Yours for €13.25m: Ireland’s 10 top property sales of 2021, inside and outside Dublin

More than 800 sales of €1m or more were recorded this year, most notably of Lissadell

Ireland’s top property sale of 2021: Lissadell, on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin 4, sold for €13.25 million

Ireland’s top property sale of 2021: Lissadell, on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin 4, sold for €13.25 million

 

While the prices being secured at the upper end of Ireland’s residential property market have not hit the dizzying heights that preceded the financial crash, 2021 is gearing up to be something of a bumper year for sales in the €1 million-plus bracket.

With just over three weeks to go to year’s end, the Residential Property Price Register shows that well over 800 sales have been conducted at this level nationally. Many of the deals involve several million euro, and the biggest have comfortably surpassed €10 million.

What follows are the top five residential sales by value in Dublin and the top five outside Dublin as they appear on the register, which records the sum paid for the principal residence and up to an acre of land.

When a residential property sale includes more than an acre of land, the value of that extra land is not included on the register; we have marked the sale prices of these homes with asterisks in the entries below.

TOP FIVE SALES IN DUBLIN

Ireland’s top property sale of 2021: Lissadell, on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin 4, sold for €13.25 million
Lissadell

1. Lissadell

9 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Sale price €13.25 million
Agent Sherry Fitzgerald

It’s the sale that could have very easily gone unnoticed, as the transaction was registered under an Irish version of the house’s name and address: Uimhi a Naoi, Botha Sriusbaire. As the end of 2021 draws near however, the €13.25 million paid by the property developer Pat Crean for Lissadell at 9 Shrewsbury Road has reaffirmed the Dublin 4 thoroughfare’s status as Ireland’s most prestigious and expensive residential address.

The Marlet Property Group chief acquired the Edwardian-style mansion from the Northern Ireland-born investment banker Martin Shields and his wife, Francesca McWilliams, in an off-market deal in July.

Shields and McWilliams, for their part, had purchased the property from its previous long-term owner, the prominent solicitor Anne Neary, for €6 million in late 2012, and transformed the 343sq m (3,700sq ft) house over the next several years, tripling it in size to its current 1,096sq m (11,800sq ft).

Although the ambitious refurbishment saw the preservation of the original house, it now forms part of a much larger five-bedroom structure, both above and below ground, that includes a swimming pool, staff accommodation and a wine cellar, along with a freshly designed and newly configured room layout throughout.

Sorrento House, on Sorrento Terrace, Dalkey, Co Dublin sold for €10.65m Photograph: Eric Luke
Sorrento House

2. Sorrento House

1 Sorrento Terrace, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Sale price €10.65 million
Agent Vincent Finnegan

Having paid €10 million to acquire Sorrento House (to give it its official title) in 2015, the British IT recruitment millionaire Bill Bottriell sold the sumptuously appointed six-bed mansion to a UK-based Irish businessman in an off-market deal for €10.65 million in July.

Situated at the end of a stunning strip of protected Victorian houses between Bullock Harbour and Killiney’s Vico Road, 1 Sorrento Terrace comprises a 714sq m (7,685sq ft) property atop two acres of headland that affords dual aspect views of Dalkey Sound, Bray Head and the Sugarloaf.

In terms of its interior, the property owes much of its appeal to the extensive refurbishment works carried out between 1998 and 2006 by its then owner, Terry Coleman. Having paid £5.9 million (€7.5 million) to acquire the property, Mr Coleman spent an estimated €13 million on modernising and extending it.

The house was lavishly refurbished throughout and features antique Jerusalem marble in the hallway, decorative Japanesque panels that were commissioned for a number of rooms, and an impressive orangery, glazed on all sides with three sets of French windows opening to a wraparound terrace that takes in the full breadth of Killiney Bay.

Glenheather, Avoca Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin sold for €8.22m Photograph: Alan Betson
Glenheather

3. Glenheather

Avoca Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Sale price €8.22 million
Agent Inhous

Within weeks of the respective sales of Lissadell and Sorrento House , an international buyer paid €8.22 million to secure ownership of Glenheather on Avoca Avenue in the south Co Dublin suburb of Blackrock.

