Property lockdown: Houses that sold before Covid-19 struck

Buyers at the upper end of the market have shown a tendency to prefer turnkey homes

Pine Lodge, Burnaby, Greystones, Co Wicklow: former home of Saoirse Ronan sold for €1.66m

As coronavirus slows the property market to a crawl, with viewers unable to visit properties and uncertainty over mortgage approvals and job security, there is one property service that, for now at least, continues to operate.

The Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) based in Co Meath is continuing to update its Property Price Register allowing would-be buyers and vendors to monitor values in their areas and the rest of us to check out what the neighbours got for the homes they've sold.

The register is based on information it receives from the Revenue Commissioners. Revenue itself gets the data from stamp duty returns filed by solicitors. The register, which generally updates weekly, carries brief information about he date a sale is registered, the address and the price with further details provided.

There is often a significant time lag between a Sold board going up outside a property and its sale price appearing on the register. The delay is caused by a lag in stamp-duty returns. Many estate agents say that it can now take up to six months for a sale of a house to close, which means that the data input to the PSRA will not be swift.


In addition, solicitors have up to 44 days to submit the transaction details to Revenue so this causes further delays. It will be several more months before the full effects of Covid-19 will tell on the register in the form of a very low volume of sales in March, April and, more than likely, beyond.

High-profile properties

The register for the first quarter of 2020 includes the sale of a number of high-profile properties that first came on the market last autumn or even earlier.

Saoirse Ronan's former Greystones home, a large detached house called Pine Lodge on New Road, was one of the first registered sales of 2020, appearing on the property price register on January 10th with a price of €1.66 million. The four-bedroom house had been snapped up soon after going on the market last autumn, and though its turnkey condition, including a brand new kitchen, would have been a strong selling point, the cachet of it being Ronan's home may have provided the final fillip that pushed the price well over the asking tag of €1.5 million sought by agent Galvin Property.

Elsewhere in Greystones, a large detached house called Knockrath on Church Lane, dating from 1893 and with a wealth of period detail, has sold for €1.25million, less than the €1.4 million that sales agent Sherry FitzGerald had been seeking.

Larnaca, Marlborough Road, Glenageary: sold for €2.4m

In Glenageary, Co Dublin, a large semi-detached house on Marlborough Road called Larnaca has been registered as sold at €2.4 million, €500,000 less than the asking price when the five-bedroom home first came on the market last August.

Tucked away at the top of one of Glenageary's prettiest roads, a short walk from the Dart station, the house has lots of original features and potential for expansion, sitting as it does on one-third of an acre. The 303sq m (3,260sq ft) house and its semi-detached neighbour, Limassol, was apparently built in the mid-1850s for a British soldier returning home from a posting in Cyprus; it's thought that two brothers bought the plot and built the two matching houses.

Elsewhere in south Co Dublin, White Stacks on Killiney Hill Road, a modest split-level home with superb sea views from its upper floor was sold at just over €1.217million, down from its asking price of €1.45m.

Blockbuster prices

The first of the blockbuster prices in Dublin occurred for number 70 Ailesbury Road, a contemporary detached home that sold for €3.5million, its asking price when it first went for sale in August 2019.

Ivy Lodge, Belmont Avenue, Dublin 4: sold for €1.93m

In Donnybrook, Dublin 4, one of the oldest houses in the area, Ivy Lodge, at 62 Belmont Avenue sold for €1.93million following a dramatic and highly colourful makeover. It last appeared on the register in 2015 when the old farmhouse dating from 1740 sold for €1.052 million.

In Ranelagh, a buyer paid over the asking price for 11 Park Drive, a 1930s bungalow on a quiet street a short walk from the Cowper Luas stop that had been given a complete makeover since it was bought 10 years ago. The detached 176sq m (1,894sq ft) four-bed house sold for €1.72million, just over its asking price of €1.695 million.

