I think Larry’s point is important; what is your time frame? If you fancy yourself as a developer/speculator/investor/flipper [delete as appropriate] and are hoping for the “rising tide” of an up-and-coming area to quickly boost the possible sale price of your purchase above other locations, then, IMHO given the economic and demographic outlook you will be very disappointed if you have time horizon of less than 10 years (and that’s being generous).
On the other hand, if you are looking at a family home, somewhere you’ll be for 20 years or more, then there are some locations that could be interesting, however, keep in mind that both economies and demographics change, and an area’s reputation can drop as well as rise. You could buy in an area only to have what the existing burghers perceive as “a bad element” move in resulting in them moving out, or for the local school to be perceived as under performing leading to migration or a drop off in demand. Buying a property, regardless of the purpose is a massive financial commitment, attempting to pre-empt the “moods of the market” over a multi-year time frame is a huge gamble.
I know a lot of people cite how prices in certain areas of London increased above both the local historical trend and regional average during the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. Dublin is not like London. Here we don’t have a cohort similar to the thousands of City workers earning 6 figure sums that are the driving force in creating these new “upper-middle class” clusters from previously “undervalued” (as the EA’s might suggest) ones. Dublin also lacks much of the social infrastructure investment that goes hand in hand with such change.
In answer to the topic of the thread, IMHO, areas that will be interesting to compare how they evolve over the next 15 years included Soneybatter (for the reasons listed & the investment being made in the areas, but keep in mind, the area has been expecting the investment for over a decade already) and locations such as Rathmines, South Circular Road, Cabra & Phibsboro, all because of their proximity to the city centre and as a result of the changes to the Pre-63/Betsit laws. These areas may become more family oriented if we see a number of “brave” buyers undertake the process of converting multi-unit Georgian houses back to single family properties. Equally, it might not happen and the areas could “hollow out” and fall into a general state of dereliction if the current land lords don’t upgrade their properties and just board them up waiting for next bubble to arrive before selling.
As ever, Caveat Emptor.