While the price paid makes it the third-most expensive house sale to have taken place in the capital this year, the new owner can take some comfort from the fact that represented a discount of some €1.18 million on the €9.4 million paid for the house when it last sold at auction in April 2007.

They will also have been heartened by the fact that the period property had seen substantial works carried out by its most recent owner, serial entrepreneur and founder and former chief executive of Merrion Capital John Conroy.

Among the costly improvements made to the house and its one-acre grounds were the provision of additional living and bedroom space through the reconstruction of the property’s three-storey extension, and the alteration and refurbishment of its adjacent coach house.

Mr Conroy sought and secured approval from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for the demolition of the building housing Glenheather’s swimming pool and for it to be replaced by a new and larger structure.

Seafield House in Donabate, Co Dublin sold for €6.95m. The price
Seafield House

4. Seafield House

Kilcrea, Donabate, Co Dublin
Sale price €6.95 million*
Agent Sherry Fitzgerald Country Homes

Seafield House in Donabate, north Co Dublin, first came to the market with Sherry FitzGerald in May 2018 quoting €9.995 million. The Palladian mansion, with sea views, is considered to be one of Dublin’s finest restored homes, sitting on 80 acres of parkland.

It certainly impressed viewers when it was broadcast as part of RTÉ’s Selling Ireland’s Most Exclusive Homes programme in September, and was subsequently understood to be bought by a local family.

One of Seafield’s great claims is that it is believed to have been built nearly 300 years ago by the classical architect Sir Edward Lovett Pearce. A champion of the Palladian style, his finest buildings in Ireland include Castletown House and the Irish Houses of Parliament (today the Bank of Ireland) on College Green.

The original owner of the property was Bendict Arthure, the high sheriff of Dublin. It was then for many years in the hands of the Hely-Hutchinson family, prominent figures in Irish political history.

Its latter-day owners were the renowned property and art collectors Sir Robert and Lady Sheelagh Goff who lived at Seafield House for many years before moving to the Ballincor estate on 4,000 acres in the Wicklow mountains.

The property is said to have secured close to its €9.95 million asking price, with the main residence accounting for some €6.95 million of the total consideration. The estate last changed hands in 1996 for just under IR£1 million. Owners Liam Cronin and his wife, Kaye, oversaw a substantial and sensitive renovation of the house which took more than a year, and an estimated IR£3 million to complete. They are now looking for a new home close by.

High Cross, 40 Temple Road, Dartry, Dublin 6 sold for €5.75m
High Cross

5. High Cross

40 Temple Road, Dartry, Dublin 6
Sale price €5.75 million
Agent Sherry Fitzgerald

This stately Victorian redbrick, set on nearly an acre of sunny, landscaped gardens, first hit the market in February 2015 with a lofty asking price of €7.5 million.

The extensive property, of some 603 sq m (6,491 sq ft), sits on one of the capital’s most exclusive roads, but nonetheless took some time to sell. But, while it may have sold at a discount to asking, it still achieved a significant sale price at almost €6 million when it was snapped up by an Irish couple in February.

While the house retains its original period features and character, its new residents will benefit from the improvements made by the outgoing owner over the years. These include the addition of a “coach house” extension to the side of the house with a double garage below, along with a soundproofed games and gym/play room complete with a full-size snooker table and original six-pendant brass overlamp.

TOP FIVE SALES OUTSIDE DUBLIN

Abbey Leix in Abbeyleix, Co Laois sold for €11.5m. The overall estate secured about €20m
Abbey Leix Estate

1. Abbey Leix

Abbeyleix, Co Laois
Sale price €11.5 million*
Agents Colliers and Sotheby’s International

Were the sprawling 1,119-acre estate beyond its immediate one-acre curtilage factored into the price recorded on the Property Price Register, the sale in June of Abbey Leix to the billionaire co-founder of Stripe, John Collison, would easily have claimed the title of this year’s most valuable residential transaction.

While an examination of the register shows that the main residence, which extends to 26,910sq ft (2,500sq m) sold for €11.5 million, it’s understood that Mr Collison paid an additional €8.5 million to secure ownership of the entire estate bringing his overall outlay to the €20 million guided by the selling agents.

