Want to start the process?

Let us guide you through the mortgage process

Schedule a free consulation at info@dowlingfinancial.ie, or fill our the form and we will follow up with you shortly.

Tell us about yourself

By filling in the form, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including our cookie use.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Dublin’s cool Northside moves ahead of stuffy Southside to hold the housing hotspots

    Q Two northsiders are travelling in a car. The music is turned off and the windows are up. Who’s driving?

    A: The Garda.

    Q: How does a southsider call in a sickie?

    A: Daddy, I don’t feel well.

    Q: What’s the first question at a northsider pub quiz?

    A: What are you looking at?

    Q: What’s a creche?

    A: When two cars collide in Blackrock.

    The schoolyard jokes are never ending and most are more ribald. All are based on the assumption that Dublin’s southside is full of over wealthy, spoiled and privileged toffs while north of the river is the realm of the tracksuit wearing welfare chav.

    The friendly (mostly) rivalry between Dublin’s two halves has been with us for generations and soaked into popular literature, from Roddy Doyle’s northsider Commitments (“the blacks of Dublin”) to Paul Howard’s southsider schmooze Ross O’Carroll Kelly with his South Dublin Guide Book – How to Get By on Ten Grand a Day. It’s been on TV with Damo and Ivor and in advertising with the long running Bulmers “north cider/ south cider” campaign.

    Jokes aside, each will claim that their side has a distinctly different character to it. Northside villages might be tattier, and the streets narrower, but claim to be far livelier places with less pretention and more craic. Southsiders will cite the elegance of their street architecture, the leafier lanes, wider spaces and politer attitudes. But 250 years ago it was the other way around – the northside with Luke Gardiner’s elegant Georgian terraces and squares was far swishier. Then the country’s most envied aristo, James FitzGerald, the Earl of Kildare, turned it all on its head by commencing the city’s most inspiring private residence. But Leinster House was commenced on the then grubby southside of the city.

    So influential was Kildare that his move slowly cranked the fulcrum of city society south. The upmarket squares of Merrion and FitzWilliam followed and filled with O’Carroll Kellys-to-be. And as the northside’s best homes were abandoned, they became the slums. Later the wealthy Anglo Irish moved south en masse – for big houses built on private estate lands in the Pembroke and Rathmines councils districts of Rathmines, Rathgar, Ranelagh and Donnybrook. Finally, when the first Catholic middle classes emerged in the mid to late 19th century, they made their homes around the bishop’s palace, northside. Lines of class, religion and wealth stereotypes were reinforced.

    But two and a half centuries later, might we be set for another unexpected volte face?

    A few months ago, Time Out declared Stoneybatter in Dublin 7 to be Ireland’s coolest suburb and 42nd of the 50 Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World. The previous year neighbouring Phibsborough was voted the world’s 27th coolest enclave. Southside staples like Blackrock, Portobello, Ranelagh and Rathmines were not at the races.

    But you don’t have to ask Time Out. Dublin’s estate agents will tell you (if only off the record) that Dublin’s northside now holds the hot spots that enthrall the younger go-ahead professionals with money to spend. They want a house in Stoneybatter, Philbsborough, Drumcondra and Cabra. Twenty years ago they’d have been slugging it out southside, in bidding battles over Ranelagh and Portobello.

    Their older equivalents meantime are gravitating up the ladder to Sutton and Malahide and most especially, Clontarf.

    South of the river the crash wiped out alot of the ‘new money’ in D4, leaving its hallowed boulevards to a posh but much older populace. To a lesser extent it’s also true of D6.

    And these days the Killiney and Dalkey “rock broker belt” of 1990’s lore is more like the ‘put on your safety’ belt. All the trendy stuff, as Time Out discovered, has been happening north of the river. So it makes sense that young home buyers are following. Even Dublin’s hipster HQ hopped the river divide last year when the GB Shaw Bar abandoned Portobello and re-emerged northside in Glasnevin, albeit amid a controversial northsider/southsider social media notification campaign. Suffocated by outmoded rack renting retail leases, the southside is drop kicking business across the river.

