Developer slashes price of €1m four-bed detached homes and penthouses

(Stock photo)

Shawn Pogatchnik

The price of high-end homes is being slashed by property developer Glenveagh as it shifts its focus to starter homes in the suburbs.

Most are in its flagship Marina Village in Greystones and include penthouses and four-bed detached homes costing €1m or more.

The priciest are on one of the nation's most exclusive addresses, Shrewsbury Road in Dublin 4.

Some analysts say the move reflects the growing risk of a downturn in home prices, with Ireland officially in recession.

But others see Glenveagh chasing the next pot of gold - the potential for easier profits in commuter-belt developments which are about to get massive price supports from government subsidies.

Glenveagh chief executive Stephen Garvey confirmed it has started cutting prices on more than 220 properties ranging in price from €500,000 up to €5m. The move forced a €20.3m write-off in the firm's interim accounts.

Mr Garvey said about one in 10 of the Marina Village properties has already been reserved or sold as a result of price cuts that started three to four weeks ago.

He said Glenveagh's goal is to generate at least €100m in cash from discounted sales on its highest-end properties and recycle those funds into the construction of at least 1,000 commuter belt starter homes next year.

"We feel that by getting that €100m in the next 12 months, rather than drip-feeding it over the next four years, we can reinvest that €100m in the core focus of the business, the more affordable end," Mr Garvey said.

Some market watchers see Glenveagh's move as a tell-tale sign that a wider downward correction on slow-to-move properties is under way.

"It was clear last year that the housing market already was in trouble, particularly at the higher end due to lack of affordability," said Orla Hegarty, assistant professor of architecture at UCD.

"The concerns were there before Covid, and this current market has accelerated that. We are heading into a very ­difficult time."

She said developers like Glenveagh drop prices only when they must. Their move, she said, reflects wider weakness in the market.

"All around the south side of Dublin there's loads of high-end stuff that's not selling."

However, Mr Garvey said his firm wanted to generate as much cash from assets that weren't selling well and put those earnings into its stable of commuter-belt developments, where sales are buoyant at prices averaging less than €300,000 a home.

He said Glenveagh would focus solely on delivering these homes from now on.

Architect and market analyst Mel Reynolds said Glenveagh's shift makes sense because the Government is likely soon to pump €200m in supports into buying starter homes.

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