Tuesday 20 March 2018

Cork City West Suburbs: Prices rise in every category

Dunmahon, Model Farm Road, Cork, sold for €1.11m
Dunmahon, Model Farm Road, Cork, sold for €1.11m

Homes in the western suburbs shot up in value by 9pc last year. That came on the back of a 10pc increase in 2015 and properties here are expected to clock up another 8pc in 2017.

The residential estates in this area are a source of good average-priced housing and hugely popular with middle earners. A number of big firms are expanding in the area, and Cork University Hospital and the Bon Secours bring a constant stream of newcomers. There are names like Tesco, EMC, ABTRAN and VMWare nearby.

It means the rental market is also a big feature in areas like Bishopstown and Wilton, where the preferred method these days is renting by the room for young professionals in a house- share model. Given the western suburbs are a rental heartland, it's not surprising that rents hiked most here, with a 15pc increase taking place on this time last year. A good three-bed semi can now pull in €1,450 per month.

As we move towards Ballincollig, however, it's all about first-time buyers, and there is still nothing much in the way of new homes coming on stream. That means the average price of a house is hitting €220,000.

First-time buyers are more mature nowadays around these suburbs and most likely to be in their mid-30s, rather than a decade ago, when they were 10 years younger. Land around Ovens, expected to come into the planning process last year to increase the supply of homes, has still not moved. So, while activity has been frantic, actual transactions are down 9pc over the year in line with the rest of Cork City.

Among the few developments to kick off in the last while was Earls Well at Waterfall (just outside Bishopstown) where 36 detached houses of approximately 3,000 sq ft are now being released. A 4,000 sq ft property sold in 2016 right after being guided at €750,000.

Anything that did come up for sale in the new-homes arena was snapped up. But in second-hand sales, the first offer on a property was at times slow to come initially, although, once received, other interested parties engaged.

Mid to high market saw average four-bed detached homes rise in value from €550,000 to €560,000 through the year, although an increase above €600,000 is likely for this type before the end of the year.

Unlike many other locations, price rises took place all the way up the food chain to the top. The average price of a detached home on its own grounds has crept up from €1.1m, where it has stuck for a number of years, to €1.2m. Increased buyer demand means values for average trophy properties are likely to increase further to €1.25m by year's end.

For the third year in a row, the area's hotspot is the lengthy Model Farm Road where almost all property types can be found. Stretching from University College Cork at one end with the Institute of Technology at the other and the University Hospital in the middle, it takes in a rash of blue-chip employers on its route, such as Boston Scientific and Alcon. The problem here for buyers hoping to cash in on 'hotspot' value increases is that properties rarely come up for sale. Only 12 are listed on the property register as sold in the year, with prices ranging from €71,100 to €510,000. None of this road's really big properties were brought up for sale last year.

Irish Independent

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