The offerings may be few and far between at present in the rarefied reaches of Ireland’s super-prime property market, but there’s certainly no shortage of buying power on the ground in Dublin and beyond for such properties judging by the level of activity recently.
Just four weeks after the €20 million sale of the Abbey Leix estate in Co Laois to billionaire co-founder of Stripe John Collison, and five weeks on from developer Pat Crean's €11 million purchase of Lissadell on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin 4, an as-yet-unidentified buyer has paid some €9 million for a house in the south Co Dublin suburb of Blackrock.
While the off-market deal for Glenheather on Avoca Avenue is one of the most valuable residential transactions to have taken place in the Irish market so far this year, the buyer can take some satisfaction from the fact that the price they are paying represents a discount of at least €400,000 on the €9.4 million paid for the house when it last sold at auction in April 2007.
They will also no doubt be heartened by the fact that the period property has, in the interim, seen substantial works carried out by its most recent owner, serial entrepreneur and founder and former chief executive of Merrion Capital John Conroy.
Indeed, within months of acquiring Glenheather, Mr Conroy had sought and secured planning permission from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for a range of costly improvements to the house and its one-acre grounds. These included the provision of additional living and bedroom space through the reconstruction of the property’s three-storey extension and the alteration and refurbishment of its adjacent coach house. In a subsequent application to the local authority, Mr Conroy received approval for the demolition of the building housing Glenheather’s swimming pool and for it to be replaced by a new and larger structure.
Although the amounts spent by Mr Conroy on his former Blackrock home are understood to have been significant, the house looks set to be improved further still judging by the planning application submitted just four weeks ago on behalf of a Jersey-registered company, Tempus Ltd.
According to this latest application, permission has now been sought for the construction of, among other things, a single-storey extension of 30sq m (323sq ft) at ground-floor level to the rear of the property.