Property giant Hibernia Reit recently announced its results for the latest financial year, returning profits of €124 million. It was a good year too for the company's chief executive, Kevin Nowlan, as suggested by his recent purchase of a 410sq m (4,413sq ft) pile in Killiney for €2.275 million.
Saintbury House on Saintbury Avenue, the one-time home of actress Maureen O’Sullivan, hit the market in 2016 and took 2½ years to sell, with Nowlan and his wife eventually picking it up for about 23 per cent less than its initial €2.95 million asking price, in spite of significant overall price increases in Dublin’s residential market in the interim.
The house occupies a prime hillside site of about 0.25 hectares (0.62 acres) with uninterrupted views across Killiney Bay. Nowlan, who lives in a large refurbished house in nearby Sandycove, has plans to partially demolish existing structures on the site in order to create a very sizeable 514sq m (5,532sq ft) home complete with gym, sauna and wine room. No objections to Nowlan’s plans were lodged with planning authorities by neighbours.
The sale is yet further evidence of the extreme divergence between Dublin’s higher-end homes, many of which are languishing on the market for years, and the rest of the residential market, which has experienced exponential price rises.
Nearby Nowlan’s new home, a Victorian home named Ulverton on Dalkey’s Ulverton Road sold for €2.8 million after 12 months on the market, representing an 11 per cent reduction. Elsewhere in Dublin, 29 Temple Road in Dartry sold for €4.8 million one year after hitting the market for €5.75 million (17 per cent reduction). 17 Temple Gardens in Rathmines sold for €3.5 million, a year after its vendors marketed it for sale at €4.5 million (22 per cent reduction). Around the corner, Hadleigh, 42E Palmerston Road, took a 19 per cent drop from its €3.25 million asking price, selling for €2.65 million nearly three years after it was first marketed for sale.
It seems there is value to be had in the market after all – if you’re a multi-millionaire that is.