Priced out of Glasnevin? Consider Finglas
Well-served by shops and transport the north Dublin suburb has a variety of housing stock
Clancy Road, Finglas. Photograph: Dave Meehan
The history of Finglas is a long one. The north Dublin area was first settled as long ago as the sixth century when St Canice founded a monastery there in 560AD. In the 16th century the area became known as a location for sporting pursuits for wealthy Dubliners, with a number of large estates built in the area. Modern Finglas began to spring up in the 20th century, with Finglas east and west the first areas to be built, as Dublin Corporation commenced developing the suburb.
Geographically, east Finglas and north Glasnevin are close, with the two areas meeting at one end of Glasnevin Avenue (formally Ballymun Avenue). While Glasnevin is known for its streets of early 1930s Strain-built redbrick homes, the housing stock in Finglas is mainly modest terraced homes built in the mid to late 20th century.
What kind of property is available?
The traditional hub of the suburb is Finglas village in Finglas east. Premier Dairies had a factory in the area and built staff housing in the 1940s; some of these houses on roads such as Clancy Road, Clune Road, McKee Road and Finglas Park, often three-bed terraced homes with garages, have jumped from €220,000 a year ago to €350,000 now.
Charlestown, in Finglas north, is the most recently-developed area and offers a variety of properties: one-bed and two-bed apartments, duplexes and three- or four-bed homes. The area was constructed about 10 years ago and offers newer-spec builds than the rest of the neighbourhood.
Finglas west is dominated by terraced and semi-detached homes, council-built in the 1960s, with Finglas south a mix of a variety of houses and apartments built between the 1960s and 1980s.
Between these distinct areas of the suburb, every type of property is available, giving young couples and families many opportunities to buy at every stage of the property ladder.
What is village-life like in the area?
In terms of retail, Finglas is very well served. In Finglas north, Charlestown Shopping Centre has food and clothing stores and a cinema. Finglas south has Clearwater Shopping Centre with grocery stores and other retail outlets. Finglas village in the east is the old centre, and it’s perhaps here that the suburb is let down somewhat. The village needs investment both in terms of maintenance and also in terms of a new breed of outlets that can offer higher-end retail services. With two very good shopping centres nearby, and the city centre and Blanchardstown also not far away, it seems the village struggles to hold its own. That said, most locals are quick to praise both the village and its shopkeepers, and Finglas in general has a sense of local community that many other parts of Dublin does not possess.
Transport links and roads
Finglas is decently connected to the city centre by bus, and the new Luas will run close to south Finglas at Broombridge. The big draw transport-wise though is that it lies adjacent to the M50, so commuting to any part of the city and beyond is relatively easy by car.
Eduction and recreational facilities
Sport is big in Finglas and the area caters for a variety of clubs. Erin’s Isle GAA has a long list of former Dublin footballers that lined out for the senior side. Unidare Rugby Club is nearby in Ballymun. And there are many soccer clubs in the larger area including Tolka Rovers, WFTA Football Club, Willows FC, Finglas Celtic and Beneavin FC.
There are 15 primary and eight secondary schools; and, nearby, Glasnevin and Drumcondra offer good education options.
What new developments are there?
There are two new developments under construction. Heathfield on Cappagh Road comprises 100 units, a mixture of terraced and semi-detached homes. Fifty have been sold with 50 still on the market. A second development, Hampton Wood Square, is under construction, with completion slated for late 2017, early 2018. The development will be made up of a large number of two-, three- and four-bed houses.
Who lives in the area?
“A lot of foreign nationals bought in north Finglas during the Celtic Tiger,” says Vinnie Mullen, DNG Phibsboro senior negotiator. “Many of those buyers worked in hospitals: the Mater, Cappagh Hospital or the Rotunda. In the current market, a lot of young professionals are buying in east Finglas.”
In more recent years Finglas has experienced another surge in popularity.
“A lot of Irish buyers in the area would have a previous family affiliation with the Finglas community,” says Aidan Horan, director of Horan Estates. “A lot of investors are also buying because the rental yields are strong in the area. We’re also seeing professionals with young families buying because they can’t afford to buy in other parts of the city. Many of these buyers are looking to get out of the rental market and on to the ladder, then move on to another area in a few years. With the foreign nationals buying, they could be from China or India – who buy primarily to rent out as a form of investment. But you’d also have Indians and people from the Middle East buying to live in these properties as well, and 15 per cent of the purchasers in Finglas are of Eastern European descent. Overall, foreign nationals make up 40 per cent of the market; and those buying to rent also make up about 40 per cent.”
The main element holding Finglas back appears to be a stigma associated with the area relating to the large-scale level of social housing and a perception of high levels of anti-social behaviour in some parts of the large suburb. While there are question marks over safety in parts of Finglas – as in many other parts of Dublin – the area also has much to recommend it. And in terms of property values, there are few areas of Dublin that can compete.
What are prices like in the area?
A modern one-bed apartment in north Finglas starts at around €135,000. A two-bed apartment, also in north Finglas, starts at €160,000. In terms of houses, €165,000 is the starting price for a three-bed, one-bath, terraced house in south Finglas, with €170,000 the starting price for a similar property in west Finglas. Going past the €200,000 mark, a two-bed, one-bath, terraced house in east Finglas starts at €220,000. A jump up the ladder again to €255,000 will open up the market to a four-bed, one-bath, terraced house in east Finglas. Approaching the top of the market, €285,000 starts the bidding for a three-bed, two-bath, penthouse apartment in Premier Square, south Finglas. At the top of the scale, offers in the region of €360,000 can secure a four-bed, semi-detached house beside Finglas village in east Finglas. Property is turning over realatively fast: according to figures from Myhome.ie the average time to “Sale Agreed” in Finglas is less than 16 weeks.
There have been 13,500 searches for Finglas property in the past month, according to myhome.ie. This compares with 15,180 searches for Glasnevin; 3,989 for Phibsborough and 15,719 for property in Ashbourne.
What’s for sale in the area
- Three-bed, one-bath, terraced house at 6 Plunkett Road, €199,000. Agent: Horan Estates.
- Three-bed, one-bath, end-of-terrace house at 36 Finglas Park, €325,000. Agent: DNG.
- Four-bed, one-bath, semi-detached house at 21 The Lawn, €364,000. Agent: Castle.
What’s for rent in the area
- Three-bed, two-bath apartment at 2 Lanesborough Mews, €1,600 a month. Agent: Horan Estates.
- Four-bed, three-bath house at Hampton Wood, €2,000 a month.