COUNTRY buyers with cash in their pockets have been trawling Dublin for homes for their college-bound children in the past few weeks – and many will be closing on deals next week, when CAO offers come out.
But with the property market in the state it’s in, there’s a lot on offer that could interest investors, ranging from a city centre two-bedroom apartment in the appropriately named College Gate development near Trinity for €190,000 to an eight-bedroom guest-house in Ranelagh for €735,000.
Buying a house or apartment to house one or more third-level offspring is cheaper than paying rents – if you don’t have to borrow – especially as prices continue to fall in the city while rents have stabilised, according to the latest Daft report.
However, Moneycoach.ie’s Frank Conway sounds a cautionary note about investing in property for your student children: if you don’t have the cash to pay for it “the chances of securing finance is very, very low” he says.
“This will rule the majority of people out of this option. For those that can either secure financing or have the cash to purchase, again, they need to do so on a long-term basis. A four-year college course comes to an end quickly, their student may decide college is not for them and take off to another city . . .”
However, for those with cash, three and four-bedroom houses are popular says Martin Doyle, of Sherry FitzGerald’s Drumcondra office, which deals in properties close to DCU and on cross town bus routes. “Parents will buy for their first child at college and rent the extra rooms to other students until younger children move to Dublin.” It’s a long-standing tradition and one that hasn’t changed much with the downturn, according to agents.
Southside properties currently on the market include 86 Roebuck Castle, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14, a three-bedroom terraced house: it would be very handy for anyone attending UCD as it’s just behind the Belfield campus. It’s for sale through Douglas Newman Good.
A student going to Trinity College, Dublin, couldn’t get much closer than 38 College Gate, Townsend Street, Dublin 2. This is a third floor apartment with two double bedrooms for sale through Felicity Fox for €190,000. It’s a few minutes’ walk to Trinity, in walking distance of DIT and close to buses for UCD or DCU.
Most parents are looking for houses or apartments at the lower-priced end of the market according to Fiona Gilsenan at Felicity Fox. But an ambitious parent/investor with a lot of spare cash might find Tavistock, 64 Ranelagh Road, Dublin 6, an interesting proposition: this eight-bedroom semi-detached Victorian redbrick – for sale through Savills for €735,000 – is currently a guest-house, so all bedrooms are en suite.
Near the junction of Ranelagh Road and Northbrook Road, it’s a reasonable walk/cycle/bus ride into Dublin city centre, not too far from UCD as well as being close to a Luas stop.
On the northside, there’s a house in Gaeltacht Park that’s a short walk to DCU: 15 Innishmaan Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9 is a four-bedroom house for sale for €335,000 fpr sale through Property Team Lappin.
And 17 St Pappin’s Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 11, is a three-bedroom end-of-terrace house very close to DCU. It is for sale throughSherry FitzGerald for €279,000.
Families willing to wait a few weeks mioght get a good deal at one of the distressed property auctions that are becoming a regular feature of the market. Allsop/Space expects to have over 100 properties in its September 23rd auction.
Agent Stephen McCarthy says it will have a number of one and two-bedroom apartments in Dublin’s inner city – e.g., Smithfield, Cork Street and Francis Street – with guides from €100,000 to €150,000 in the auction. In its last property auction, e.g., a single investor paid €250,000 for five apartments near Tallaght IT.
Report by FRANCES O'ROURKE - Irish Times