    What’s more, with the environment now ranking high among younger wealthier buyers, traditionally outsized southside abodes that are simply too big to be retrofitted, are just not on the menu. Go down a rung and Dublin house prices are such that middle-class young professionals from both sides of the river are faced with the choice of acquiring a three or four-bed semi in the commuter belt, outside the city altogether; or else heading straight for edgier north central with its cool bars, cafes and eateries. Here two-up two-downs can still be got for under €380k and family homes of character for €450k. For self-employed self-starters who work off laptop and phone, it’s been no contest for some years now.

    It started with Stoneybatter in the 1990s amidst a city centre revitalising with Section 23 apartments. Previously those who graduated from city central flatlands bought first homes in the suburbs. But those who started out in the new apartments really enjoyed the growing and lively city centre social scene and didn’t care much for a twice daily submersion in ever-thickening suburban traffic.

    Stoneybatter’s terraces ticked the boxes. Young lawyers, creatives and those working in the arts in particular bought them, ditched the car and started their families there. And when it came to trading up, they looked to their doorsteps. The ban on bedsits and the wipe-out of pre ’63 landlords brought lots of affordable and manageable mid-sized period houses to market in D7 and D9 ready for refurb.

    But it was the arrival of northside Luas that blew it into orbit. And the new DIT Grangegorman campus, the success of the IFSC and proximity to the social media hub. Overseas professionals voted with their feet to live in D1’s IFSC. So now Phibsborough is the new Portobello, Stoneybatter the new Rathmines and Clontarf is the new Ballsbridge.

    Q: What is a southsider doing in a house in Dublin 7?

    A: Calling a mortgage broker. Fast.

    News by independent.ie, edited by Dowling Financial.

    Photo by Matteo Grando on Unsplash

    Latest news

    Things worth noting

    • Mark Keenan: Spare a thought this Father’s Day for the separated dads trapped in a soul-destroying housing limbo

      A joke I’ve heard more than once from separated dads goes as follows: If two gay men get divorced in Ireland, who gets the house? […]

      Read more

    • Spanish bank to shake up mortgage market here with 30-year fixed-rate loans

      Spanish-owned mortgage provider Avant Money has upped the ante on its rivals by offering a range of new long-term fixed rates. The provider is the […]

      Read more

    • The real problem is ministers don’t actually believe there is a housing crisis

      If the Government can’t come up with a radical housing solution, the Coalition parties will find themselves redundant. It is telling that what lit a […]

      Read more

    • Calls for cashback mortgages probe before State uses money to back Ulster Bank loans sale

      The Government has placed its State-owned Permanent TSB as well as AIB, which owns the EBS mortgage lender, in the lead positions to buy large […]

      Read more

    • Irish banking sinks deeper into crisis as KBC follows Ulster out the door

      Commentators sound alarm bells as the ‘two big boys’ look set to control 70% of the Irish mortgage market The shock decision by KBC Bank, […]

      Read more

    • Michael Dowling: Banks are misleading customers with costly cashback mortgage incentives

      Irish mortgage interest rates have gone back to being the dearest in the eurozone and we need to focus on immediate changes that can be […]

      Read more

    • Broker says lenders are using wage subsidy scheme to refuse mortgages

      Lenders have been accused of using the State wage subsidy scheme to “blackball” mortgage applicants. It comes after it emerged that lenders are now turning […]

      Read more

    • Calls for cashback mortgages probe before State uses money to back Ulster Bank loans sale

      The Government will need to launch an investigation into “the exploitation” of first-time homebuyers lured by cashback incentives before it commits taxpayers’ money into State-owned […]

      Read more

    • “We nearly lost dream home because bank got jitters over wage subsidy”

      A leading bank was set to deny a couple a mortgage to buy their dream home, just as they were about to draw down the […]

      Read more

    • Mortgage lenders push back against automatic payment breaks during lockdown

      Mortgage lenders have pushed back against a call by a leading broker to re-introduce automatic payment breaks for people who will be unable to work […]

