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15 May 2018

Posted in:  First Time Buyer

With news breaking of buyers camping outside properties to secure a viewing, it’s a tough time to be a first-time buyer in Dublin.

But all hope isn’t lost: there’s still plenty of opportunity for savvy buyers who are keen to get ahead of the curve. While red bricked havens like Phibsborough and Drumcondra were go-tos a few years back, the times have moved on – and so too have the ‘must-have’ spots in Ireland’s fair city.

While a bevy of cool cafés and Insta-worthy restaurants are a plus, artisanal products usually lead to elevated prices – and it’s these same prices that are driving many FTBs away from the property ladder.

Today, we’re taking a look at 15 affordable first-time buyer hotspots in Dublin.


The D12 trio of Drimnagh, Crumlin, and Kimmage (or the collective, affectionate portmanteau of ‘Drummage’) is a vibrant hub for first-time buyers.

According to Daft’s latest housing report, D12 represents good value with two- or three-bed semi-detacheds going for €233,000 or €338,000 respectively.

Crumlin’s recent rejuvenation has made it a top choice for buyers. Close to the city centre and warm to both locals and blow-ins, Crumlin represents good value with a smattering of nearby amenities.

Drimnagh, too, is boosted by its closeness to the Luas Red line, with Dublin city centre a handy 20-minute trip away. Mourne Road is a particular hat tip for its warm buzz and proximity to the tram.

For those working in south Dublin, Kimmage could be the perfect stop-gap. Nearby Rathgar, Rathmines, and Terenure are too pricey for most FTBs, with houses in excess of €500,000.

Kimmage’s demographic has been changing with younger families calling it home. The property market here has a smattering of period homes and a handful of properties bearing sale prices of less than €300,000.

Expand the search further to Drimnagh and Crumlin and Daft returns 52 properties in that price point – which details just how viable the up-and-coming ‘Drummage’ is.

living in dublin

Okay, so it’s no Tribeca but HipNiC – or Hipster North Inner City – has been on the rise for the past few years. Now, the area has been boosted with the news that two substantial academic buildings have been given the go-ahead with a completion date for September 2020 in the expansion of DIT’s campus in Grangegorman.

The work is intended to bring 10,000 students and 600 staff together, with the creation of more than 1,300 jobs – which will be a major boon for the area and will likely predicate an influx of stellar restaurants and coffee shops.

That means we can expect a knock-on effect to the north inner city at large, with an emphasis on the already-bustling Smithfield and Stoneybatter.

Stoneybatter is enduringly popular and has a neighbourly effect on Smithfield. With a mix of old Dublin charm and incredible coffee shops and restaurants, the two areas are an emerging cultural mecca. Local eateries include Love Supreme, Proper Order, Slice, Wuff, Cotto, L.Mulligan Grocer and Lilliput to name a few – as well as cultural hang-outs such as the Lighthouse cinema.

Apartments and smaller houses in the north inner city trifecta start at around €185,000 with over 20 properties in the under €350,000 bracket, at the time of writing.
Lesser known now, but offering value are Broadstone (the southernmost part of Phibsborough), and Grangegorman, a small area between Stoneybatter and Phibsborough.

Outer suburban idylls

Dublin is a city of villages – and a city of sprawling suburbs. Dublin 8 is endemic of that, with its mix of art students in NCAD alongside the ‘true Dublin’ of the Liberties and its antiques quarter.

But the suburbs stretch further too, encapsulating areas such as Swords and Lucan – a duo with just as much character as its D8 siblings.

The morning commute from Swords or Lucan could be an hour plus on off-days on the M50 but the trade-off is value for money.

Between Swords and Lucan, Daft.ie lists 175 properties up to €350,000. Swords has the Pavilion for all your shopping needs and is especially handy for holidays, with the airport on its doorstep.

Lucan, meanwhile, may be known for Jedward and the Old Lucan Spa Hotel, but it’s also close to Grange Castle Business park (industry giants like Google, Microsoft, and Pfizer have offices here) and it’s a close spin to Liffey Valley Shopping Centre while Phoenix Park is nearby for balmy summer days out.

The Property Price Register lists recent sales including a property for €276,000 in Esker Manor up to €390,000 for popular new builds in Shackleton Park.

Go (south) West

According to Daft.ie’s latest housing report, west county Dublin edges out the rest of the city for affordability, clocking in at an average house price of €306,747.

Saggart is at the heart of that, as Dublin’s fastest growing town with a population increase of 46.1 percent from 2011 to 2016. It’s far enough west to be considered on the edge of town, but it’s still got plenty going for it, not least of all in property price and the ease of travel with the M50 and the Luas line.

luas dublin

Townhouses and apartments start in around the €200,000 mark while semi-detached and terraced homes are harder to come by, with prices stretching beyond €300,000.

On the Luas line too is Tallaght, which has undergone an urban metamorphosis in recent years with the Square and Rua Red, a 4-storey arts building. The National Basketball Arena is nearby while Shamrock Rovers FC call Tallaght home.

Tallaght is also one of the best places in Dublin for community spirit with many of its older estates still occupied by the original owners. As with Dublin as a whole, prices vary considerably, with 84 properties listed on Daft in the region of €135,000 (a one-bed apartment) to €350,000 for a spacious 4-bed, semi-detached in Ellensborough Rise.

Moving towards the city centre but still Dublin west-adjacent is Clondalkin. A diverse mix of suburban estates and history, it’s also home to vegetarian nirvana/Wicklow supplant in the Happy Pear at the round tower. Above all else, it’s ideally located with easy access to the Square, Liffey Valley, and the city centre.

Alongside the Happy Pear, there’s a good choice in eateries with the Honeycomb Bakery and East Village Coffee on Monastery Road.

House prices are attractive too with the Property Price Register listing over 50 sales since the turn of 2018 in the under €350,000 bracket. A plan to build over 100 properties in a social housing estate in Clondalkin was also greenlit in mid-2017, so expect more development for the south-west suburb.


Rounding out our list of affordable shouts for FTBs is the ‘ABC’ of Dublin – or Artane, Beaumount, and Coolock, a bundle of suburban neighbours entrenched in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
A house in any of the ABC will hit you in the pocket – but that’s not unexpected given the proximity to town.

Artane has even got the seal of approval from a SAS report that used machine learning to analyse five million data points from around the world to decide where the nicest places to live are. West Perth, Australia came out on top – though Artane was ranked among Ireland’s finest.

If machine learning doesn’t quite do it for you, property prices are a draw. Expect to pay in the range of €225,000 for an apartment in Timbermill while house prices range from €265,000 upwards for a terraced home.

Coolock’s also got the Odeon and the Leisureplex while Beaumount is best known for its hospital. It’s ideal for young families with a choice of schools and a demographic that skews young.

The Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, the Helix, and Croke Park are all nearby, while there’s an abundance of pubs and restaurants to choose from.

While first-time buyers might be wary of rising house prices in Dublin, there’s still plenty of good value to be had, with new and emerging hotspots coming to attention all the time.

Are you looking to buy a house in Dublin?

Before you go house hunting it's a good idea to get your mortgage arranged – or at least discussed so you know where you stand.

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

If you'd like to talk through your mortgage options book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with your local Mortgage Master. You can use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.

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.

All prices quoted are based on asking prices displayed on Daft.ie and were correct at the time of writing, May 2018.

EBS d.a.c. is an authorised agent and servicer of EBS Mortgage Finance (a wholly-owned subsidiary of EBS d.a.c.). EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. EBS Mortgage Finance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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