The appeal of a 35-minute drive to the M50 ring road is driving flocks of would-be buyers priced out of the north Dublin market to Drogheda, according to the developer of Knightswood, a new estate on the south side of the town that is just 1km away from the M1 motorway to the capital.
House-price inflation in Dublin was running at almost 5pc in January, the most recent figures from the Central Statistics Office show. This is pushing buyers with young families further afield to seek more bang for their buck and greater availability of school places.
Indeed, Dubliners account for much of the interest at Knightswood, where the latest batch of five homes has just come on stream. Since it was launched in September, more than 60 properties have been sold, according to J Murphy Developments - a local family-run business that both builds and markets schemes without selling agents. It typically releases between five and six homes at a time at Knightswood, which will have 125 units when it's finished.
Over the last 43 years, J Murphy Developments has been responsible for a slew of residential developments in the Drogheda area, including Deepforde, Martello Village, Five Oaks and Stameen, all of which proved popular with local families.
The company has been approved as a qualified contractor for the Government's help-to-buy scheme, boosting the appeal of Knightswood to first-time buyers eligible for a tax rebate on new builds.
Knightswood, on Matthews Lane, is set around a large green space and none of the homes are overlooked, which is important to Dubliners accustomed to living in higher-density schemes, the developer said. One of the five homes available is a three-bed detached property with 1,350 sq ft of accommodation on a large site, with prices starting at €285,000. Four of the units are three-bed semi-detached dwellings, each measuring 1,200 sq ft and costing from €245,000.
The two-storey homes have dividing hedgerows, brick posts and cobble-locked driveways. The rear gardens will be levelled and seeded. The ground floors of both available styles comprise of bright hallways, a guest WC, a living room and a kitchen/dining area with double doors leading to the rear garden.
The first floor is home to a large master ensuite, two further double bedrooms and a family bathroom. The fitted kitchens from local company McAuley Kitchens are finished in a matt neutral style and all three bedrooms feature built-in wardrobes. Thee A-rated energy-efficient homes use an air-to-water heat pump system.
For buyers with children, there is a crèche within the development itself, a range of schools within a 2km radius, and the nearby Funtasia Waterpark for when the weather improves.
Tesco, Aldi and Lidl are just a few minutes' drive away from the development, but there are also large shopping centres at Donore, Southgate and Scotch Hall, along with the M1 Retail Park.
As well as being close to the junction 8 intersection for the M1, Knightswood is also located 2km from the bus station at Donore Road and 3km from the train station, from where there are regular rail services to Dublin and Belfast. Dublin Airport is a 25-minute drive away.
The developer of Knightswood has plumped for a Meath address for the scheme - the town of Drogheda is split by a county border and Knightswood is on the cusp of Meath/Louth.
The showhouse is open for viewing every Sunday, from 3pm-5pm, and on Wednesdays, between 5.30pm-7.30pm.