Thursday 23 May 2019

Cork City west Suburbs: Four-bed semis in west Cork city to hit €300k

Carrigrohane Castle, Carrigrohane, was sold last January for €1.5m
Carrigrohane Castle, Carrigrohane, was sold last January for €1.5m

Four-bed semis in Cork's west suburbs are set to rise above €300,000 this year while four-bed detached homes are likely to crash through the €500,000 mark for the first time since the boom years. Prices are up 6pc through the last six months across Bishopstown, Wilton and the other west Cork suburbs, and another 6pc rise is expected this year, says our local expert, Michael O'Donovan of Savills. But while inflation is certainly proving problematic for buyers, it is nowhere near as bad as in some other suburban locations nationwide.

Indeed, inflation is short of the 8pc predicted a year ago and well down on last year's 9pc surge. While transaction levels are strong generally, helped by a noticeable increase in bank lending, there is evidence that some vendors are overpricing, particularly at the higher end of the market. The result is that some homes are achieving well above the asking price but others are struggling.

This is most in evidence at the very top end, where prices are more stagnant. A typical large detached home with some land was averaging €1.2m a year ago and now stands at €1.25m, but our expert believes they're not likely to rise above 2pc in the coming year.

Another reason that inflation is not as runaway in the suburbs as elsewhere is that supply of second-hand property has been reasonably steady. New homes have also been selling here in good numbers in schemes at Waterfall and Earl's Well, where detached properties went at the top end for prices in the €600,000-€700,000 region. More will come on stream this year, notably off Model Farm Road at Steeplewoods and Rosefield, where detached properties have also been available these last few months.

Rosefield, on the old Nangles Nurseries site on the Model Farm Road has been taking deposits on larger homes priced over the €750,000 mark while advance work is onsite at a six-acre tract of former woodland for circa 30 big detached and semi-detached homes by Citidwell.

However, given that the west suburbs represent Cork City's best source of average-priced housing sought-after by middle earners, the most popular types in this area remain the standard three- and four-bedroom semis, which are "flying" if in good condition. The three-bed semi broke through the €200,000 mark last year and you'll pay around €212,000 today for the most average example. By year's end, €225,000 will be likely.

First-time buyers in the area have matured considerably and are now aged well into their 30s in tandem with the suburban norm in many other Irish cities.

The market for property over €500k is also quite active, with affluent medical personnel in particular making an impact in this area thanks to the proximity of Bon Secours and Cork University Hospital, which bring a constant flow of newcomers.

Younger professionals who aren't buying prefer to rent, most commonly by the room as part of a houseshare model. The good news for those trying to save towards ownership is that rents have remained fairly stagnant, held down by reasonable supply and the Government-enforced cap system, which allows increases only every two years and of no more than 4pc. And rents aren't cheap, with a four-bed house in Bishopstown setting you back €1,400-€1,600 a month.

For the fourth year in a row, Model Farm Road is our expert's 'hotspot'. The artery uniquely provides almost all property types along one single stretch, which links up a who's who of top Cork employers. At one end is UCC, with the Institute of Technology at the other, and Bon Secours, Alcon and Boston Scientific all dotted along the way. However supply is extraordinary tight. Just eight properties along this road Road were sold through the last 12 months and most were smaller properties like apartments.

For their part, two-bedroom apartments rose from €132,000 for an average west suburbs example to €140,000 and will likely push towards €150,000 by year end.

Irish Independent

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