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Check out the mobile homes that now cost more than houses on the 'Dublin 4 Shore'

The Potter's Point holiday resort in Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow

Two girls enjoying an ice cream on the beach

The living room at Potter's Point

The bedroom at Potter's Point

Mobile homes at Potter's Point

The bathroom at Potter's Point

The entrance to the Jack's Hole resort

The beach at Brittas Bay

Mark Keenan

There’s only one place in Ireland where a mobile home will now cost you more than a bricks and mortar house.

Welcome to Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, otherwise known as “Dublin 4-upon-Sea,” where, in recent months, demand has seen mobile home leasehold prices outstripping the freehold prices of larger bricks and mortar homes for the first time ever.

And it’s all due to a ‘Covid boost’ which has greatly increased demand for already exclusive mobile homes.

Values of mobiles in the better schemes at Brittas Bay have always been difficult to ascertain given that most tend to change hands privately through management companies.

The beach at Brittas Bay

These, it has been reported, will also ‘vet’ new arrivals with the care of an exclusive golf club. And these transactions don’t appear on the Property Price Register.

But this week, a mobile home at Potter’s Point is on the open market through DNG Thornton and asking €350,000. This gets you a leasehold with 12 years left to run and there’s also an annual fee of €13,700 for ‘rent and rates.’

But for €25,000 less, you can have freehold ownership of a three-bedroom house at 33 Brittas Bay Village, spanning just over 1,000 sq ft. It’s currently for sale for €325,000.

Meantime, another larger house at Brittas Bay Village of just over 1,400 sq ft is also on offer for €350,000, the same price as the Potter’s Point mobile.

But some of the mobiles here are way more luxurious than any holiday cottage.

This one which has it’s own railed sun deck, three double bedrooms, a kitchen/ living room, a family bathroom and an en suite off the master bed chamber.

The living room at Potter's Point

Privacy in Potter’s Point is such that no address number or external picture of the mobile home is included in the marketing brochure.

Just before Christmas it was reported that a beachfront mobile at Jack’s Hole was on offer privately for a whopping €495,000 with €15,000 annual maintenance fees.

The Jack’s Hole scheme was sold in its entirety in 2014 for a sum believed to be in the order of €4m and it is believed to have been bought out by leaseholders.

The entrance to the Jack's Hole resort

Therefore, insiders justify the half a million price tag sought because the purchaser would in fact be buying a share of the entire scheme.

But you can also buy a three-bedroom home of 1,400 sq ft on half an acre of ground in Brittas Bay for €495,000.

Mobile prices in Brittas Bay famously surged during the height of the Celtic Tiger years with some mobiles reported to have changed hands for up €250,000 before falling back again after the crash.

Five years ago in 2017 it was reported that a Potter’s Point mobile would cost you €180,000 with some other parks reporting prices under €100,000.

But if recent reports are to be believed, then values have more than doubled in five years. And as leases, they are not listed in the property price register.

For outsiders, it’s actually hard to fathom what’s going on. That’s not helped by a sometimes secretive culture about sales among mobile occupants themselves.

The bedroom at Potter's Point

One long-term summer resident who is otherwise based in Dublin, would not be named. She said: “The key to understanding why people will now pay more for mobile than houses is this — it’s not about having a mobile in Brittas Bay.

“It’s ALL about having the RIGHT mobile and in the RIGHT park where the RIGHT crowd mingles. It’s more like gaining entry to a very prestigious golf club or a beach club rather than actually buying property.

"It’s about who your kids will be mixing with when you let them off for the day. The families move here for the whole summer and the Dads come down from Dublin at the weekends. It’s just an hour down the road.”

Two girls enjoying an ice cream on the beach

While many of the mobile schemes were actually closed during Covid lockdown, the pandemic had a big inflationary impact on Brittas Bay mobile values because it generated huge new interest in sea swimming and watersports and generally getting kids outside more.

This in turn generated a clamour to find a summer home in these traditionally swish parks amid very tight supply.

These are school holiday destinations and are full whenever the schools are out and the weather is reasonable.

The summer resident adds: “It must be the only place where there’s no bus link to Dublin and most people are happy about that.

"Recently the Press Up Group opened an Elephant And Castle Restaurant and while most were delighted with the lovely food, there were still plenty giving out that ‘we don’t want new trendy places landing and generating even more interest in Brittas Bay.’”

Potter’s Point and Jack’s Hole are the two most exclusive parks.

Jack’s Hole is the smaller with just 72 units and its own exclusive scenic private beach which residents use for boating. There are lots of watersports activities for kids.

Potter’s Point has more and larger units and is located on 75 acres of parklands with its own private coves and access to the public beach.

It also has a 9-hole golf course with tuition on site. There are eight tennis courts, an adventure playground, basketball court, and BMX track.

Those who want to get into this exclusive club can contact DNG Thornton in Wicklow Town (404) 25565.

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