Houses on RTÉ’s ‘Exclusive Homes’ show do sell, but not always for the asking price

The mansion Seafield House sold for close to €10m asking price

Seafield House, Donabate, Co Dublin: sold for close to the asking price of €9.995m

Seafield House, Donabate, Co Dublin: sold for close to the asking price of €9.995m

 

Can a television programme sell a house? There’s no way of knowing for sure, but since Selling Ireland’s Most Exclusive Homes aired back in September, a number of homes featured on the RTÉ programme have sold – some at dizzying prices, and one at significantly below asking.

One of the most expensive properties on the show – and indeed on the overall market – was Seafield House, which first came to the market with Sherry FitzGerald back in May 2018 quoting €9.995 million. The Palladian mansion with sea views in Donabate, north Co Dublin, is considered to be one of Dublin’s finest restored homes, sitting on 80-acres of parkland.

At such a price, a buyer took some time to emerge, but a sale, it’s understood, has now been concluded, at close to the asking price.

Owner Liam Cronin says the property is “a very special home in many ways”.

“I personally loved the grounds, but I loved the house as well. My wife regarded it as the challenge of her lifetime to furnish and decorate it, and she did a wonderful job,” he says.

Some of this furniture has been bought by the new owners, but most of the home’s contents will be going to auction on November 30th at Sheppard’s of Durrow. Cronin says the couple will look to stay in the area, where they have many friends.

“At our age in life it would be a mistake to go to a new area,” he says, adding that they will be looking for a new home that is “a lot smaller” than Seafield House. Could another restoration project be on the cards?

“No” is the quick answer. “One was enough,” says Cronin, with a laugh.

Price drop

Seafield House is not the only house to have sold since the programme aired. One stylish property, which may have whet the design appetites of viewers of the programme was San Elmo Lodge, the “modernist masterpiece” carved into the hillside above Killiney Bay. However, it did not achieve quite the same result when it came to buyers parting with their cash. The Tom de Paor-designed glass-box style property, which offers breathtaking views of the trees and sea below in scenic south coastal Dublin, has sold, but failed to break through the €4 million mark. The home came to the market with Sherry FitzGerald back in June 2019 at a hefty asking price of some €4.65 million. However, the architecturally important property has just appeared on the Property Price Register as selling for €3.7 million, or 20 per cent less than the asking price. It’s a sharp drop from the last time it sold. The property, which is behind a restored granite wall along the Killiney Way walking route, first sold in 2007, having featured extensively in architectural publications to much acclaim. It went for more than €6 million in a transaction that was completed in less than six weeks.

San Elmo Lodge, Killiney, designed by Tom de Paor, sold for €3.7m
San Elmo Lodge, Killiney, designed by Tom de Paor, sold for €3.7m

Another recent (almost) sale is that of Bloomfield House, a four-bed home steeped in history in Donnybrook, Dublin 4. It has gone sale agreed, for what is understood to be well above its asking price of €2 million. The property, which was home to the family of Robert Emmet in the early 19th century, offers little outside space, but boasts a quality renovation with expensive finishes and a stylish eye for detail. Owen Reilly handled the sale.

Bloomfield House, Donnybrook, Dublin 4: sale agreed for what is understood to be well above its asking price of €2m
Bloomfield House, Donnybrook, Dublin 4: sale agreed for what is understood to be well above its asking price of €2m

Clonganny House, a classic Georgian country house in Co Wexford that also featured on the show, has also recently sold, with contracts exchanged just before the episode aired. The property was listed for more than €1.6 million with Savills.

And lastly, we understand that Kilcreene Lodge in Kilkenny, the picturesque Smithwick brewing family’s former country-house home, has also just been sold, to an Irish buyer, for close to the asking price. On the market with Sherry Fitzgerald for €3.25 million, the property sits on 10 secluded acres with mature gardens, woodland and a lake, but appeals to those with a taste for city life too, with Kilkenny city at the end of the drive.