Living City tax break delivers ‘flipping’ good result in Dublin 1

528 North Circular Road transformed from tired two-bed to three-bed with B2 BER


There are many small-time developers and property flippers who have built impressive income streams from renovating tired homes in the more desirable areas of our capital.

While all too few of these come with the additional bonus of a tax break, number 528 North Circular Road is one of the exceptions. Having come to the market in 2019 as a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house of 92sq m (990sq ft) seeking €350,000 through DNG, the property took its time to sell before appearing on the Property Price Register last September for €295,000.

The buyer proved to be just the kind of person the Government needs to attract and encourage to rehabilitate the city and country’s neglected housing stock.

Situated a few doors down from the Savoy chipper and opposite James Gill’s corner house pub, the house had good ceiling heights and square rooms that were light-filled. But it had a G BER rating and the decor was beyond tired.

Crucially however, it is also situated in an area covered by the Living City Initiative scheme that gives tax breaks to both owner-occupiers and investors in certain central areas of Dublin and other cities on selected refurbishment works. 

The buyer says he “loves to bring new life into old properties” and has already done two within the Dublin 1 area with both finished to impressive standards. At number 528 he hired architects and urban planners Brennan & Furlong and builder John Izota of Izota Construction to do the works.

Now fully renovated with an open-plan living/kitchen, its entire fabric upgraded with insulation and new windows and doors giving it a B2 BER rating, the terraced house has been returned to the market as a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.

While the refurbishment has of course come at a cost, prospective purchasers will note that the €395,000 now being sought by DNG for the newly-renovated property is just €45,000, or 13 per cent more, than the agent had been seeking when it offered the house for sale as a two-bed in 2019. The owner, for his part, has a mid-€400,000 selling price in mind in order for the works to make financial sense.

What will make this home interesting to a buyer on a decent wage is the fact that it comes with a tax break of €80,000-€90,000, monies that can be written off against income tax for an owner-occupier or as a capital allowance for an investor.

The house meanwhile is ready to move into. For buyers, it cuts out the need to pay rent as well as a mortgage while arguing costs and delivery schedules with a builder and an architect, some of whom don’t seem to want to take on what they might consider “small jobs”.

As for number 528, the owner says if he doesn’t secure the sales price he’s looking for, then he will simply hang on to it and rent it.