16 Palmerston Road, Dublin 6: sold for €2.825m

Another that sold for well over its guide price was 16 Palmerston Road which appeared on the register at the end of March at €2.825 million. The two-storey over garden-level redbrick went on the market last September seeking €2.475 million. Buyers at the upper end of the market have shown a tendency to prefer turnkey homes to those needing refurbishment, but in the case of this house, which had been home to the same family for nearly 50 years, the combination of its impeccable address and its scope for extending into the 36m (120ft) back garden proved the impetus for buyers to compete.

In Ballsbridge, 60 Heytesbury Lane, a substantial three-bedroom mews house of just under 200 sq m, sold towards the end of February at €1.65million, just shy of the €1.7million asking price Sherry FitzGerald had been seeking last December.

Meanwhile number 2 Ballsbridge Avenue, a double-fronted cottage needing refurbishment sold for €350,000 – quite a bit below the €394,950 Churches Estates had been asking.

In Portobello, Dublin 8, one of the most sought-after addresses in the city, a three bedroom house at 6 Windsor Terrace was registered as sold on St Valentine's Day, February 14th, at €690,000, €35,000 less than its €725,000 asking price when it went for sale in the summer of 2019.

3 Windsor Terrace, Portobello, Dublin 8: sold for €823,500

A month earlier, number 3 Windsor Terrace, a similar house that had been updated in a cool grey-washed style sold for €823,500 through city estate agent Owen Reilly who had been seeking €800,000 for the property.

58 Sitric Road, Stoneybatter: sold for €500,000

Across the city in ever-popular Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, a one-time corner shop and home at 58 Sitric Road was sold for €500,000, €25,000 over its original asking price.

38 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2: sold for €1.1m

In Dublin 2, a radically renovated house at 38 Adelaide Road with a demure redbrick front and a triple height conservatory to the rear, sold for €1.1 million, less than the original asking price of €1.25 million when the property was placed on the market by Sherry FitzGerald back in July 2019.

In Rialto, the demand for good-looking redbrick homes close to the city resulted in a strong sale at Haroldville Avenue where number 20, a terraced two bedroom house in turnkey condition with an attic suite and a sheltered low maintenance garden, sold for €558,000 – estate agency Felicity Fox had guided €450,000.

In Marino, Dublin 3, house prices tend to range between €350,000 and €500,000 for the attractive terraced homes that were so carefully planned in the 1930s. Renovated versions can make considerably more, such as a turnkey three-bedroom home at 11 Carleton Road, Dublin 3, with an imaginative extension and a mid-century modern vibe. It sold for €555,000.

In Drumcondra, Dublin 11, number 32 St Alphonsus Road, an end-of-terrace redbrick with a double garage to the rear sold for €850,000 – €75,000 over its asking price, while in Cabra, Dublin 7, an attractive semi-detached house with a fully refurbished interior at 195 New Cabra Road sold for €660,000, a little below its asking price of €675,000.

There have been 44 sales registered in Clontarf since January, with prices ranging from €242,000 for a two-up two-down at 6 St Joseph's Square to €1.04 million for 44 Dollymount Avenue, which looks to have sold off-market.

Unusual locations

Finally, outside Dublin, a number of stand out properties have changed hands at strong prices so far this year, an indication that there’s always a market for interesting homes in unusual locations.

In Nenagh, Co Tipperary, for instance, a property called Castle Yard, near Dromineer, sold for €487,500, making it one of the highest prices in the county so far this year. Its big selling point? The garden wall of the waterfront property separates it from some impressive castle ruins overlooking the Shannon.

3 Fort View, Ardbrack, Kinsale: sold for €1.12m

In Kinsale, Co Cork – a town that frequently seems impervious to property market currents – a detached bungalow on around a third of an acre overlooking the harbour number 3 Fort View, Ardbrack, fetched €1.12 million, slightly more than its €1.045 million original asking price.

And in Co Kildare, an old-worlde demesne, The Mill House, also known as Leinster Grove, changed hands in February for €835,000 having been on the market at €795,000 through Jordan Auctioneers. The large period house which has the Grand Canal along one boundary, sits on 1.8 acres and was owned at one time by the Odlum family, who operated a milling business next door.