New point of view
We were joined on the landing by another young couple of similar age. They too were renting, but keen to buy. Hearing that an offer had already been made on the house, the man, who like his wife, works in finance in a corporate law firm said: “All this proves is that we haven’t learned a thing from the housing bust, paying that sort of money just doesn’t make sense. It’s hype. If you look at it, this is 140sq m for well over half a million euro. Shrewsbury Road would be cheaper.”
“It’s basic economics,” his wife reminded him gently, obviously used to the conversation. “It’s supply and demand.”
‘You get choosy’
Around the corner at 6 Prospect Terrace a couple with two children were in the paved back garden working out the orientation. Mostly west-facing, they decided, with the experience of people who spend a lot of Saturdays doing this sort of thing. They have been searching for over a year.
They started their married life in their own apartment; it’s in negative equity so they rented that out when baby number one came along and have been renting a townhouse ever since. It is getting small now that number two has arrived and they feel it’s time to buy a family home. But a year-long hunt?
“What happens is you get choosy. We want a house with character and that rules out a lot of places. Also houses in Sandymount don’t come up very often which is why we were interested in this, especially at this price.”
Like others I chatted to, they were keen to buy, but cautious. House hunting had made them more reluctant to jump in and gave them a longer wish list. Their story was replicated in a half-a dozen conversations I had with viewers – buyers now are much more chatty than they were in 2005 when I did a similar article and found them nearly pathologically nervous of being overheard, in case another buyer might use the information to do a better deal.
An older couple were upstairs peering at the glimpse of the sea from the box bay window. “It’s got to the point that we have seen so many houses that I want the conservatory from one house, the kitchen from another, and so on. No one house is really doing it for me.”
This woman and her husband have been searching for two years and would be prepared to take on a house that needed work. They sold their Rathgar home in 2010 to downsize, have been renting in Sandymount since and it’s where they now want to live but there’s so little on.
“We want two good bedrooms and a study each,” she said, and, having seen one too many Celtic Tiger makeovers, would prefer “not to have to pay for someone else’s bad taste. This process has made us very picky.”