Ailesbury Road home secures €11.7m in biggest sale so far this year

Number 73 sits on an acre of landscaped gardens in the heart of Dublin’s embassy belt

When it came to the market last September, 73 Ailesbury Road was billed as Ireland's most expensive house at €14 million, easily eclipsing the €13.25 million that developer Pat Crean had paid some months previously for Lissadell on neighbouring Shrewsbury Road.

Roll forward to today and it would appear, at first glance, that number 73 hasn’t quite secured that title following its sale to an as-yet unidentified Irish buyer for €11.7 million.

However, a closer examination of the numbers shows that the purchaser splashed out the equivalent of €2,454 per sq ft for the 4,768sq ft (443sq m) property, or more than double the €1,123 per sq ft the Marlet Property Group chief parted with when he acquired his own 11,800sq ft (1,096sq m) Edwardian-style pile.

The sale of the Ailesbury Road mansion was completed on February 16th last, according to the Property Price Register, and is, without argument, the most valuable transaction to have taken place in the Irish residential market so far this year.

So what does the new owner of number 73 get, apart from several ambassadors as neighbours? Well, quite a lot actually.

Designed by Rudolf Maximilian Butler, the prominent architect, architectural historian, academic and journalist as his private home, the property sits on an acre of manicured gardens, complete with lawns, wooded pathways, terraces, a glazed pavilion and even a three-hole putting green.

Automatic irrigation system

Roses, wisteria, rhododendron, acers and a plethora of plants and shrubs give year-round colour to the gardens, which also benefit from having their own well – supplying groundwater to an automatic irrigation system – so the gardens will be watered if the new owners are away, or, indeed, in times of drought.

Although the Butler-designed, Ber-exempt house is generous in terms of size, with six bedrooms and spacious reception rooms, there is scope for the purchasers to pursue plans drawn up by Lawrence and Long Architects in advance of the sale, which would see its footprint increase to 1,300sq m (14,000sq ft).

While the proposals aim to retain the protected property’s original character, they would see the addition of numerous of the features associated with the homes of today’s wealthy elite, including a multifunctional cinema, wine cellar, a 20m (66ft) swimming pool, sauna, steam room and a gym.

The sale of 73 Ailesbury Road was brokered by Catherine O’Connor of Colliers.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Acting Property Editor of The Irish Times