      Read more

    • Demand for mortgage exemptions expected to surge this year

      APPLICATIONS for mortgage exceptions are expected to surge to record levels in January as lenders respond to pent-up demand from borrowers. Exemptions to the strict […]

      Read more

    • Controversial equity release loans for older people are back

      An equity release provider is reopening in this market years after the banking crash closed off the availability of these loans. Equity release involves older […]

      Read more

    • Experts cautious about 2021 property market

      Property prices are predicted to take a minor dip in 2021 before recovering to current levels by the end of next year, according to two […]

      Read more

    • Borrowers here paying €2,000 more a year than European counterparts

      This was down 14 basis points on the same month last year. But the average across the euro area is less than half of this […]

      Read more

    • Ulster Bank ‘self-inflicted review will mean Irish mortgages will remain costliest in Europe’

      The uncertainty over the future of Ulster Bank is already helping the big two mortgage lenders, AIB and Bank of Ireland tighten further their grip […]

      Read more

    • Home loan limbo – the growing number of buyers struggling to get their mortgages

      Many housebuyers who’ve been directly or indirectly affected by the Covid crisis are experiencing issues with banks and accessing mortgages. Those who will struggle to […]

      Read more

    • Average Irish person now ‘worth’ €166k

      The impact of Covid-19 has been to make households wealthier while the State sunk €14bn deeper into debt, according to the Central Bank’s Quarterly Financial […]

      Read more

    • Lenders told to be upfront with mortgage applicants on impact of wage supports

      BANKS and other lenders have been told to be upfront with mortgage applicants whose employers are using the State wage subsidy scheme. It comes after […]

      Read more

    • Mortgage holders leaving thousands of euro on the table by failing to switch home loan providers – CBI research

      Some mortgages could save more than €1000 in the first year and more than €10,000 over the remaining term of the loan. Mortgage holders are […]

      Read more

    • What the loss of Ulster Bank would mean for consumers

      When news broke on Friday that NatWest, parent of Ulster Bank was considering the winding down of the Bank, the market was surprised. It had […]

      Read more

    • Your money: Seven things you must know on the new mortgage playing field

      Cheaper home loans will be up for grabs for house hunters and homeowners in the coming weeks and months following the entry of a new […]

      Read more

    • Spanish giant to rattle the cages of big firms who have Irish market cornered

      You would be forgiven for thinking that competition in the mortgage market had gone by the wayside, like many things during the pandemic. Banks are […]

      Read more

    • Interest rate war brews as new bank joins market

      A Spanish banking giant is to enter the Irish mortgage market in a move sure to put massive pressure on existing lenders to slash their […]

      Read more

    • Banks block drawdowns until end of pay subsidy

      Builders and brokers say hundreds of agreed home sales are being placed in jeopardy because of an unintended consequence of the State’s emergency wage subsidies. […]

      Read more

    • Banks have yet to heal the €60bn bailout wounds of a decade ago

      A decade after a €60bn taxpayer bailout of the country’s main banks, we still have a problem with trust when it comes to how they […]

      Read more

    • Ireland faces second mortgage arrears crisis when payment breaks end this autumn, leading financial advisers warn

      A leading debt adviser has warned that 30,000 households — or around half of the 62,480 currently on home loan payment breaks — will fail […]

      Read more

    • House prices due to fall sharply in wake of pandemic

      House prices are likely to fall sharply over the next year, a leading think tank has predicted. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has […]

      Read more

    • Central Bank boss defends banks withdrawing mortgage offers

      Central Bank Governor Gabriel Makhlouf has defended banks that are withdrawing mortgage offers to people whose incomes are hit by the fall-out from the pandemic. […]

      Read more

    • Irish Banks Again Europe’s Worst Performer as Crashes Add Up

      Once again, Irish banks are at the sharp edge of a global crisis. In 2008, it was the melting away of liquidity. Just over a […]

      Read more

    • Mortgage borrowers hit by Covid-19 jobs slump ‘facing problems securing mortgage breaks’

