Wednesday 18 September 2019

New home view: Designed for first-time buyers

Elsmore Naas, Co Kildare

Asking price: €249,000-€349,950

Agents: Coonan New Homes, (01) 628 6128 or Hooke & MacDonald, (01) 631 8402

The living area in apartments
The living area in apartments
Mid-century vibe: the brick and render facade of the apartment and duplex building

Gabrielle Monaghan

In the years after the property crash, developers argued that it made little financial sense for them to build apartments for first-time buyers in the greater Dublin area. But with property-price growth in the region outstripping price increases in Co Dublin, construction of apartments and duplexes in the commuter belt is now on the ascent.

After the Strategic Housing Development planning system was introduced in 2017, Co Kildare saw fast-track planning applications submitted for more than 4,000 new homes, with apartments accounting for around 1,231 units, or 30pc of the total, it was reported in May.

While developer Cairn Homes kicked off its 2018 launch of Elsmore in Naas with traditional three-bed and four-bed houses, by the end of April 2019, the stock market-listed company was selling apartments and duplexes off the plans at the scheme. Tomorrow will see show-units for those apartments and duplexes open for the first time.

The unveiling of the showhomes coincides with the release of 25 units, about 10 of which will be three-bed duplexes and two-bed apartments. The remainder will be mostly four-bed terraced houses priced from €349,950.

The ground-floor apartments and upper-floor duplexes were "designed with first-time buyers in mind, but since they were released off the plans, they have attracted some downsizers as well," says Will Coonan, one of the selling agents.

"The first-time buyers are mainly people working in the city who get the train from Sallins/Naas or drive to the Red Cow and get the Luas."

Elsmore is less than a 10-minute drive from the Sallins/Naas train station, with the rail journey to Heuston Station taking less than 20 minutes. Commuters from Elsmore can also get the Luas from Saggart, a 20-minute drive away in light traffic, or use the N7 to reach the M50 motorway.

Cairn Homes, which is building 3,200 units on eight sites in the greater Dublin area, is finishing off two blocks of apartments and duplexes at Elsmore. Prices in the latest tranche start at €249,000 for an apartment measuring between 872 sq ft and 888 sq ft.

Each duplex, meanwhile, has between 1,324 sq ft and 1,367 sq ft of living space and costs from €285,000.

The duplexes and apartments are located right inside the entrance to Elsmore. The development's streets radiate out from a neighbourhood park with a children's play area. Cairn Homes built a custom-designed bowed footbridge to cross over the stream that flows through the park, and also seeded the banks of the stream with a mix of native grasses and wildflowers.

Externally, the apartments and duplex buildings have a brick and self-coloured render façade, with high-performance, double-glazed UPVC windows throughout that match the grey hardwood door that forms the main entrance.

The living areas of the show-units have been given a mid-century vibe by the interior designers, while the contemporary-style kitchen comes with integrated appliances and soft-close doors and drawers. Each unit has a separate utility room with plenty of storage and enough space under the countertop for a washing machine and dryer.

The double bedrooms have contemporary-style fitted wardrobes, and there is tiling and heated towel rails to all the bathrooms and en suites. Each A3-rated home is heated via an A-rated natural gas-fired condensing boiler, while the insulated, air-tight design works with the demand control ventilation system to automatically provide a constant supply of fresh indoor air.

Prospective residents can walk or cycle directly to Naas town centre, via Devoy Park, thanks to the opening a year ago of the Devoy Link Road. Cairn Homes linked up with Kildare County Council to develop the road and its pedestrian and cycling paths.

Viewings of the new Elsmore show-units will take place between 2.30pm and 4pm tomorrow and Sunday.

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