Albany House, Albany Avenue, Monkstown (-90k, -2.4%)

Sold in 2010 for 3.74m … and-12948/

Now asking 3.65m … in/2646660

I think that these are different houses

The ‘Albany House’ that sold in 2010 is on SoCoDu’s website below and is the other end of the trio of 'Albany’s (the current one for sale called ‘The Albany’ is on the far right and doesn’t include the side house at the back of it which is built at a right angle into The Albany’s back yard).

SoCoDu’s link … -2010.html

The original 2010 Albany House was on 0.8 of an acre (outlined in red) with a 7,000 sq ft period structure in good condition.
It sits on an excellent site with large double high gates in the back for access, lodge houses and views of the sea on its upper stories.
It was the highest sale of 2010 and done in early 2010 before things took another leg down on bank nationalisation.
I’m not sure if it would sell for 3.74m again today (a chance however, but not fully sure).

Note on SoCoDu’s link, the 2nd biggest sale of 2010 was Rockfort on Sandycove for 3.1m which has only sold again recently and for a good discount to the 2010 price. If you go down SoCoDu’s 2010 sales list you will find several other sales that would not achieve that pricing again today (see Longford Terrace, Breffni Terrace), or would struggle to match (see The Hill Monkstown, ‘Santa Maria’ Monkstown).

The current 2013 property for sale - The Albany - is quoted as being on 0.6 of an acre (might be some rounding up here) with a 3,200 sq ft ‘Regency Style’ house which I believe is in poor order and includes some awkward extension work (notwithstanding some bathroom upgrades). The Albany is a single story house with no back yard or proper entrance gates. This has been taken by ‘Casa Tina’, the two story mews house that was built into the back of The Albany at right angles. In fact, The Albany’s entrance has been awkwardly stuck into the front corner of the site to give off-street park. There is little chance of such a ‘butchered’ site attracting +3m valuations.

The asking price implies a +6m an acre valuation which I believe is very high for here - you can buy in Shrewsbury today at this (Walford aside) or Rockfort (unique site right on the water with no traffic). At best, I think The Albany would rank more with ‘Santa Maria’ Seapoint House (again see SoCoDu’s 2010 top sales) which went for 2.8m in 2010. However not only is 2010 pricing a stretch at the top-end, but I think that Santa Maria was a prettier period house and on a much cleaner appropriate site with proper entrance etc.

The local buyer will never pay anything over 3m for The Albany (no matter how much money they have). If you are a UK / International buyer, you would need a lot of convincing from your local EA for paying anything over 2.8m (or even lower in my view).

The Albany sold 9-9-14 for €3.3ml

Remember this one (not its bigger neighbor Albany House)
This is The Albany (a.k.a. the smaller pink house on a 0.64 acre site in with terrific sea views in Monkstown).
Irish Times - Pretty Regency with magical garden in Monkstown for €3.65m

It eventually sold for 3.3m in the mini-peak of the high-end in 2014. Ignoring the structure, that makes over 5m an acre, which is big money for this part of the world (even giving some allowance for the structure, is still over 4.5m an acre).

Even in 2016, the best of Foxrock is still at c 2m an acre, while the best of Killiney / Dalkey / Blackrock is closer to 2.5-3m an acre In fairness, houses right on the water / mega sea views, can get higher per acre values.

Address Information:
Sale Information
Date of Sale:09/09/2014
Price: €3,300,000.00

You can now see the concrete shell of a large new contemporary house being built in the front garden of The Albany. I first thought that the buyer in 2014 was building a +7,500 sq ft mega mansion on 2/3rds of an acre (with the little pink period house as the muse). It would have been an expensive site all the same, but one of a kind (and if you have the cash, who cares).

Having gone through the planning however, I discover more:

  1. Previous owners (Michael O’Leary) got planning, via RKD Architects, to split The Albany site in two, and build a c. 4,000 sq ft modern house in the front, leaving the little pink period house in the back (D13A/0343). They then put The Albany for sale.

  2. The buyer in 2014 (I believe it was Joseph Comyn, a solicitor in O’Brien Redmond, who is formally listed as occupying the pink house, so he is not acting as agent etc. although listed as trustee in his stat. declarations), paid 3.3m for The Albany.

  3. The buyer then got planning to increase the modern house to c. 5,000 sq ft (via RKD Architects) D16A/0040, and moved the planning ownership (but not land yet) to an Isle of Man company - Blueheath Investments Limited (i.e. likely to sell it).