      Mortgage borrowers previously in arrears but who are now up to date with their monthly payments have had difficulties in automatically accessing the three-month mortgage […]

      Read more

    • Banks add Covid-19 income conditions to mortgage offers

      Raft of assurances are sought over bonuses, overtime and future job security Several Irish banks and lenders are adding new conditions to mortgage loan offers, […]

      Read more

    • Self-employed may feel chill from Covid-19 for some time

      The self-employed face mortgage struggles. All business owners are weighing up the effect of the Covid-19 closures on their trade at present, with many trying […]

      Read more

    • House valuations are being reduced by 10pc during the mortgage process due to Covid 19 according to brokers

      Some bank valuations are lower than agreed sale prices due to Covid-19 “The valuations are coming in at less than what the agreed purchase prices […]

      Read more

    • Family with €1m house would be ‘better off trading down’ as judge rejects personal insolvency deal

      A High Court judge has refused to approve proposed personal insolvency arrangements for a couple aimed at allowing their family to remain in a five-bedroom […]

      Read more

    • Home truths: Covid’s duration will determine its impact on values

      Speculation about where house prices and the property market will end up in the aftermath of Covid-19 has already started, with the publication during the […]

      Read more

    • Doubts raised over Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme after lawyers warn the initiative is unworkable

      The crucial wage subsidy scheme aimed at keeping hundreds of thousands of people in jobs has been thrown into doubt after lawyers warned it was […]

      Read more

    • Those who test positive likely to struggle to get life and mortgage protection cover

      Concerns: Michael Dowling fears some people will be unable to take out life cover People who test positive for Covid-19 may struggle to get life […]

      Read more

    • How to navigate the property market during the pandemic

      These are testing times. Covid-19 has reached into every sector, including the property market, and everyone is scrambling to adapt to the challenge. For those […]

      Read more

    • State may need to ramp up spending to €34bn

      Employers’ group Ibec and trade unions have called on the Government to step up payments for workers and companies in response to the economic damage […]

      Read more

    • No hit to credit record for those who get mortgage break off bank

      A deal is being hammered out between the Central Bank and main lenders so people who avail of a Covid-19 mortgage payment break will not […]

      Read more

    • Temporary ban on all evictions is to be introduced for duration of coronavirus crisis

      The Government has confirmed that a temporary ban on evictions and rent increases will be introduced for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis. Housing Minister […]

      Read more

    • €32m debts written off by court in three days

      More than €32m in personal debt has been written off this week under insolvency arrangements approved by the High Court. The huge sum relates to […]

      Read more

    • €2m debt write-off for publican approved

      The High Court has rejected objections raised by a vulture fund to a personal insolvency arrangement (PIA) writing off €2m in debts owed by a […]

      Read more

    • Chasm between values of new and second-hand houses

      A growing chasm between the values of new and second hand homes has been highlighted by the banking sector which says loans issued to first-time […]

      Read more

    • AIB drops fee for mortgage customers breaking out of fixed rate

      AIB is allowing some customers to break out of fixed mortgages and lock into lower ones at no cost, in a move that is likely […]

      Read more

    • Ulster Bank fined €4.6m over data on mortgages

      ULSTER Bank has been fined €4.6m by the Central Bank for failings around mortgage data it supplied to the regulator. The fine would have been […]

      Read more

    • Pressure now on more banks to cut their rates in mortgage price war

      More banks are coming under pressure to reduce their mortgage rates after market leader AIB announced a number of reductions. The focus is now on […]

      Read more

    • Mortgage holders here still paying double Euro average

      MORTGAGE rates in this country have fallen below 3pc for the first time in years. But there is scope for much deeper cuts, mortgage experts […]

      Read more

    • Revolution in fintech keeps the bankers awake at night

      Shake-up: Revolut and other fintech firms are forcing banks to increase their tech focus I was more than a little surprised at the response I […]

      Read more

    • AIB was always going to lose battle – it’s just a pity it waited so long to concede

      AIB was always on to a loser trying to defend its actions in denying 6,000 customers tracker mortgages. The bank tripped itself up and was […]

