WIW Danes Hollow, Thormanby Road, Howth, Co. Dublin

Danes Hollow, Thormanby Road, Howth, Co. Dublin
€9,500,000 - 5 Bed Detached House 800 m² / 8611 ft² For Sale
(3.3 acres including all land to cliff path walk; 2.1 acres excluding the scrub land between garden and cliff path walk, per OS)

Irish Times - Riverdance duo’s Howth home for €9.5m

Post Script: Was able to measure this digitally. While the owners past planning documents (several for Danes Hollow on the Fingal Planning website, last being F07B/0841) list the site at 1.8 ha (c. 4.5 acres), that goes down to the beach (bottom of cliffs, which is not right), Ganley list the site at 3.3 acres, which is all the land to the cliff walk (which is the right way), and excluding the “scrub” land between the garden (flat grass) and the cliff walk, gives you 2.1 acre site. i.e it is 3.3 acres of land that feel like 2.1.

Attached is the site plan from their last planning in 2013 (Ref F07B/0841) on the Fingal Planning site.

The owners do own some neighboring land (in blue on the above map), but that was not counted in the F07B/0841 planning. The site plan also shows the guest cottage at the cliff edge which the owners are holding onto. Danes Hollow is a c. 2 acre effective site (and another 1.2 acres of “scrub” or semi-cliffs to the cliff path walk). This is why on google earth, the flat green area of Danes Hollow doesn’t look like a 3.3 acre site (it is actually 2.1 acres). A good comparison is to check the Google Satellite view of Danes Hollow vs. neighboring Long Acre. Long Acre is just over a 3 acre rectangular site (c 12,300 sq m). You can see that the entire Danes Hollow site (to the cliff path walk) is 3.3 acres, however the “useable” site (the “green grass”) is 2.1 acres.

Confusion from Ganly with the scale of the buildings as their planning refers to a 666 sq m house (7,000 sq ft) plus a 51 sq m in deferred construction (not 9,000 sq ft.). Not sure that this looks like a 9,000 sq ft. house but the underground swimming pools and gym / parking might be the issue here in terms of how it is classed.

Some odd script from Ganly Waters here (they should really do a better job given the status of this deal), with emphasis on the shipping passing by (not sure that cargo ships are a classy sell here), and that the house is an “arts & crafts” or “New England style”. These styles are typified by their excessive use of wood (and wood paneling on the outside and inside), which Danes Hollow does not (it is all stone). In fairness, Danes Hollow is of a much better and higher standard of design and construction than “arts & crafts” (very poor label to give it). In fact, I think that Danes Hollow is a really (really) beautifully designed and constructed house (of a standard and taste not often seen in Dublin high-end). You would be hard pressed to build a better design and standard if you started from scratch today (unless you wanted a completely balls-out contemporary glass and steel type house).

No reference to neighboring Carnalea’s recent 5m purchase (because something is odd about that transaction, but we will see, depends if it was full 1.65 acres). Discussed here thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=65846

Still, very hard to value such a unique house, and its positioning and construction are really outstanding.

I’m sure that the land of Danes Hollow itself is worth 3m if not 4m, alone. Long Acre near Danes Hollow, recently sold - and quickly - for 2.5m. While Long Acre was a full 3 acres, it was non-cliff land (other side of road). The Danes Hollow site is far superior imho, being right at the dramatic sea cliffs, and therefore a much more private, and impressive positioning (Long Acre is overlooked and more exposed). Danes’ site alone would get 3.5m (vs. Long Acre), and could get up to 4m for the right buyer.

A +7,000 sq ft very high end house such as this (with massive pool + spa + gardens etc.) would cost over 3m to build (all-in plus VAT and fees) if not more at 3.5m (and higher depending on the fit out of the large spa).

So there is easily 6m, but likely over 7m, of land and build cost here alone.

