual heating to maintain a comfortable temperature.

67, Lee House, Custom House Square, Dublin 1
Asking price:
€197,500; Agent: Lisney; 484 sq ft with parking

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The most expensive of the three apartments is a 484sq ft one-bedroom apartment with parking located in the IFSC on Dublin’s northside. Similar apartments in the IFSC have traded hands for as little as €90,000 at the bottom of the market and last month a practically identical neighbouring apartment a couple of doors down at 63 Lee House traded hands for €175,000, including parking.

Apartment 67 benefits from gas-fired central heating (GFCH), a rarity in inner-city apartments, which is in part responsible for the apartment’s respectable C2 BER rating. In addition to this, it is the only apartment of the three with private outdoor space as it includes a small south-facing balcony.

The area itself is a popular rental location that has great transport links with both the Luas and Connolly train station in the immediate vicinity and is also home to a wide variety of restaurants and bars.

Other similar apartments recently rented in the development have been advertised at between €1,250 and €1,375 per month.

Assuming the apartment will achieve its asking price, which may be a push considering how much less the neighbouring one sold recently, and including an amount for purchase costs, at an all-in price of about €202,500, the apartment offers the lowest yield of the three options based on a rental amount of €1,300 per month, being 7.7 per cent.