      Read more

    • The changes still needed to tackle the banks’ bad management cultures

      Regulation: Unlike the UK authority, the Central Bank of Ireland does not have competitional law enforcement powers, an issue which deserves to be reconsidered Banking […]

      Read more

    • Paul Joyce: Mortgage arrears have been ignored but not solved

      Housing, homelessness, and healthcare have justifiably dominated the election so far. But one aspect of the housing crisis, however, that has received little attention is […]

      Read more

    • Home truths: The story of Eoghan and the home hoovers

      The big view on Ireland’s property market Whenever Eoghan Murphy is asked about his unforgettable term as Minister for Housing, one of the first things […]

      Read more

    • Typical household wealth has risen to €184,900 – but renters are losing out

      The wealth of households has shot up due to rising property values. But renters have very little wealth, according to figures from the Central Statistics […]

      Read more

    • Most people unaware about credit card interest rate they are charged

      The majority of Irish credit card users are unaware of the interest rate they pay, or how it is applied. And even those who say […]

      Read more

    • Fianna Fáil may have just pressed the pause button on the property market

      The party’s new SSIA may cause a significant number of housebuyers to put their plans on hold for an unspecified period The man who is […]

      Read more

    • Court approves debt for equity swap insolvency arrangement

      Decision is first to be approved by High Court involving a debt for equity swap The High Court has approved a personal insolvency arrangement (PIA) for a […]

      Read more

    • Record €60m debt write-off for former quarry operator gets High Court approval

      A former quarry operator has had a €60m debt write-off approved by the High Court – the largest ever under personal insolvency legislation. Enda Patrick […]

      Read more

    • State-backed mortgage scheme hikes interest rates steeply despite bank cuts

      The interest rate on the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan product has been increased massively. Rates have shot up by up to 0.75pc at a […]

      Read more

    • Home truths: Big time housing promises without taxes are hollow

      What can you get for €16bn these days? Well €16bn is the total amount estimated that Irish people will spend online this year. The Consumer […]

      Read more

    • One in 10 mortgage arrears cases involve separated borrowers – BPFI

      Banking lobby group calls for State to introduce measures to help separated borrowers. About one in 10 mortgage arrears cases involve borrowers who are separated, […]

      Read more

    • In your pocket: Switching mortgage can bring major savings

      Rates are falling and lenders are keen to offer better deals – it’s easier than you think. Up to 160,000 Irish families are out of […]

      Read more

    • Mortgage interest rates dip but remain more than double euro-zone average

      Central Bank statistics show weighted average interest rates on new mortgages was 2.9% in November. Interest rates on mortgages taken by Irish consumers were lower […]

      Read more

    • New buyers pay €2,000 a year more than rest of eurozone

      RIP-OFF mortgage rates in this country are costing new home buyers €2,000 a year more than our European neighbours. New figures from the Central Bank […]

      Read more

    • Pensions deliver decade-best growth of 20.6% in 2019

      Zurich Life tops peers as funds recover from calamitous end to 2018. Irish pension funds delivered bumper returns in 2019, making it the best year for investment returns in […]

      Read more

    • Another year of dysfunction ahead for Ireland’s property market

      Looming general election and UK-EU trade talks add to uncertainty for developers. With the new year now a week old and a raft of predictions […]

      Read more

    • Responsible Homeowners Betrayed

        Thousands of responsible homeowners have been betrayed by the sale of their mortgages by PTSB into a bond fund which will be serviced by […]

      Read more

    • Revealed: Ireland’s most expensive streets and their €2m plus homes

      Daily growth of €15m in value of housing stock fuelled by new supply rather than increasing prices, writes Wayne O’Connor A leafy Dublin street sandwiched […]

      Read more

    • Value of residential property in Ireland up by 5.3bn euro in last 12 months

      SEVEN HUNDRED AND fifteen properties worth €1 million or more have been sold in Ireland so far this year, according to the latest Wealth Report from […]

      Read more

    Want to start the process?

    Let us guide you through the mortgage process