72 Eglinton Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Owned by as few as two families since its construction in 1924, 72 Eglinton Road is easily one of the most attractive and unusual homes in Dublin city. Surrounded by a sea of red-brick homes, this Queen Anne style home unapologetically stands proud on its highly desirable, perfectly south facing site on what is commonly considered to be one of the area’s finest roads. Unlike many of its two-storey over basement Victorian neighbours, the house is a detached two-storey non-basement home – a layout preferred by most.
Originally owned by Mr & Mrs W. B. Brooks, and later by their solicitor son, Mr Philip Toppin Brooks, the home was purchased by the Murphy family after it emerged onto the open market for the first time in late-1986. The house was placed on the market in 2003 for €3.2m by auction before being withdrawn and later placed on the market by private treaty at €3.9m. Having failed to sell, the family continued to reside in the home until it was supposedly sold to a doctor in 2014.
When the Murphy family purchased the property, the house stood on a larger site than it was offered with in 2014 – approximately 0.75 of an acre. Now, the stately home’s garden is a more limited 115ft x 70ft in size. The garden previously was even longer than its current 115ft in length, formerly extending the whole way back to a lane off the Clonskeagh Road, with access via electronic gates. While this was once used for parking, it has obvious other uses, and thus it was most likely being retained for the purpose of redevelopment. In 2004 Dermot Murphy applied for, and was granted permission for, a single storey dwelling on the rear site. The retained site is substantial and would easily accommodate a luxurious mews house, or more unusually it might accommodate a small multi-unit development – which may be a possibility given the pressure for higher density in light of the current housing crisis.
The property was offered on the market in 2014 for €2.75 million on the open market. While the house still enjoys a good garden, this price represents an asking of approximately €917/sqft based on the 3,000sqft size quoted by the selling agent, Gunne. This is quite a contrast with Glenthorne, 134 Sanford Road, a house around the corner which has only recently traded hands for €3.65m, or c. €720/sqft for what must be one of the most lavishly and superbly finished houses in the city. While No. 72 Eglinton Road is charming, warm and inviting, it will not appeal to every buyer as-is. It appears to have some degree of open-plan living, but not to the extent where there is a large, open-plan kitchen, living and dining room all in one to the rear (sunny S facing side) of the house. Indeed, while the kitchen is connected to the rear rooms by not having any door or division between them, I wouldn’t really see this as being the ideal layout for many demanding buyers in today’s market. Nothing is impossible, but to achieve the more relaxed, modern & open-plan living space that most buyers and existing home owners seek to achieve, you would effectively have to destroy one, or both, of the highly formal reception rooms to the rear, and possibly also alter and ruin the home’s beautifully symmetric rear elevation. At the current price, few would be likely to want to do any further work to the home considering they are already paying top dollar.
While the home is now sale agreed, supposedly to a doctor, the property has not yet appeared on the property price register and thus this will be one to watch.