Star performers 2018
From page 1
transaction dating back to 2014 when the property market was still on the floor. These sales have been matched by only one other at Dublin’s most talked about luxury scheme, Lansdowne Place in Ballsbridge, where the penthouse sold late last year for ¤6.5 million. The sale has yet to appear on the price register as the scheme is not complete. These top prices are the highest ever paid for apartments in the State. The country homes market in 2018 has been a long, hard slog. The biggest sale fails to feature in the listing owing to a legal delay. Castletown Cox in Co Kilkenny, probably Ireland’s finest country estate and Palladian mansion on 513 acres is understood to have sold since August for more than ¤20million but it has yet to appear on the Property Pric Register. The deal has become embroiled in a legal row between the UK-based Magan family, who owned the estate from 1999, and a Jersey-administered trust which Lord George Magan (a retired banker and former chairman of the British Conservative Party) had himself established. The undisclosed international buyer was found within just seven months of it listing through Knight Frank with an asking price of ¤17.5 million. It has been reported that the intended buyer has paid off a ¤14.5 million borrowing secured on the property in anticipation of closing the sale. When complete it will be the biggest residential sale in the State since Castlemartin, the former Tony O’Reilly estate, which sold to US businessman John Malone for ¤28 million in 2014.
This leaves us with a top sale this year of ¤3.4 million for Dowdstown House in Co Kildare. The Georgian mansion close to Maynooth on 26 acres has been operated as a stud farm since the 1940s by its Irish-Swiss owners. The property was placed on the market with Sherry FitzGerald country homes in 2016 seeking ¤4.35 million.
Galtrim House, a charming Georgian on 110 acres in Meath and the former home of Countess Mount Charles, appeared sold on the property price register in March for ¤1.92 million. It was originally placed on the market through Savills in 2017 seeking ¤2.25 million for the entire estate with an agricultural land value of ¤1.1 million.
It is believed the entire spread finally sold for ¤3 million. Bought by a local businesman to use as a family home, an extensive refurbishment is in the pipeline.
Next up was the sale of Athgarvan House, which stands on the banks of the Liffey outside Athgarvan village, close to Newbridge, Co Kildare. The 775sq m (8,342sq ft) eight-bed was placed for sale through Sherry FitzGerald in May 2017 seeking ¤2.5 million and appeared sold for ¤2 million in June.
The Beach Haus was an unusual property when it came on the market in July. A high-spec Hollywood-style beach house outside Bettystown, Co Meath, was started by an ambitious developer in 2005 and later completed by new owners who bought it in 2013. By October the deal was complete when it appeared sold on the price register for ¤1.525 million a sum, well in excess of the original ¤1.25 million asking price. The buyer is understood to be a US-based woman originally from Drogheda who plans to use the property as a holiday home.
Fifth position was also taken by a contemporary waterfront property, this time in Cork on Kinsale’s “Golden Mile”. Scilly House was placed on the market in June 2017 through Engels and Volkers seeking ¤2.75 million and appeared sold for a substantially reduced ¤1.5 million in June.
Year-on-year comparisons may be clumsy but when we compare this year’s biggest registered country-estate sale (Dowdstown at ¤3.4 million) with the top rankings in 2018, it would only have taken fourth position last year. A reflection perhaps of pricing needing to come into line with expectations and poor demand for country homes.
Athgarvan House, Athgarvan, Co Kildare ¤2mFor the few that sold there are a host of arguably finer estates still seeking buyers, including Luggala on 5,000 acres in Wicklow (¤28 million), Rocketts Castle on 250 acres in Waterford (¤6 million), Grange Con stud on 256 acres in Wicklow (¤15 million), Fort Granite on 341 acres in Wicklow (¤3.5 million) and Liss Ard on 163 acres in west Cork (¤7.5 million).
Waiting in the wings: Castletown Cox, Co Kilkenny ¤20m+
Scilly House, Scilly, Kinsale, Co. Cork ¤1.5m