  4. A 5,000 sq ft RKD contemporary house will cost you 1.8m all-in, if not well over 2.m (depending on how you manage the project and what you spend on windows / furnishings). You would be top quality developer to do for under 2m all-in.

  5. The completed contemporary house will sit on a c. 0.30 acre site (looses some land in the new boundary walls etc.), and could sell for 3.5-4m. Above 4m, it would have to either be on the sea (i.e. Collimore Road or Vico Road type set up), or on much bigger site (i.e. Albany House), or have a big internal basement pool + spa etc. (i.e. 31 Wellington Place)

  6. The IOM dev co could therefore make c. 1.5-2m on selling the completed modern house for 3.5-4m. Subtract from purchase price of 3.3m, and allow for two years of financing the build cost + 1/2 purchase cost (i.e. half the site), at 6% (=0.5m), and the pink house (now on a 0.30 acre site with no view) costs c 1.8m to 2.3m (before transaction costs).

  7. I am not sure that the small pink house would make much above 2m (almost 1,000 sq ft) in its post development state, today ? It has some awkward features / aspects with no back garden etc. ?

  8. If we include CGT on this development, and take away 33% on the 1.5-2m profit, the pink house cost comes to 2.4-2.8m. I am very sure that this cost, it would make the whole transaction and 2 year build process, a loss making one for the buyer.

Even if the CGT aspect can be managed (and you end up buying the pink house at market value), how could somebody have been convinced to undertake such a development play to secure the pink house ?

No developer would contemplate this (as a basic per acre land valuation would probably turn them off - there are much easier ways to make money then trying to claw back a 5m per acre valuation in deep SoCoDu).

Did the buyer of The Albany in 2014, think that they would get 5m for the modern house - very unlikely.

Or perhaps the buyer of The Albany is going to live in the new modern house, and sell the pink house for c 1.8m to 2m (market value) ? He would have bought his 0.3 acre front section for 4.5-5m per acre depending (still very steep, even today). Unusual however to have an Isle of Man company owning the development rights to your, future, PPR however if this was the case ?

Perhaps the structuring is related to the long-term ownership strategy of how buyer is going to hold their new modern house. Legal types look at the world differently. We perhaps saw another type of ownership strategy (from another legal type), with the “transaction” of 5 Temple Gardens a few months ago (for which the Irish Times was made a fool of).

Will be interesting to see what happens here.

I really do hope that the buyers intention was to live in the new modern house (which looks incredible on the plans). I think if they paid 3.3m for The Albany on the basis of a development play (i.e. try and get the pink house for free), then it could disappoint (and even hurt, a lot).

Hard to believe that the past owner, Michael O’Leary, got planning to break up his site, and stick a new two story house (and associated boundry wall - thus fully blocking his existing period pink house sea view, nevermind his neighbour’s south view + light.) in his front garden ?

Not only that, but his submission for planning, D13A/0343, was the bare minimum for such a venture (no tree surveys, traffic surveys, no sight lines / model works type visual surveys, expensive architectural reports etc.).

You would only do this if you were SURE that this was not going to go to AnBP (who normally insist on these things, but usually won’t allow new information to be added, post the initial DLR decision - i.e. you must put your best foot forward). And of course, despite objections from almost every neighbour / relevant owner (and their architects) in this row of major period houses (none of whom are particularly poor) … it never went to AnBP ?

In nearby “The Hill” in Monkstown, there are planing battles going on for years over small minutiae of changes / micro extensions etc. But in Seapoint, no problem, you can do what you want. Seems very inconsistent (and odd) ?

The key link here is RKD - one of the most important commercial architects in Dublin (but rarely appear in ordinary Dublin residential) - and who know the planners / planning process backwards. They seemed to have a long-standing relationship with Michael OLeary (did work with him in 2005), however they have carried their relationship on with the new owner (Joseph Comyn), and got the further increase in scale by almost 1,000 ft (again, no AnBP process here). The neighbours - when objecting - used much lesser architects.

If RKD can pull off this type of planning in such area (against such objections) - if I was an owner in Killiney of a zero/zero site, I would be on the phone to them on Monday to do the same (i.e. Secrora, Killiney Hill Road !).

As with everything in Ireland, there are no (real) rules.