Living near a rail line adds to the value of a property. By how much is difficult to quantify, but a 10 per cent premium is not unreasonable. The imminent opening of new red line Luas stops later this year at Broombridge, Cabra, Phibsboro and Grangegorman in Dublin 7 will almost certainly boost the appeal of these areas, from a convenience and (relative) affordability perspective.
When the Luas opened 14 years ago the suburban villages of Dundrum, Sandyford and Stepaside all felt very far removed from the city centre. A 25-minute journey time to the city centre from Sandyford seemed revolutionary.
Now it’s the turn of Dublin 7. Broombridge to St Stephen’s Green will be a journey time of 21 minutes and since the route announcement in 2013 house prices have more than doubled, says Vincent Mullen, senior negotiator with DNG’s Phibsboro office.
“Back then number 47 St Attracta Road in Cabra, a two-bedroom end-of-terrace house in poor condition, sold for €99,000. Last June, number 14, another two-bedroom property, mid-terrace, and in very poor condition, sold for €215,000.”
Such a hike far exceeds the general 40 per cent recovery in property values since that time, but it remains below the average house price value in the area, now €278,919, according to the CSO, albeit for a three-bed semi. Last month Daft.ie reported the average asking price of a three-bed semi in Cabra at €323,000.
Anything in reasonable condition "is selling within five weeks, mainly to first-time buyers", says Mullen. Bannow Road, Killala Road and Kilkieran Road are all good Cabra addresses where a two-up two-down house requiring work will, in early 2017, cost from €220,000, Mullen adds. Elsewhere a three-bedroom refurbished property on Dowth Avenue, selling through SherryFitzGerald, had over 40 parties to its first viewing – the average is 10 to 15, says Martin Doyle, director at SherryFitzGerald's Drumcondra office.
The Broombridge Luas line extension, opening this year, is the principal reason house prices within a five-minute walk have increased 25 per cent, says Mullen. With a Luas stop pending at Connaught Street, houses on Shandon Road and Shandon Drive are now averaging about €500,000, Mullen says.
Phibsboro prices have seen a similar uplift. Many of the area's flatland properties have been turned back into family homes, with landlords favouring the pre-1963 houses on North Circular Road.
New cafes is another bellwether of an area on the up, with two new openings in the village: Two Boys Brew on the NCR and Bang Bang on Leinster Street. Both have queues out the door. “When business people and restaurateurs see the queues, more will follow,” says Doyle .
Gráinne Mackin, director of communications at Luas Cross City, has noted an increase in estate agents seeking maps indicating the new stops and travel times to use in their sales brochures.
House hunters priced out of Stoneybatter are heading east, Doyle says. If trading up they're looking in Shandon Gardens and Munster Street, where the houses are about 93sq m (1,000sq ft) with gardens – a crucial point of difference between the two areas.
Legal professionals are tending to favour the period redbricks of Rathdown and Charleville roads, where prices are in the region of €700,000. Medical professionals looking to locate near the the Mater hospital will buy anywhere in Phibsboro, but particularly around Geraldine Street, Sarsfield Street, O’Connell Avenue and Goldsmith Street, where houses will make between €430,000 and €500,000.
On the new homes front, however, land is in short supply. Lands at Pelletstown in Dublin 15 have been earmarked for development by Castlethorn Construction and parts could be serviced by the Luas stop at Broomsbridge, says David Browne, head of new homes at Savills. If construction started now the first units could be completed by late 2017.
Small infill sites include Oxmanstown Lofts, a small development by the Dublin Loft Company, a boutique building business run by second-generation developers Mark and Andrew Cosgrave, of the Cosgrave Property Group. There, 15 mainly two-bed apartments, sold over a weekend last April through agents Hooke & MacDonald, with prices averaging €350,000 per unit.
A small window of opportunity for buyers could still be open in the Broadstone area. The opening of the new DIT campus in Grangegorman will eventually see 9,000 students in the area by 2019, says Paul Horan, head of campus planning at the college. Purpose-built student accommodation is in the pipeline via GSA Global in Broadstone Hall, and through a smaller developer there may be opportunities to buy single units.
Cabra will see the biggest price rises, says Paul Lappin of Lappin Estates. “There was a time when certain buyers wouldn’t cross Faussagh Avenue, but now its least gentrified parts will get the most benefit from the new transport link.” He expects properties along the tram corridor to rise by between 10 and 20 per cent once the line opens in December.
“It’s going to push up prices from St Attracta Road and Bannow Road all the way to Broombridge Road.”
And if you live in the area is now a good time to sell? Sellers have already benefited over and above market value,” says Doyle.