But for that, he gets rather a lot. The 18th century house and former ancestral home of the de Vesci family is complemented by no less than 10 estate houses and cottages on lands set out in walled gardens, stands of specimen trees, and farmland.

Prior to Collison’s purchase, the estate had been owned by Sir David Davies, a businessman whose family put down roots in Ireland in the 1940s and who has had a successful career in banking and property. Mr Davies put the estate on the market when he reached his 80th birthday in 2019 with a view to downsizing to his family’s original Irish home, Killoughter in Co Wicklow, a Georgian house on a more manageable scale.

While Abbey Leix will require substantial investment over time, its new owner will have the benefit of the significant restoration and refurbishment presided over by its former owner.

Designed in 1773 by the noted architect James Wyatt, and home to the de Vesci family for more than 300 years, the property was showing its age by the time Mr Davies acquired it in 1995. It had no central heating and needed to be completely rewired, according to an interview Mr Davies gave to the Leinster Express in 2017. It took, he said, four years to renovate, with all of the house’s 117 windows having to be replaced.

Dublin: Kilcreene Lodge in Kilkenny city sold for €4.25m
Kilcreene Lodge

2. Kilcreene Lodge

Kilkenny city, Co Kilkenny
Sale price €4.25 million*
Agents Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes and Sherry FitzGerald McCreery

It was a quick sale for Kilcreene Lodge in Kilkenny, with the picturesque Smithwick brewing family’s one-time country house selling in just a couple of months.

Another home that featured on Selling Ireland’s Most Exclusive Homes, the property came to the market in June 2021 and sold to an Irish buyer just two months later for €4.25 million. The price paid represented a 31 per cent premium on the €3.25 million which had been sought by the outgoing owners, a couple intent on downsizing within Kilkenny.

Originally a linen miller’s house built in 1690, it became home to generations of Smithwicks when John William Smithwick bought it in the 1880s. He quadrupled its size, employing fashionable architect Charles Geoghegan to create what is described on a database of important buildings, the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, as “a pleasant Victorian merchant’s villa”. Following its sale by the Smithwick family in 1999, the property underwent a substantial renovation and saw its footprint extended even further to 1,149sq m (12,386 sq ft).

Quite apart from its impressive interior, Kilcreene Lodge has much to recommend it, sitting as it does on 10 secluded acres with mature gardens, woodland and a lake, but with Kilkenny city and its amenities to be found at the end of its lime-tree-lined driveway.

Lough Rusheen House in Barna, Co Galway sold for €3.02m*
Lough Rusheen House

3. Lough Rusheen House

Barna, Co Galway
Sale price €3.02 million*
Agents Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes and Sherry FitzGerald Galway

When it came to the market in the summer of 2018, Lough Rusheen assumed the title of the most expensive property in Co Galway with an asking price of €3.5 million.

The property overlooks the turquoise waters of Lough Rusheen, a tidal flatland and bird sanctuary, and offers its new owners, understood to be Irish buyers, a sanctuary of their own. It sits on a significant 23 acres, comprising 3½ acres of formal gardens, and the remaining as paddocks and mature private green spaces.

The house itself is in turnkey condition thanks to the investment made by the Carlow-based family that bought it for the relatively modest sum of €950,000 in 2011.

Having acquired the old Rusheen riding stables and its four acres, they made use of its extant planning permission to develop the house into a much larger residence of 457sq m (4,919sq ft). They also extended the size of the property’s overall holding through the purchase of additional lands and engaged the expertise of landscaper Karl Baines of Formality at the Cowshed. He planted an additional 14,000 bulbs and 12,000 plants to the site, plus almost 2,000 trees.

The Rocket House
The Rocket House

4. The Rocket House

Castletownshend, Co Cork
Sale price €2.55 million
Agent Charles McCarthy Estate Agents

Having come to the market at a guide price of €1.95 million in February, the Rocket House, in Castletownshend, quickly caught the imagination of buyers looking for a west Cork coastal getaway. According to the Residential Property Price Register, the luxurious cut-stone property sold for €2,549,990 in September.

