In Pictures: Peek inside this Dublin penthouse with a rooftop putting course and city views
42 Hazelbrook Upper Kilmacud Road, Kilmacud, Dublin 14 €695,000
There's a lot of talk these days about the effect that a log-jam of potential down- sizers is having on the housing market. So long as empty-nesters remain on in houses that are too big for them, there will continue to be a shortage of family homes being released back into the second-hand market for the young families that need them.
Part of the problem, and the principal reason for this log-jam, is the shortage of suitable properties to which these empty-nesters can downsize. Most of the apartments built in Dublin over recent years are small and ungenerous, geared more towards the buy-to-let market catering to a transient population of younger tenants than they are towards older people trading down from family homes.
These are people who have books and Christmas decorations and need somewhere to put them, plus a place to dry their clothes, and a garden in which to grow a few plants in pots. They are not going to give these things up without a fight. And so they stay put, long past when they might wish to, in houses that are too big, too expensive to heat properly, and no longer comfortable or suitable for their needs.
The solution, of course, is moving to an apartment that has more room than the average shoebox, with a spare bedroom or two for when the grandchildren come to stay, and a balcony with enough room for eating out of doors and enjoying the sun when it shines. Somewhere with a lift is preferable, to help with any lack of mobility.
42 Hazelbrook, a three-bedroom, third-floor penthouse in this smart development in Kilmacud, will appeal to this down-sizer demographic, but they are, of course, not the only potential buyers for the apartment. It would make a fine family home for anyone not hung up on the idea of having to have an actual house, and the proximity of the apartment to UCD will mean that it has appeal for parents of present and future students, as well as to investors.
Golfers, too, are a niche market that selling agents Hooke and MacDonald are surely targeting, given the fact that one of the apartment's most unusual features is a rooftop putting green, from which there are fine views of the Dublin Mountains, which may inspire improved performance on the course.
With 156sqm of interior living space, plus a further 283sqm between the enormous wraparound terrace and the private putting green, No 42 is considerably larger than the average suburban semi-detached house.
The entrance hall opens into a spacious open-plan living/dining area with a modern fitted kitchen and separate utility room adjacent. There are three double bedrooms, of which two are en-suite, and a separate bathroom. The master bedroom has its own walk-in wardrobe, and the other bedrooms have built-in wardrobes and direct access to the terrace. The penthouse comes with two parking spaces.
Loveliest of all though, is the urban farm at Airfield, a short walk away. The 38-acre estate was formerly the summer home of Dublin solicitor Trevor Overend and his family, who lived on Dublin's Ely Place. Overend bought Airfield in 1894, and his daughters Letitia and Naomi lived there all their lives, establishing it as a charitable trust for educational and recreational purposes in 1974.
In recent years, the estate has - thanks to an energetic board and the input of people such as Olivia Goodwillie of Lavistown House, who knew the Overend sisters - been reinvigorated and redesigned to facilitate active learning, focusing on food, farming and the land. Its mission is "to inspire people to refresh their connection with food and the land it comes from". It is an extraordinary living and breathing educational resource.
Airfield is very much a working farm, and many of its animals, along with the fruit and vegetables grown by a team of gardeners, are destined for the estate's own restaurant, Overends, which is so popular with locals and visitors alike that it can be hard to secure a table at peak times. For the new owners of No 42, the estate will be a tremendous amenity, particularly if there are visiting grandchildren to be entertained.
Size: 156sqm plus 283sqm outdoor space
Agent: Hooke & MacDonald (01) 631 8402
Viewing: By appointment