John McCormack home on Rock Road goes for more than a song

Two landmark homes on the busy Rock Road find buyers after price corrections and a long wait


News reaches the Block that that distinctive turreted Booterstown house with links to John Count McCormack has found a buyer. Glena, just down from the Punch Bowl pub on the busy Rock Road, came on the market in 2016 and although a very fine Victorian with a number of interesting and quirky features, it was asking a somewhat bullish €3.6 million.

Glena’s great claim to fame, commemorated in a plaque on the wall, is that it had been the final home of internationally renowned tenor McCormack before he died in 1945. However, this clearly wasn’t enough to get the 500sq m (5,382sq ft) six-bed over the line at that price.

There followed a change of agent last year and a substantial price drop to €2.5 million and now the property has gone sale agreed for a sum believed to be a little below the asking. The initial price may have been ambitious, but it’s also indicative of how sticky the market at the luxury €1 million-plus end has become. The runaway bidding wars now commonplace in the sub-€600,000 market are a world apart from the upper end, where it’s all about the long game.

A case in point would be near neighbour of Glena, Lios an Uisce tucked away behind a high wall on the coast side of the road. For sale briefly in 2004 for an outlandish €8.5 million, in May 2013 it came back on the market seeking a more realistic €3 million. Compromised over time by the Rock Road abutting its rear, the Dart crossing its front garden and a shared entrance with a new build, the property on an acre beside Blackrock Park still enjoys a great coastal position.

But the years passed, and still no takers. Until last December, when a purchase price of €3.35 million popped up on the property price register.

It seems good things come to those who wait . . . and wait.