While Ireland private rented sector is burgeoning, Dublin's city centre is almost off-limits for buyers

For those with aspirations to buy a home in the capital, the city centre is no longer first-time buyer territory.

By Stephanie Patterson Lisney

Much of 2019 has seen Dublin’s city skyline awash with cranes, but many of the city centre builds are commercial blocks.

A number of the new apartment blocks have already been picked up by institutional investors who plan to rent them out.

Deeper pockets are required when it comes to any available units within these schemes, which are likely to have the greatest appeal for buyers downsizing within the area or working professionals who require a central Dublin base.

Lisney has the only residential, off-plan new homes scheme currently for sale within the Dublin 2 postcode – 40 apartments in Hanover Court, a Park Developments building.

Should aspiring city dwellers find themselves caught in the rental cycle, however, they may have a greater choice of accommodation, with the burgeoning private rented sector (PRS) growing from strength to strength to provide more professional rented accommodation.

This is evidenced by An Bord Pleanala’s recent decision to grant permission for another 757 residential units in Dublin and Co Meath under its fast track planning process. Of the units, almost 500 of them were BTR (build to rent) permissions planned for Walkinstown, D12.

Looking just outside Dublin city centre, the highest house price growth was in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, at 8.3%.

That’s in comparison to a 5.5% house price growth in Dublin City. CSO figures show that the median price of a home nationally is now about €237,000, with the highest median price reported in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown at €525,000.

This provides a ready market for Dublin builders and we can expect about 250 new units to come on stream on brand new sites this year with further phases coming from existing large schemes in Rathfarnham, Carrickmines, Stepaside, Leopardstown and Glenageary.

Those seeking greater affordability may look further to Cherrywood, though it’s likely they will have to wait a little longer for completion of what is effectively a brand-new town in the south county suburb.

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When complete, the €1 billion mixed-use development will have 1,269 build-to-rent apartments, retail and office space as well as high-amenity leisure space.

The shift towards renting in the city centre signals what is likely to be a long term move away from traditional housing methods. Alternative models such as co-living and the creation of developments which allow residents to trade up and down over their life cycle need to be planned for.

Stephanie Patterson is the divisional director for new homes at Lisney.

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