However, there have been many high-end houses sold in Dublin post the GFC for close (and below) land+cost of build (most recent example being Tudor House in Dalkey (thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=61164). The common thread with such houses, if that the location and site positioning are not perfect (views, prestige, gardens), and thus fails to attract the “money” (and the premium). The only element against Dane Hollow is “da north side” tag. Ultimately, it has to compete with cheaper mega mansions in more affluent areas like Beulah Harbour in Dalkey (where the “real money” lives, and which also has c. 2 acres of usable land down to the sea with an equally beautiful house, but in much more tired condition and no pool / spa etc.). In this regard, I would have added the guest house by the cliff with the deal (you expect such “treats” at this pricing to get it done), which I think would be important in getting a big number, for a north-side house.

However, still an amazing home + site, and will certainly attract a “big price”.

Question is whether it will need another foreign buyer to shift.
Almost all “genuine” Dublin purchases over 6m, post GFC, are foreign related (often an Irish spouse).

Love the massive fireplace in the conservatory - only in Ireland!

Truly stunning…and I doubt whether there’s a better view in all of Dublin. Not only do you get change out of ten million but you can walk to the Summit Inn in about ten minutes.)

(That’s Gaybo’s old house - the flat-roofed place just at the top right of the picture.)

makes you wonder why a foreigner, with 10m to spend, would come to settle in Ireland (vs. the sun).

(however maybe that is what the Riverdance owners are doing. the Irish “money” usually needs to fully sell-up and formally retire to the sun, for their tax planning. you don’t want to be liquidating those BVI trusts, when your original Dublin home is still in your possession, even though you “claim” you don’t live there).

the answer is usually the foreigner comes with an Irish spouse, who wants to school the kids in Ireland.

and that is why it is so hard to sell these houses.

when Haughey did the artists exemption schemes in the 1990s, you had a flurry of UK tax exiles in Killiney and Dalkey (Damon Hill, Eddie Irvine, Van Morrison, Jim Kerr, etc. etc.), but when sunnier climates offered the same deals (Quinta da Lago) they stopped coming. The robo-developers came along in the naughties to keep the party going, but they are now gone (and few of their mega houses even come to the market, as Irish banks don’t foreclose). now it is slim pickings at the higher-end. once a few +3m houses have been sold in Dublin, to soak up domestic demand, that is pretty much it for the year.

If this is targetting an international buyer then being closer to the airport might be a positive relative to Dalkey/Kiliney areas.

There’s a youtube video up - just google the name and address and it comes up.

As noted though, it is not an Arts & Craft house. It is a similar design to a lot of large US seaside houses although they’d have more wood involved.

The house looks fantastic. Amazing views.

I would have thought that this is a highly practical measure in any North European country to allow the enjoyment of a large light-filled room with a view in the Autumn/Winter/Spring.

Maybe. Although in my experience conservatories tend to get pretty toasty when the sun is out regardless of the season. If it’s cloudy and raining I’d rather be in one of my other four cosy living rooms or lolling in my underground jacuzzi!

Great house though and awesome setting.

the folks have a conservatory that they use heavily all year round and you definitely need a heat source in there.

I’m not sharing all the love for this one. Yes, the site is superb, gardens magnificent, and the views unrivalled. But the house itself? Not to my taste if I were dropping 10 mil. There seems to be a hotchpotch of styles, and most of the rooms lack a sense of scale or correct proportion. An overuse of ‘distressed’ effect woods, and weathered stone flooring too. The entrance hall is particularly unattractive imho. (I am, meanwhile, waiting for SoCoDu to rebrand himself NoCoDu and offer his opinion.)

I like it. Perhaps it’s not the way I’d do it myself but if you look at the picture above, at least there’s a symmetry and scale about it that looks better than most “bling” houses. The hall is fine I think (though I’d get rid of that “Cuchulain”-on-his-chariot mural.) There’s a nice selection of rooms to choose from and you wouldn’t feel lost in them either. The kitchen too really isn’t much bigger than many typical suburban houses these days which makes it manageable. The grounds aren’t all that extensive compared to most country estates so maintenance would be relatively easy. The view looking south from Howth is spectacular and much nicer than it is say, from from Killiney, where the sun sets behind most of the “trophy” houses. You really don’t get much evening sun on the south Dublin coast - something I particularly noticed at Coliemore Harbour in Dalkey last summer. Howth on a balmy summer’s evening is hard to beat.

I don’t think I have ever been out to this part of Howth. By the pics of the views I think it is worth a spin out there some time. Very nice setting.