This week, an eagle-eyed pinster over at thepropertypin.com spotted an unusually large sale on the Property Price Register – see above. Walford on Shrewsbury Road in Dublin sold for €14m (exactly) on 29th March, 2013. The Dublin Estates blog has been following the Walford saga for some time, and reports the sale and has nice piccies as well.
The property had been on the market in late 2011 through Savills with an “Advised Minimum Value” of €15m and there was a closing date for bids in November 2011.
Walford is a crumbling, and not particularly grand, Edwardian detached home – pictured above – but its attractiveness in the past was derived from its 2 acres of attached land in the heart of Ballsbridge. It was purchased by Matsack Nominees Limited, an anonymous trust company in 2005 for €58m. There have been frequent reports in the old media – for example, here – that it was the Dunnes, Sean and Gayle who purchased it. The plans to build an ultra-exclusive estate never materialized, and with the collapse of the property sector, the land rapidly lost its value, indeed there will be many who will dispute its worth at €14m today and the PPR is noted for its volume of errors.
We don’t know the buyer yet. But they will be pleased to learn the new property tax will only apply to the house and 1 acre of amenity land, they will not pay a cent in property tax on the second acre. And until we identify the buyer, we can’t be even sure that the buyer will pay stamp duty or if the sale will ultimately involve the transfer of shares in a company with most of the €14m being paid off-shore. And if there is a change in beneficiary to a trust, then similar tax avoidance may be lawfully deployed to avoid stamp duty. Galling, isn’t it?
Separately, it is understood from reliable sources that the other great Celtic Tiger residential play, Gortanore, the 3-acre property in Foxrock with planning permission, has sold for €5.05m to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of its embassy. It was understood last October 2012 that it was under offer from the KSA. At time of writing Jones Lang LaSalle, one of the two joint selling agents, had not responded to a request for comment.