Starter Homes with long-term potential in Dublin 15
A well thought-out, new residential development by Regency in Dublin 15 offers the first-time buyer a chance to purchase a home with long-term potential.
'Here's a house we've created, and it's brilliant," developer Patricia Hinch of Regency says, throwing her arms open delightedly. It's a well-earned pride. On a beautiful sunny winter's day, Hollywoodrath seems exactly what a new homes development should be. Spaciously landscaped, surrounded not by acres of other new estates but rather green fields, with solid, well thought-out houses.
The development, set on a 67-acre site in Hollystown, Dublin 15, launches this weekend, with 20 units coming to the market - three- and four-bedroom semi-detached and four-bedroom detached homes. Five-bedroom houses are to come further down the line. The current section will have 122 units in total, but the site has planning in total for 455, although the further phases will be accessed from a separate entrance. The 20 homes launching this weekend will be completed the first week in March, with the rest of this phase reaching completion in the summer.
Pre-crash, new residential developments were often "high density homes that may have lacked attention to detail", says Patricia, with projects often being "driven by volume".
Now, she believes, buyers are looking for quality. Whilst there's a shortage of homes, they aren't panic buying and desperate to get on the ladder for fear of rapidly escalating prices. A lot of first-time buyers are older and many have children so they're not necessarily willing to purchase starter homes to trade up in a few years' time. "The most important thing for the market is quality," Patricia explains. A home they can live in. One that is spacious, with good storage, near schools, shops, transport.
With Hollywoodrath, Regency has gone for a low-density development, eschewing the popular high and narrow three-floor, terraced unit in favour of roomy, semi-detached homes. Customers love two floors, Patricia says. "A typical third floor means the master-bedroom is in the attic. People don't like to be on a different floor to their kids."
That's not just about safety concerns, she believes, there's the hassle involved in traipsing up two flights of stairs every time you leave your glasses by the bed. "People want homes that they'll live in for a long time. They are taking their time now, the market is not moving at such a pace."
As such, the Hollywoodrath development represents a well-priced first-time buy with long-term potential. A three-bedroom semi detached at c120sqm starts at €285,000, a four-bed semi-detached at 142 sqm at €330,000, and a four-bed detached at 155 sqm from €360,000.
Hollywoodrath is the first development that Regency has been involved in from the very beginning. Together with investment partner and manager of private equity fund Avestus Capital Partners, Regency raised funds to get into the market in 2013. It's one of three projects that will come on-stream in the next few years. Alongside Hollywoodrath there is a site on Scholarstown Road with planning permission for 314 residential units, which will begin construction in April, and another site in Portmarnock with planning permission for 112 units.
Patricia and her business partner, Aodan Bourke, have over 20 years' experience in property. They established Regency in 2009, providing development services for Nama, banks and receivers in possession of distressed portfolios. "Developer for hire," she laughs. They were involved in bringing existing unfinished projects to completion, and in managing already existing assets, an experience that has given them a broad skill set. It's also a background that provides a thorough grounding in what does, and doesn't, make a good home.
The houses in Hollywoodrath have a living room, with the option of double doors or not through to a kitchen/dining room. There is a downstairs WC and a spacious entrance hall with room for a buggy if needed.
Master bedrooms in the four-bed units have a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite, with an ensuite in the three bed units. Wherever possible they've brought in light, with windows at the bottom and top of the stairs adding extra sources. The three beds come with the ability to convert the attic into a bedroom with ensuite.
The developers are available on site to answer any queries.
Asking price: 3-bed semi-detached from €285,000; 4-bed semi-detached from €330,000; and 4-bed detached from €360,000
Agent: McPeakes (01) 827 2300 and Knight Frank (01) 634 2466
There are also packages available from interiors designer Arlene McIntyre of Ventura Design, who has worked on the project. In an attempt to suggest a move away from uniformity - the most often made criticism of new homes - she has added a big injection of colour to the show houses. "I think people just love colour, and we have forgotten how to use it. We're afraid of it," she says. "Everyone's playing it safe and going for the fifty shades of grey." Her top tip for giving a mid range home such as these a higher end finish? Invest in the best sofa you can, good lighting, and lots of mirrors to bounce light around.