Dating from 1841 and designed by the architect William Atkins, the house was originally built as six coastguard cottages, to house six families. It was renovated 50 years ago and turned into a family home by the Chavasse family of nearby Seafield House, a 790sq m (8,500sq ft) Georgian pile that, though now withdrawn from the market, had been for sale, with an asking price of €5 million, in 2019.

Extending to 418sq m (4,500sq ft), the Rocket House takes its name from the flares that were fired from a small building at the edge of the water, which still stands in the 0.75ac gardens. At the turn of the 18th century, rocket launchers were used to fire ropes to assist ships in danger, particularly those that had damaged their hulls after hitting the treacherous local Stag Rocks. The ropes were then used to haul sailors and passengers to safety.

A particular feature of the Rocket House is that all of its bedrooms, of which there are seven (including a self-contained guest wing), overlook the water, as do the reception rooms, allowing wonderful views of the sheltered harbour. The decor is one of relaxed elegance, and some of the rooms have a distinct maritime feel, with blue-and-white palettes, rattan flooring and driftwood lamps. Several of the bedrooms feature vaulted ceilings with exposed beams that serve as a reminder that the property is almost 200 years old. The dining room and conservatory are both in bay-fronted rooms overlooking the water, and each has access to the gardens.

Dunsallagh House in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow sold for €2.35m
Dunsallagh House

5. Dunsallagh House

Kilgarron Hill, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow
Sale price €2.35 million
Agent Sherry Fitzgerald Bray

Having come to the market at a guide price of €2.6 million in February of this year, this Victorian Gothic-influenced property changed hands for €2.35 million on October 13th last.

Located a short walk from Enniskerry village, Dunsallagh House is a substantial family home extending to 419sq m (4,510sq ft) over three floors. Built in 2001, the five double-bedroom property has a striking appearance with its stone-clad exterior, turret, and arched detailing in its small-paned windows. The house is set within large landscaped gardens, surrounded by tall hedges, and accessed by a sweeping driveway.

The outgoing owners of Dunsallagh are downsizing and moving from Wicklow after 17 years to be closer to the city and to family. The buyer, meanwhile, is understood to be a US-based Irish business person.

OTHER NOTABLE 2021 PROPERTY SALES

Numbers 32 and 34 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 sold in one lot for €5.5m
Numbers 32 and 34 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 sold in one lot for €5.5m

32 and 34 Elgin Road

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Sale price €5.5 million
Agent DNG

Having been laid out in multiple rental units for a number of year, these adjoining redbrick period houses were sold in one lot in September to a private investor. The new owner intends to renovate the properties.

Kenure, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18 sold for €5m
Kenure, Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18 sold for €5m

Kenure

Westminster Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Sale price €5 million
Agent Sherry FitzGerald

One of Foxrock’s finest houses, Kenure, a classic Edwardian detached houseon one acre on Westminster Road was put up for sale in 2016 at a guide price of €5.5 million by long-time resident Maureen Arnold, who was hoping to downsize. Having failed to find a buyer, it was taken off the market a few years later. A resurgence in the property market this year however meant that interest was renewed, and it sold in an off-market transaction to an Irish buyer for €5 million.

Rockview

Coliemore Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Price achieved €4.85 million
Agent Sherry FitzGerald

This refurbished five-bed with stunning sea views on Dublin’s priciest coastal stretch first came to the market in February 2019, quoting €5.25 million. The 348sq m (3,750sq ft) four/five-bed house on 0.28 of an acre, was completely refurbished and modernised since its owners bought it in 2003. According to the Property Price Register, the sale closed in September of this year – for below the asking price, but at a still substantial €4.85m.

43 Sandford Terrace, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 sold for €4.44m
43 Sandford Terrace, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 sold for €4.44m

43 Sandford Terrace

Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Sale price €4.44 million
Agent Sherry FitzGerald

The one-time home of former president Mary Robinson came on the market in April at a guide price of €4.5 million. It sold for €4.44 million in September to the writer and director of Once and Sing Street, John Carney.

Bartra Cove

Harbour Road, Dalkey Co Dublin
Sale price €4.35 million
Agent Sherry FitzGerald

The waterfront home of the late Helen Stephenson came to the market in June 2019 at a guide price of €4,85 million. The sale of the property is understood have closed recently for €4.35 million.

