Bottoms up as floorless house price doubles

Irish house prices went through the roof in the boom, and through the floor in the collapse. Now, they’ve shot back out of the basement. Literally.

Sold at auction yesterday, for almost double its €200,000 reserve at €382,000, was ‘the house with a hole in it’, a period, terraced, Monkstown, Co Cork, home with missing floors, leaving one big booby trap — or money trap — for the unwary.

The sheer drop from living room door to basement rooms below did not, however, dissuade buyers planning moves on the property ladder, and seven or eight all-cash bidders went after this home in need of a dig-out.

In a quirky case of buyers meeting cellars at the Cohalan Downing auction in the Imperial Hotel, five went as far as €300k, and three of them dug deep, prepared to go over €350,000. Just nine minutes after the auction action began, it was down to two, but like the line in the Paul Simon song “one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor” — and the auction hammer fell on the house at a hefty €382,000, in front of a floored audience of 50.

“The buyer is a local family man who is delighted with his purchase, He faced very stiff competition but he knows houses just don’t come along very often in this great stretch, looking right into Cork harbour,” said Cohalan Downing auctioneer Malcolm Tyrrell afterwards. “You can’t replicate these homes.”

The 1,800 sq ft Victorian semi-d, No 5 Marine Villas, came to market as an executor sale, and had been empty for three years.

It’s likely it will swallow a further €200,000 or so to get to tip-top condition, but it looks like the market is already risen off the floor.

More on this topic

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