Going high-end in Howth
Thormanby Hill, Howth, Co Dublin Asking price: €1.475m Agent: Hooke & MacDonald (01) 631 8402
In his 1918 novel Joan And Peter, H.G. Wells' characters take in the views from the Howth peninsula, from the Mourne Mountains and Ireland's Eye along Dublin Bay and right down to the Sugar Loaf, and declare Howth to have "one of the most beautiful views in the world".
Plenty of visitors who have traversed the heathered landscape of Howth on a cliff walk would agree and covet a home of their own there. If they venture off Thormanby Road near the Summit Inn and check out the new private enclave of detached homes on a sloping site, they would need pretty deep pockets: prices for the 3,358-sq ft properties at Thormanby Hill start at €1.475m.
Ten homes from the first phase were sold after the initial launch more than a year ago, so six more were released in September. However, the latter are still on the market, so more viewings have been scheduled for this weekend. A further 13 homes are scheduled to be built there next year.
The Cosgrave Group, which is developing the high-end properties, certainly knew how to make an entrance at Thormanby Hill: the new estate is accessed through a pillared gateway, with pebbled drives and cobbled paths leading to individual homes, where there are granite-framed recessed doorways with stained-glass surrounds. The exteriors of the symmetrical double-fronted homes have a classic look about them, with iron railings to the extensive gardens.
Each house sits on a plot of at least 0.3ac, a size that's put to full use - multiple sets of doors open out from the ground floor on to the gardens and patios. In addition to this green space, a 2.5ac wooded parkland and children's playground are being added to the site. Inside, the entrance hall leads to three dual-aspect reception rooms, which come with energy-efficient sealed fireplaces with stone mantles and surrounds.
To the left is a large lounge and a living room, with a formal reception room to the right. There are architraves, coving and solid wooden doors throughout.
The layout is square, with the kitchen/dining/family room taking up the entire width of the rear. This space alone measures 600 sq ft - the size of a city centre one-bed apartment.
The kitchen units are by Cawley's and come with quartz worktops. A study at garden level also opens to the garden.
A central staircase leads up to a wrap-around landing that surrounds a circlet of bedrooms. Three of the five double bedrooms are ensuite, including the master ensuite, which features walk-in wardrobes. All the bedrooms have fitted wardrobes by Cawley's in a walnut finish with ivory shadow doors.
The Cosgrave brothers are big on energy efficiency and Thormanby Hill is no different: the properties were built to passive house standards and come with an A2 or A3 energy rating, reducing running costs for prospective residents. For family buyers, Howth has a selection of primary and secondary schools. Sailors and golfers are also well catered for in the form of Howth Yacht Club and Sutton Dinghy Club, and the Howth, Sutton and Deer Park golf clubs.
Viewings at Thormanby Hill begin today, from 1pm and 2pm, and continue tomorrow and Sunday, between 11.30am and 1pm.