Poster Boy May be in Trouble

PRICES at a luxury apartment block built by** Seán Dunne **in Foxrock are lower now than they were six years ago when they first went on the market from plans.

A luxurious four-bedroom duplex apartment in the Hollybrook (right) scheme on Brighton Road is for sale at €1.95 million through Douglas Newman Good. When the scheme was first launched back in 2002 this apartment type was priced at €2.1 million.

The duplex, located on the first and second floors of the scheme, is a whopping 307sq m (3,300sq ft), about three times the size of the average three-bed semi.

The price represents a value of around €590 per sq ft, in a neighbourhood where house prices had reached €1,000 per sq ft and higher in recent years.

The apartment is in show house condition and looks as though it has barely been lived in since it was completed by Dunne’s company Mountbrook Homes in early 2003.

Hollybrook is an impressive scheme of 42 apartments set behind electronic gates on leafy Brighton Road.

It’s an attractive redbrick low level block of large apartments that were initially pitched at wealthy empty-nesters from the neighbourhood.

With 24-hour concierge service, a gym and very attractive communal areas, Hollybrook has the feel of a luxury hotel, though these come at a price. The service charge for this particular duplex is a whopping €16,000 per year. The high service charge deterred buyers, as did the fact that few of the apartments have balconies.

Developers have cottoned on to this requirement since those days, and now balcony space is considered almost as important as living space while big “winter gardens” - balconies that can be screened off - are de rigueur from Stillorgan to Swords.

Still, the four-bed at Hollybrook would have to be considered good value on its floor area alone. It’s well priced compared to smaller family homes in the area, but is a good deal more glamourous with its pristine interior designed by Peter Johnson.

His and Her parking spaces are included.

Interest only on this place @5% over 30 years is around €100,000 a year.

Then add the service charge.

This place would have cost you around €600,000 to own since 2002 without paying a penny off the principal, and it’s underwater. Plus about €200k stamp duty on the original purchase price.

Canny.

16k! for that you could employ a personal servant!