New point of view
Laura Conway of Sherry FitzGerald welcomes a potential buyer to a viewing. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Today’s potential buyers are keen but cautious – and willing to hold out for the prefect property, or a bargain
At one point on Saturday morning last there were five buggies in the front garden of 6 Prospect Terrace in Sandymount. Inside were mostly couples with small children – typically two, a tiny baby and a toddler – all traipsing up and down the stairs viewing the four bed, end-of-terrace house for sale by Sherry FitzGerald for €695,000.
According to the agent, Laura Conway, 56 parties “walked through” during the open viewing and by the end of it she had run out of brochures and was taking names for follow up. That’s a lot of potential buyers and the house, which is an executor’s sale and would benefit from renovation and updating – it has a BER rating of just E1 – was on view for an hour.
Around the corner at 36A Beach Road, Lisney’s John O’Sullivan was looking chipper. It was the first open viewing of the three-bed plus attic room terraced house which is for sale for €525,000. It had been a busy hour but already he had an on-the-spot offer of the asking price. Built in 2006 on a corner site, and in walk-in condition with a B2 BER, it has been a well-looked after rental.
O’Sullivan had nearly 50 parties, fewer buggies, mostly young couples looking for their first house and some single buyers. Later, he reassured a buyer, a woman in her early 30s who was keen to show the house to her parents, that it would again be on open view next Saturday, but you’d have to think that with the asking price now achieved, a higher bid will be needed and that the bidding has only just started.
All this activity on a bright Saturday morning in March will mystify and further deflate many house sellers, particularly anyone who, after several price drops, is still trying to shift a semi in Dublin’s commuter belt; one bedroom apartment, anywhere; a Section 23 holiday home, or a large country pile. It could also be seen as further proof that lack of supply in south Dublin’s older suburbs is leading to the return of competitive bidding and a recovery in that sliver of the market.
Nice but expensive
At 36A Beach Road, a couple in their early 30s – househunters rarely want to give their names – and looking for their first home were on their third viewing of the day and it wasn’t even noon.
They’d been in houses in Blackrock and Rathgar before arriving in Sandymount and they found 36A “nice but expensive”. They’ve been searching for months and had gone sale agreed on one house but that had fallen through.
Last month they phoned an agent to put a bid in on another house in Sandymount, which was for sale in the early €400,000s. They offered 10 per cent less than the asking price, as is commonly advised on property blogs – “nothing silly or anything” – only to be told that there were now three people bidding on the house and it had moved far from the asking price. They didn’t even leave their name – “no point”.