Harolds Cross or Kilmainham?

Hi all,

I have been considering a number of apartment purchases recently. I think I am close to making a decision between an apartment in Harolds Cross and one in Kilmainham. Both apartments are one beds of a similar size (harolds cross one slightly smaller), in small private developments build in the early to mid 1980s. The one in Kilmainham is about 70% owner occupied, mainly by older people. The one in Harolds cross is about 45% owner occupied by mainly younger people, and the balance is let out to younger people. The features of the two apartments are slightly different. The one in Kilmainham is currently owned by a friend of the family and has not been advertised yet, so I could possibly get it at a good price, although based on similar properties on Daft I would not expect a huge price differential between the two apartments.

My main question is which is the better area to live in? I currently rent an apartment in Donnybrook and have done so for the last 6 years, and so I would be more familiar with Harolds cross as it is nearer than Kilmainham. I would have thought that Harolds cross was the better area, but having visited the block in Kilmainham on several occasions to check out the general ambiance around the block, including at night, I have to say it is very quiet and well maintined. Kilmainham would also suit me better as it is beside the N4 and I come from the midlands and usually take the N4 down there every couple of week ends. I plan to live in the apartment for a few years and then rent it out. I did a quick distance calcuation on google maps and both apartments are a similar distance from the city centre (o’connell bridge). Harolds cross would have good rental potential in terms of the various colleges around that area & proximity to town, while I would expect that St James hospital would provide a good rental market for Kilmainham and it is also close to town.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Generally as areas go - Harolds Cross has been over rated and Kilmainham under rated as dwelling environments for many, many years.
Trouble is that this perception will probably persist for decades to come and ease of ultimate sale of any dwelling in years to come will probably be affected by this.

Are there any rental equivalents of the apartments on the rental market at the moment?


all other things being equal the Owner occupied would be miles better; day to day - if you’re lucky it won’t matter - however it it goes sour OO is a safer bet

I would say that’s true alright. Another observation I made was that there are big differences within each area. Some roads in kilmainham are nice and quiet, while others only a stones throw away have a rougher feel. The same is true of harolds cross, perhaps to a lesser extent though.

I also compared the walk into town from both Kilmainham and Harolds cross, in terms of how safe I would feel walking in to town from both locations. It was only then that I noticed how run down clanbrassil street appears, especially the end closer to the canal. There is a multitude of cheap crappy shop fronts and derelict buildings. The walk from kilmainham is slightly better. None can compare to the nice walk into town from Donnybrook though, up leeson st. Pity I can’t afford to buy here!

Larry, I have seen one bed apartments from the complex in Harolds cross on the rental market for about €800 to €850 per month. I think this is over priced as I am living in a comfortable apartment in D4 for under €800. I have seen a one bed apartment from the Kilmainham development also on the market at €800, which again I think is overpriced, considering that a two bed in the same development would rent for €950-€1000. Overall though, the rents achievable from both apartments, on the basis of asking rents at least, don’t seem very different.

have you considered Chapelizod or Islandbridge? - Chapelizod is a little further out but quiet

Islandbridge is convenient to town and you don’t pass through sketchy areas -

Couple of things about that.

  1. The flatness in rents across different areas and different accommodation types shows how sick the market is. There is neither a proper “ladder” whereby D4 costs more than D8 or Harold’s X, nor that much difference in price between 1 beds and 2 beds. Why? Because the market is a logjammed mess - investors in NE can’t sell, investors of all types can’t take less than X in rent because their mortgage repayment is X + 1, at the same time there are no repossessions so prices are locked where they are, and in the background, you have rent allowance probably propping up this whole situation. This is a shambles and not a time when I think buying is advisabe for a 1-bed apartment

  2. I see there are 115 apartments for sale in D8 and 297 for rent on Daft alone. I daresay there are many scores more advertised elsewhere. That’s probably 500 apartments for sale or rent in D8. That would worry me if I was thinking of buying an apartment.

  3. I would rent in an area before buying. After leafy D4, D8 or Harold’s X might not be your thang!

  4. If you decide to proceed, at the rent levels you mention you shouldn’t pay more than €150,000 based on rental yield (which, for 1-bed apartments, is an excellent metric). That would be a 6% gross yield at that price. Others here would say that yield is too little, but I think it’s a decent ballpark.

