WIW: 81 Park Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin 4

81 Park Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin 4
€4,000,000 - 5 Bed Detached House For Sale

Achieved over 7.1m at the end of 2004.

It was a jaw dropping price at the time for a house not on Ailesbury or Shrewsbury Road.

True test of the upper end of the Dublin market (has been dead for the last 12 months outside of Embassy or Corporate buyers).

NAMA sought judgements in the tens of millions against the owner and his wife not so long ago in respect of properties purchased here and abroad, so I would imagine that this falls into the forced sale category, rather than the downsizing one - although one would imagine their next home will technically be a downsize from this! Prior to splashing out for the Park Avenue pad, owner lived in Redwood Lodge on Merrion Road (AKA 78 & 80 Merrion Road), which was recently for sale for €4m as a development opp - myhome.ie/residential/brochu … -4/2837811. Not sure if this was also still part of their (NAMA’d) portfolio, but it’s not exactly impossible to imagine.

81 Park Avenue is a great house (though could be improved) and fabulous garden - quite possibly the best house on Park Ave, or potential to be if not quite the best at present.

Pretty hard to see this achieving the guide price of €4m, market has slowed down at the higher end and most of the cash buyers have already bought. The new mortgage rules will have an impact for anyone bar a cash buyer trying to buy this. Will be interesting to see how this works out. Would agree with SoCoDu re a forced sale.

My own impression (I might be wrong but this is what I have noticed) is that many of the “forced sales” at the top end are just “phoney sales” and the property is not really for sale by the owner. Claiming it is for sale gives extra time to hold off the bank. After a year or two the trick gets old and the property actually goes up for sale in reality, not just has a cheap myhome listing.


There was really only one period of forced sales in SCD when Bank of Scotland started shutting down in 2012-2013. BOS would put the house was put on the market, and if it didn’t sell in a few months it went to auction and the highest offer accepted.

Since then, we have seen very few foreclosures at the upper end in SCD - upcoming Gorse Hill will be almost a first from an Irish Bank.

There are thousands of people sitting on +4m mortgages (and even +10m), for houses that are in deep negative equity, for which there has been little or low mortgage interest paid for over five years, in SCD.

This is also why Irish banks have no interest in giving +1m mortgages, and why the +2m market is an “all-cash” market.

very informative - makes sense

Would agree. I know someone who would of had a 11m house and a 6 million property in the boom. Was supposed to sell the 6 million to pay for the 11 million but the market crashed etc
They were allowed sell their 11 million for 4 million and move back into their 6 million which would now be worth about 2-2.5 million. on one of Dublin’s premier roads. Still owe the bank millions, I don’t get it

I know of a few cases of this also (and there are surely hundreds of other cases) - only really applies for people who have something to lose. For the all likes of the O’Donnells who were going to lose everything, they will drag it out kicking and screaming as they have nothing to lose. I know of a good few cases of people (mostly developers) with big debts on multiple properties being offered deals to release some properties and move into one - in all cases involved them selling PPR and moving to a smaller one they own. This is all in spite of the people having good six-figure incomes - they get a write off, downgrade and are often left with some sort of debt on the house that they are downgrading to.

The other issue out there is that the current Government have made it very difficult for a bank to ‘force’ a foreclosure. I am told that this legislation might be changed post the 2016 election, but for the moment, it is legally very prohibitive.

Because of this, foreign banks themselves are nervous about getting into the Irish Mortgage market, and in particular the upper end of it.

Beautiful period house on a one of Dublin top roads. If money was no issue I always think these type houses are ideal, large but not over sized 2-story red brick period houses surrounded by similar. Was expecting it to be much more Celtic tigery on the inside considering it was brought for €7m in 2004. Was surprised by looking at the house that it was on 0.7 of an acre given the plot width. looking on google maps the garden goes back for ages. possibly its too deep for its width.

New listing for the autumn, still asking 4m
myhome.ie/residential/brochu … -4/3396523

Back up on the market again, I wonder is it properly for sale and if there is a for sale sign outside this time?

Would these types of houses really have been bought with mortgages? I always assumed it was an all cash buyer market; I didn’t realise such large personal mortgages were ever given out.

