Sunday 21 January 2018

Perfect fit for downsizers

3 Cumberland Road Dublin 2 €750,000

The cobbled courtyard to the front allows off street parking
The cobbled courtyard to the front allows off street parking
Sliding doors in the ground-floor double bedroom
The open plan living/dining room on the first floor of the coach house
The first-floor kitchen with built-in units and integrated appliances.

Caroline Allen

Millenials may be known for their love of city-centre living, but anecdotal evidence suggests that their parents are hot on their heels in embracing urban life, with a growing number of empty-nesters selling their larger suburban or countryside homes for the cultural attractions and convenience of the cities.

Broadcaster Gay Byrne and his wife Kathleen Watkins are among those who have taken the plunge in trading down. In 2008, the couple left behind their Howth home to move into Shrewsbury Square on Sandymount Avenue.

"There comes a time when the garden that was once a joy becomes a burden and the house the same," Byrne was quoted as saying at the time, adding that heavy traffic in Howth contributed to the couple's decision.

Clodagh Murphy, of Quillsen, Ballsbridge, is seeing others following the same trend.

"A lot of our clients are living in big properties in the suburbs or further afield, and their children, who have flown the nest, are living close to town," she says. "They want to be close to family, as well as having all facilities on their doorstep.

"They want to be able to go out at night without having to face long taxi rides. It's just a different stage of life."

Murphy suggests 3 Cumberland Road in Dublin 2 - an 18th century coach house - as an ideal property for downsizers. Situated on the corner of Cumberland Road, just off Fitzwilliam Place, it is approached through an enclosed courtyard. On a link road to Wilton Terrace, overlooking the canal, the property spans 78sqm.

Fully refurbished and extended in recent years, the mews with its contemporary interior and gas-fired central heating, offers privacy and security. The two double bedrooms, which have built-in wardrobes, en-suite shower room and bathroom are on the ground floor. The living/dining room and fitted kitchen with integrated appliances, are on the first floor.

While No 3 Cumberland Road is a protected structure and so BER exempt, according to Murphy, care was taken during the refurbishment to include energy-efficient measures.

Electric roller shutters provide access to the courtyard which allows off-street parking for one car, although residential disc parking is also available. For those who want to get rid of their cars and reduce their carbon footprint, walking and cycling will get you to many places around the city. A plus of this property, Murphy says, is that both the Luas and the Dart are nearby.

The property is in walk-in condition. "Having been renovated and extended, it is in pristine condition and has a beautiful charm," Murphy adds. "The National Concert Hall, all the city's theatres, Donnybrook village, the amenities of Baggot Street, St Stephen's Green and Grafton Street, are all close by.

"The current owner has absolutely loved living in the property. One of the big things for her was that despite living in a city location, it is such a quiet and peaceful area. She enjoyed being able to walk along the canal or on to Fitzwilliam Square and Merrion Square, to the National Gallery."

While the selling agent sees the property as suited to downsizers, she believes it may also appeal to investors. "It is close to many large corporations and is highly rentable," says Murphy. "It will also work for the young professional."

Mews properties such as this are much sought-after. In July, for example, a two-bed Church Mews on Elgin Road in Ballsbridge was snapped up at €1,075,000 after approximately three weeks on the market. According to selling agent Glenn Burrell, of Finnegan Menton, it went to an overseas cash buyer. Meanwhile, Dublin 2 house values are on the up, according to the latest Daft.ie report which showed a 25.5pc increase year on year for two-bed houses in the area.

However, while a lot of house-hunters in search of similar properties concentrate on Dublin 4, regarding Dublin 2 as primarily a commercial hub, "absolute gems" of residential property can be found in the Dublin 2 area, Murphy says. "Given its easy access to all amenities and vibrancy, Dublin 2 can catch people by surprise."

Era: 18th century

Size: 78sqm

Agent: Quillsen (01) 499 5050

Viewing: By appointment

Sunday Independent

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