Tír Na nÓg

6 Ballybride Manor, Rathmichael, Co Dublin
Sale price €4.25 million
Agent Sherry FitzGerald

The high-end home of Annette and Colm Carroll, owners of souvenir chain Carrolls Irish Gifts came for sale at a guide price of €4.5 million in May. The sale completed in October for €4.25 million.

Sancta Maria

Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Sale price €4.125 million
Agent Lisney and Inhous

This detached house on 0.5 acres was sold in an off-market transaction in July. The buyers are understood to be a Dublin-based couple with a young family, while the vendor is understood to be moving into Dublin 4.

Annacreevy

Adelaide Road, Glenageary, Co Dublin
Sale price €4 million
Agent Sherry FitzGerald

The one-time home of the late entrepreneur and founder of Tayto, Joe “Spud” Murphy, was put up for sale by its current owner for €4.25 million in May. It sold for €4 million in October, according to the Property Price Register.

Dunkerron

Adelaide Road, Glenageary, Co Dublin
Sale price €3.75 million
Agent Lisney

This detached redbrick on one acre was recently sold off-market for €3.75 million. The vendors are understood to be a family trading down, while the purchaser is believed to be moving back from London.

57 Ailesbury Road

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Sale price €3.75 million
Agent Lisney

This substantial Edwardian family home was offered to the market in 2019 at a guide price of €4 million. The owner, who is trading down, completed the sale of the property for €3.75 million in June. The buyers are understood to be a young family in the immediate area who are trading up.

40 Belgrave Square West, Monkstown, Co Dublin sold for €3.7m
40 Belgrave Square West, Monkstown, Co Dublin sold for €3.7m

40 Belgrave Square West

Monkstown, Co Dublin
Sale price €3.7 million
Agent DNG

The sale of this double-fronted Victorian six-bedroom house was completed just last week.The buyer is understood to be an Irish buyer living locally and looking to trade up.

Ischia, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin sold for €3.5m
Ischia, Sorrento Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin sold for €3.5m

Ischia

Sorrento Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Sale price €3.5 million
Agent Sherry FitzGerald

Having tried and failed on several occasions to sell his Sorrento Road five-bed pad over the years, former Formula One racing star Eddie Irvine finally offloaded it in an off-market deal for €3.5 million in April. The 5,000sq ft property attracted international attention last year when it became home for a time to Hollywood star Matt Damon and his family. The Oscar winner had flown into Dublin in March 2020 to film scenes for The Last Duel, directed by Ridley Scott, but was forced to prolong his stay as a result of travel restrictions imposed at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Seahaven

1 Brighton Terrace, Monkstown, Co Dublin
Sale price €3.3 million
Agent Knight Frank

This substantial end-of-terrace Victorian house with uninterrupted sea views and south-facing walled rear garden is understood to have been acquired by an Irish buyer in an off-market transaction for €3.3 million.

Salterbridge House, Cappoquin, Co Waterford sold for €2.27m. The house and its wider 136-acre estate are understood to have secured a total of €3.25m
Salterbridge House

Salterbridge House

Cappoquin, Co Waterford
Sale price €2.27 million*
Agents Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes, Sherry FitzGerald Reynolds and Christies International Real Estate

In June, businessman and veteran property investor Stephen Vernon became the third owner of the historic Salterbridge House in Cappoquin, Co Waterford, paying close to the asking price of €3.25 million sought by owners Philip and Susie Wingfield for the property and its 140 acres. The main eight-bedroom regency residence of 1,450sq m (15,600sq ft) accounted for €2.27 million of the price paid. Built in 1751 by Richard Musgrave on land acquired from the Lismore Estate, the grade-one listed property sits within a wider estate that includes a five-bedroom steward’s house beside the stable yard and farm yard. There are also two gate lodges, one of which has three bedrooms and the other of which, a one-bed, has been meticulously restored by the Irish Landmark Trust, which specialises in conserving and letting notable Irish buildings. There is also extensive farmland, which is rented to a local farmer.

This article was amended on December 9th, 2021, to add the Rocket House to the top five sales outside Dublin