Dodderbrook offers stylish family homes in foothills of Dublin mountains
Uniformity of design is probably the criticism most levied against new homes - the notion of large swathes of hundreds, sometimes over a thousand, identical homes.
However, this sort of monster development is, for now, a thing of the past. High-density suburban estates, packed with apartments, are not something the market currently desires; purchasers are looking for three- and four-bed family homes with long-term potential. At the same time, developers' costs will not be covered by the sale of apartments, so they have little appetite for producing anything other than the traditional family home.
Instead, new home developments are tending towards low-density sites running to a couple of hundred units max, usually less. "The market is in a totally different place," says Michael Whelan, of Maplewood Residential, who this week launches a brand new development, Dodderbrook, in Ballycullen, Dublin 24. "You have to deliver a product that people will be happy to live in if there is another downturn, that they can stay in, call a home."
This first phase launches three house types: a four-bed detached; a three-bed semi; and a four-bed semi. All have a BER rating of A3, and 10 have already been sold from plans. Of the 135 units, 129 are houses, with six two-bed apartments, and some three-bedroom terraced houses to come. Each house has off-street parking and front and rear gardens. Dodderbrook is Maplewood's second development since the bust - their first being the Drumcondra-based Sion Hill Park. A family company in business for approximately 45 years, they have been building houses in the area since the early 2000s, and have built over 1,000 homes in the adjoining development of Ballycullen.
Higher-density developments, based around hubs of transport in suburban areas, didn't work, Michael Whelan reflects. What sold particularly well for Maplewood in neighbouring Ballycullen were three- and four-bed family homes with front and rear gardens and off-street parking, and this is what they have created in Dodderbrook.
In an area of large estates, Dodderbrook could not be more favourably situated. On the outskirts of the suburban sprawl, the site extends almost to the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. The ground floor comprises of a living room, a utility room, an under-stairs storage cupboard, WC and an open-plan kitchen/dining room. The first floor includes bedrooms, including master bedroom with en suite, and fitted wardrobes in all bedrooms, a storage cupboard, and main bathroom.
The city centre is roughly 25 minutes' drive away, Dundrum Town Centre is nearby and the M50, a five-minute drive. There is a Lidl nearby, and Woodstown Shopping Centre is within walking distance. The locality also includes a number of schools. This is an area that enjoys a strong loyalty from buyers who grew up or currently live there, with a large proportion of buyer interest coming from those trading up from the likes of Ballycullen, or first-time buyers whose family homes are in the nearby feeder suburbs of Knocklyon, Firhouse, Ranelagh, Terenure and Rathfarnham. There is little else in the area of this type, and a move further into, say, Knocklyon, will dramatically ratchet up the price, so Dodderbrook represents a very good opportunity for first-time buyers to invest in a home that if, as Michael Whelan says, the economy takes another downturn, they would be happy to remain in.
Price: Four-bed detached, from €420,000, c130-139 sqm
Three-bed semi-detached, from €332,500, c118 sqm
Four -bed semi-detached, from €375,000, c130-139 sqm
Viewing: Today, 2-4pm
Agent: DNG (01) 491 2600