Around the block: Upper end sellers play pass the parcel with the agents

Thu, Jun 19, 2014, 00:00

Despite reports of houses selling like hot cakes and packed viewings, upper-end properties aren’t flying off the shelves with quite the same speed witnessed in the early part of the year. No doubt it’s frustrating for vendors who have built up expectations around rising prices, and are hoping to strike the market while the iron is hot.

They go through the process of preparing the house for sale and agreeing on a marketing campaign, then they wait and very little happens. There’s a tendency then to blame the estate agent for not finding a buyer and take the business elsewhere. This has happened with a number of big- ticket houses of late.

Today we see 81 Mount Merrion Ave launching with Savills for €1.925 million, having come on the market through Colliers last year – albeit unfinished – with a €1.8million price tag. Then there’s 25 Ailesbury Road, the former Hungarian embassy and part of the Lonestar portfolio, which was with Lisney who tried to auction it in March for €3 million with no takers. Now it’s with Hunters with a facelift and a marginally reduced €2.95 million price tag. Number 11 Belgrave Square North came on the market with DNG in April last year asking €1.7million, now it’s with Savills with a price increase to €1.8million. Over in Galway one of the country’s finest private castles on 265 acres, Tulira Castle, was launched through Ganly Walters last year asking €6.5million, now The Block understands it has been taken on by Sherry FitzGerald, presumably because of that agency’s ties to Christies International, and no sign yet there’ll be a price change.In Dublin, Churchtown House the former Dutch Embassy residence, came on the market with Sherry FitzGerald last October asking €3.6m and now we see that it’s for sale through Vinnie Finnegan asking €2.95million.

It will be interesting to see whether the appointment of a new agent will have any impact on these sales. Or could it simply be about getting the price right?