Bells and whistles in Port'
Bellingham, Portlaoise, Co Laois Asking price: €200,000-€225,000 Agent: DNG Kelly (057) 866 3333 or DNG Doyle (045) 874 795
Portlaoise has returned to its pre-boom status as a commuter destination for home-buyers willing to accept extra travel time in exchange for cheaper property than in nearby Co Kildare or the greater Dublin area.
Indeed, Portlaoise is one of the fastest-growing spots amongst the top 20 towns and cities in Ireland, according to the 2016 census. And with prices starting at €200,000 for a three-bed home at the new section of Bellingham launching in the town this weekend, it's no surprise the development is attracting first-time buyers priced out of Dublin.
The scheme's Daft.ie listing was viewed 11,000 times yesterday week, when most of the country was snowed in. DNG Doyle, one of the selling agents, points out that prices at Bellingham are 20pc cheaper than at a new development it's selling in Kildare town and 40pc less expensive than one of its new Naas schemes.
At least 40 houses will be released for the first phase of Bellingham, though the entire development will eventually comprise 123 two, three and four-bed homes. It is set within an existing estate that the current developers, ONS Ireland, built in 2008, at the brink of the property crash. ONS was responsible for a slew of other developments in Laois, including Esker Hills, Fairgreen and Mell Street in Portlaoise, and Lough Gate and Station Court in Portarlington.
The house types at Bellingham are called the Joan, the Katherine, the Florence, the Holly, and the June. Prices start at €200,000 for the June, a three-bed semi-detached style measuring 953 sq ft, and climb to €205,000 for the Florence, a 1,168-sq ft, three-bed design that comes with a car port. The Joan is a detached three-bed semi: it spans 1,073 sq ft and costs from €225,000.
The largest style is the Katherine, a double-fronted three-bed house type with 1,382 sq ft of living space and a price-tag of €225,000. Its pyramid roof and set of columns to the front entrance lend it a classical appearance.
All the house styles have cream render to the façade, triple-glazed white-framed windows, and shrubbery to the front garden. There is floor tiling to the hallway and kitchen, and downlighters comes as standard in the kitchen, hall and living room. The upstairs floors have deep-weave carpeting.
The cream fitted kitchen comes with a tiled splashback and a suite of electronic appliances, including a fridge-freezer, dishwasher, electric hob and hood, and an integrated stainless-steel oven. The washing appliances are housed in a separate utility room.
The master ensuite is equipped with an electric power shower and a contemporary-style bathroom suite, while the main bathroom has floor-to-ceiling tiling and a bath. There are built-in wardrobes to the bedrooms. The A3-rated properties have natural gas central heating.
Bellingham is a ten-minute drive from the five-star Ballyfin Demesne, 20 minutes from the Kildare Village outlet centre and 15 minutes from Stradbally. The train journey from Portlaoise station to Heuston Station takes 50 minutes.
Viewings of four showhouses at Bellingham will be held tomorrow and Sunday, between 12pm and 2pm.