Tuesday 23 January 2018

Cork City West Suburbs: Double-digit growth again for west 'burbs

262 Eagle Valley, Sarsfield Road, Wilton, Co Cork. Sold for €184,000
262 Eagle Valley, Sarsfield Road, Wilton, Co Cork. Sold for €184,000

Perhaps the most average of average Cork City families lives in the western suburbs in locations like Bishopstown and Wilton - classic three-bed semi turf.

And not surprisingly, this was the Cork City market which turned in the highest percentage value increases through the year - with inflation in the order of 10pc.

With the average home costing around €187,000, the west city suburbs have a long way to go before the Central Bank's lending controls start to tinker with the fundamentals.

This is the second year of double percentage digit growth in these suburbs - by the start of 2015 values had already hiked by 13pc in a rapid rebound from the crash.

Employment prospects are good here with strong proximate firms including VMware, EMC and ABTRAN.

Overall, however, sales transactions were up in the area with first-time buyers accounting for at least 50pc of activity. But some social changes are notable since the crash occurred. "The profile of first-time buyers has changed a lot," says O'Donovan. "A decade ago they were mostly in their mid-to-late twenties, now it's early-to-mid thirties. What it also means is that buyers are quite serious about acquiring a property."

While supply has been generally alright thus far, a problem is now building in the area. "No sites came on for new homes through the last 12 months either for planning reasons or for a lack of urgency and it looks likely that we won't see any impact from new homes until the tail end of the year," says Michael O'Donovan of Savills, our assessing agency.

It was expected that land around Ovens would have moved from the planning process last year and that the first big scale new home development in the west suburbs would have by now being turning out properties. Still more sites are on hold because of lack of access to vital infrastructural services. Many also point to what they call a "disconnect" between the local authorities who are insisting on particular home types, and developers who don't believe these suit what buyers are demanding - namely family-sized houses.

For the second year running the area with the most potential to surge in value in the western suburbs is Model Farm Road which is perfectly stretched out between University College Cork at one end, the Institute of Technology at the other and near the University Hospital in the middle.

There are also a number of key employers like Boston Scientific and Alcon along the route, ensuring that this stretch is equally appealing to renters as well as buyers. Homes at the top end here are now regularly edging over €800,000 and sometimes hit the €1m mark. But few of these homes come to market with the Property Price Register listing just five homes sold along this lengthy stretch throughout the whole of 2015.

Irish Independent

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