There was some discussion around 2011 of jumbo mortgages, e.g. this

namawinelake.wordpress.com/2011 … dependent/

(with pinster input)

Brendan Burgess reckoned there were less than 2500 1m+ mortgages, which would suggest that the number of 4m+ mortgages would not be “thousands”, and certainly not of the simple one-mortgage-one-property type (many would be cross-secured and/or portfolio loans).

I tried to buy a house (priced well under a million, though probably well over that at peak values) from a builder/developer a couple of years back, but it was pulled from the market according to the EA because it was “impossible” to extract from the spaghetti of loans, properties, and banks involved.

Memory might be failing on exact times (years catch up, especially so in my case). In early 2003, the SCD market lit-up.

Anglo were providing key customers with “loans” for personal houses. These were for large amounts, interest only, tracker structure. Not sure that these would be classed as “mortgages” ? They were however “personal loans” (in the documentation) and came with a full PG, and a proviso that Anglo would be putting in a full charge over the asset in question (but often never did).

AIB, BOI, and the other banks followed suit just as aggressively in the years after.

Anglo, used these loans as “hooks” for key people. They were not just for key clients (developers / builders etc.), but also key advisers in deals that banks would want to be in on (law firm partners, major commercial EAs, accountancy partners).

Irish Nationwide were the pioneers of this, but with a darker objective.

Whereas pre-2003, houses on the best roads in core Dublin traded for c. 3-4m, by 2006, they traded for 10-12m (3x in 3-4 years). The professionals went for core D4 (Raglan, Wellington) and D6 (Palmerston), as it was close to office. The developers, who were not in Dublin traffic / office hours, often went for sites in Foxrock / Blackrock, where they could build a McMansion.

As commonly happens in markets, the rise in high end resi-values (due to increased bank credit), saw banks significantly extend wider credit to all others (doctors, dentists, smaller developers / investors), on the basis that if the customer couldn’t handle the payments, the house could be flipped on with no loss (because their prices kept on rising).

That is why the upper-end of the Dublin market is still way off its peak compared to the lower end. If you took out the ex-pat, and Embassy / Corporate buyers from SCD market, it would be in even worse shape.

It is also why you almost never see an Irish bank foreclosure at the upper end (you did with BOS).

Since the sale of the Anglo loan book last year to hedge funds, you have seen more activity, however, in a lot of cases (i.e Malahide and Howth), the house is put on with a high asking price which is not going to shift for a few years (BOS had this issue, but then just forced properties to auction with highest prices accepted). I’m not sure whether the borrowers have the same protections as ordinary “mortgages” (I’m not even sure if they are legally “mortgages”).

Someone I know well took out a €5m mortgage in 06 - 4m for purchase, 1m for refurb, no deposit required! It was a 10 year interest only tracker.

He wasn’t a big cheese; a smaller developer who had acquired a few rental properties since mid 90s. Proudly hasn’t paid a penny on mortgage since 2010, and is still in house, seemingly unconcerned about what happens next year when term is up, certainly no intention of leaving.

He is by no means unusual in top end houses - safety in numbers is the only reason he and others are remaining in these properties.

I think the top end is where the bulk of the strategic default is happening, and a lot of these guys will cut a deal with either the bank or buy back their loans from vulture funds etc.

Worst case scenario eventually they lose the house but will have had 5 years or more free use of some of the nicest properties in the country whilst the rest of us pick up the tab!

The really smart money knows that repossession is virtually impossible in Ireland and paying a mortgage is for suckers.

I posted that a good while back but was criticized for it (however I could understand this).

However, in the mean time, the sale of Anglo loan books means that:

  1. The loss from non-payment has been crystallized via lower loan buy-out price, and

  2. The gain from ultimate repossession, will be captured for vulture fund, and

  3. Minimal tax will be paid on this gain (schmuck insurance), as the vulture funds are structured to minimize it.

Make a farce out of AIB repaying billions in 2016 when they have hardly had any residential foreclosures ?

Its back at €4.6m


Not on the PPR from 2015.

Looks a very ambitious price for a rather uninspiring house.