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How to buy in Dublin city centre without a massive mortgage

EBS Liffey Street10

17 Feb 2017

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An urban lifestyle sipping cappuccinos in hipster cafes and strolling into work in five minutes sounds very nice. But it's just one of the reasons more people are choosing to buy homes near Dublin city centre.

Price is another big incentive. The North City, for example, has the lowest median asking price of any part of Dublin at €270,000 compared with €330,000 in the south city. However, this gap is closing fast – and prospective buyers know it.

 

Dublin city centre apartment value

Unlike the suburbs, where houses are the main attraction, much of buyer attention in the city area focuses on apartments.

"A standard two-bedroom apartment in the city has gone up by €40k-€50k (in total)," says Elaine Flynn, manager of the EBS branch in Liffey Street, Dublin 1.

"We're seeing people who thought they were going to sell for €150k getting €180k or even €190k."

But apartments in the city centre are still cheaper than many houses in the suburbs and many are under the €250,000 mark which won't buy you much in other parts of Dublin.

Hefty rent hikes are also encouraging many young couples to buy a home of their own.

"The rental market is very buoyant for landlords but tenants are finding it tough. In one case we've seen, a customer saw his rent increase from €1,200 to €1,500 in a month," Elaine recalls.

That would be enough to repay a €200,000 home loan in 15 years – or €280,000 over 25 years.

 

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Dublin city for First Time Buyers

So while some prices may be high for these city centre pads, they do provide a lifeline for First Time Buyers who are tired of renting. "In the past most Irish buyers would have aspired to the traditional house with a driveway and garden in the suburbs," says Elaine. "But with the last 12 months we're seeing a lot more buying apartments in the city centre."

"Once people get used to city living, many prefer to live there and they don't mind buying an apartment."

Buyers originally from other European cities never had a problem with apartments as they probably grew up in one - apartment living is often the norm in continental Europe.

EBS will provide up to 75% finance for a one bed apartment; but two-bed apartments (and bigger) qualify for 90% loans for First Time Buyers.

Elaine notes a lot of interest in the International Financial Services Centre even though it is one of the dearest parts of the city.

A one-bed apartment can cost around €235,000 and large two-beds can go for €300,000 and more.

Overall, Elaine says, city centre living has pros and cons but people who are used to it like living there.

"You have literally everything on your doorstep: cinemas, theatres, cafes, restaurants and the main cultural attractions," Elaine adds.

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Where's best in the City centre?

Dublin city for First Time Buyers

If you want a relatively low-cost pad, look to the area around Parnell Street and Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, where a nice big four-bed is currently on the market for €245,000.

Smithfield in Dublin 7 had one beds from €150k - and two-beds for €230,000, according to Elaine.

A house will cost a bit more than that and Elaine warns: "First Time Buyers should be careful with older houses as many are in need of renovation which requires extra finance."

Dublin city centre for families

"South Circular Road is ideal for families with plenty of schools in the area," says Elaine. These include a St Patrick's Cathedral Grammar School and Synge Street CBS, whose list of past pupils includes some of Dublin's most celebrated authors, actors, politicians, footballers as well as World War Two ace pilot Paddy Finucane*!

However, you would have to go out as far as Kilmainham and Inchicore to get sizeable properties for less than €300k.

East Wall has also become popular with three-bedroom homes available from €180k (as an asking price). Stoneybatter is another viable option, with many houses having a backyard in lieu of a garden.

Dublin city for commuters

Anywhere in the city centre is obviously handy for commuting. And even if you're working outside the city, buses, Luas and Dart services all converge there too.

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City Centre facts for buyers: Did you know?

Smithfield in Dublin 7 featured as Checkpoint Charlie in the movie The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

In 1964 the actor Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor spent time there, as Burton worked on the film adaptation of John Le Carré's famous novel.

Thinking of buying a house in Dublin city centre?

Whether you're looking for a house or an apartment, the main thing is to have your mortgage arranged – or at least know where you stand when it comes to getting one.

Get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer and Next Time Buyer guides.

If you'd like to talk through your mortgage options you can book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with Elaine or one of the team at the EBS branch in Liffey Street! You can use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.

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Why not pay us a visit on our Facebook page for more great house-hunting tips, home living advice, or just for some general merriment?

Elaine Flynn Financial Services Ltd trading as EBS Liffey Street is a tied mortgage agent acting solely on behalf of EBS d.a.c. EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

House Prices taken from MyHome.ie accessed May 2017.

*If we mention celebrities, we're not saying they love us. They secretly might, but it doesn't mean they endorse us.

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