Putting aside the part where I don’t believe a one-bed apt should ever, ever be bought for owner-occupation, the main issues I always had with Kilmainham were: no supermarket (there’s now a superquinn in HSQ?) and; nowhere decent to eat locally, you always have to go to town. Ok, so Harolds Cross you’re looking for surrounding areas for those, but between Rathgar and Terenure you’re more than covered within walking distance (hence the overratedness, I think - it’s not HC itself that causes it, it’s the proximity to these areas - poor but more affordable relation; whereas Kilmainham is Inchicore’s posher neighbour). I always thought Kilmainham public transport wasn’t great, but I’m sure that’s changed with Luas.

Re Larry’s comments,

  1. I have always thought that the relatively small price differential between renting a one bed versus a two bed apartment in dublin was crazy. The one beds are generally overly expensive to rent relative to the two beds. This doesn’t seem to be a new trend, as far as I remember it was also the case in the late 1990s, not sure before that though. There seems to be a major lack of affordable properties to rent for a single person who wants to live alone. One beds are obviously more affordable for a couple renting than for a single person, although i think most one beds in Dublin are a bit small for couples and more suited to single people.

  2. There certainly are a lot of apartments for rent around Dublin 8, with big concentrations around Cork St and Inchicore. I think the apartment I am looking at would rent a little easier than some of these due to the quietness of the block and the fact that its well managed and has plenty of parking. I have looked at a few on Cork st and there are some nice ones but quite a few that seem to be built on Industrial waste land with little development around them.

  3. I have gotten used to living in leafy D4 alright but I think I will be able to adjust to D6W or D8! I lived in Santry for a while and found the area fine, apart from the annoying sound of planes from Dublin airport.

  4. I definately won’t be paying more than €150,000 on either of the apartments. Would be thinking closer to €100k, no more than €120K, and if I don’t get either apartment for that sort of price, I won’t buy. I worked out that the Net Rental yield on renting out either of theses apartments would be just over 5% (based on fairly realistic gross rent of €650 per month or €7,800 per annum, less a €1,200 annual management fee, less 20% tax - ignoring repairs/maintenance). Having the money in the bank at 4% gross interest would leave a net return of 3% after 25% DIRT. So the yield on the property at a rent of €650 per month would exceed current rates of return on deposit, but not by very much.

laineyg, you are right about nowhere decent to eat in Kilmainham. I know there is a restaurant opposite Kilmainham jail but not sure when it opens. There aren’t any nice restaurants in Inchicore either. There is a superquinn in HSQ alright which isn’t too far away, but no Tesco or Dunnes nearby. I think the public transport system is OK, there are a few busses that go into town and its a fairly direct route in.

I must have a look around chapelizod, had never really considered that area. I did look at an apartment in Islandbridge late last year. It was in the Bellevue development. The apartment was nice inside but I was put off by the cluttered nature of the development and the extensive use of timber bay windows which are showing signs that they might not stand the test of time even though they are only 8 or 9 years old.

you could surely get a 1-bed apartment in D4 for €150k ??
Gasworks are asking €155k and that includes a parking space
myhome.ie/residential/brochu … -m/1374689

I kinda know what you mean about the nature of Bellevue, I haven’t lived there but frequently walked passed going to the Memorial Gardens/River Walk - for me however the peace and quiet of the area is really second to none, I’ve lived in plenty of places in different countries at this stage and honestly, such a nice a riverside park so close to a city is really valuable - or should be valued anyway. Restaurants and pubs are great but they cost money and you don’t go there every day…

Shame about the lack of retail etc nearby though… Chapelizod does better on that front.
Quantifying the exact price/value is not simple obviously

Kilmainham has one of the best pubs in town though, the Royal Oak. And Inchicore has Wallaces Italian place thats not bad for eats (if its still trading).

The primary reason why there is such a small difference in rents between 1 and 2 bedroom apartments is simple supply & demand.
One bedroom apartments are ideal for couples moving into together who do not want to share with anybody else. And there are a whole lot more 2 bedroom apartment.