Pack up for the beach
Eastham Square, Bettystown, Co Meath Asking price: €279,500-€305,000 Agent: Shane Black Property (041) 9810848
Before the advent of cheap flights, the 12km-long east Meath coastline was a popular holiday destination for Dublin families. During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, they flocked to the caravan, mobile home and camping sites that peppered the seaside villages of Bettystown and Laytown.
These days, when the Dubs arrive at Meath's Gold Coast, they often stay for good because they are priced out of the capital's housing market. And developers in the area are increasingly catering to such Dubliners, as well as to locals stymied by high rents.
Shane Black, an estate agent based in nearby Drogheda, estimates that as many as seven developments are currently being built in East Meath. Just off the Bettystown's Eastham Road, about 1km from the centre of the village and its beach, Urban Life is building 115 homes at a scheme called Dun Eimear. Meanwhile, Carroll Estates Dublin, the company behind other Bettystown developments such as Castlemartin and Wellesley Manor, is building 88 homes at Cois na Mara, on the village's Golf Links Road.
At Eastham Square, Ashcroft Property Development is betting on drawing house-hunters from rival schemes with the allure of its proximity to Bettystown beach, which is just 500m away. Black says that Eastham Square is attracting buyers who want to walk to the beach and to the local shops, rather than having to hop into their car to do so.
Eastham Square will consist of 44 homes when it's finished. While sales of its four-bed semi-detached styles were slow when the scheme first launched, sales of the house type are now outperforming the three-beds because of its popularity among local downsizers and Dubliners seeking more bang for their buck across the border. Eight semi-detached properties, forming the third and penultimate phase of Eastham Square, are being released this weekend. Six are three-beds that each measure 1,200 sq ft and cost from €279,500, while two of the houses are four-bed semis spanning 1,496 sq ft and priced from €305,000.
The façades of the homes are finished in a mix of Ibstock cream brick and buff mortar. Box hedging divides each landscaped front garden from neighbouring properties, and there is enough parking for two cars in the driveway, which has been laid with County Cobble paving from Acheson + Glover.
Each house has been fitted with attic trusses for extra storage or for a future conversion. The kitchens are from Cawleys Furniture's Classico high-gloss range and incorporate quartz countertops and upstands. Cawleys also supplied the fitted bedroom wardrobes, which are from its Curragh Deluxe range.
Each contemporary-style staircase, with its white-painted balustrades and walnut handrails, comes from Connolly Stairs, while the tiles in the main bathroom, ensuite, and downstairs lavatory are from Project Tiles's Calypso Grey line.
The A3-rated properties are fitted with PV solar panels that harness the sun's energy to produce electricity, thereby reducing utility bills.
The heating from a high-efficiency gas boiler system can be controlled from three zones within each house.
Nearby amenities to Eastham Square include an 18-hole links golf course, a tennis club, a swimming pool, and a gym.
Commuters can use the Matthews bus stop directly outside Eastham Square to reach DCU, the IFSC and the city centre, or use the train station and park-and-ride facility 3km away at Laytown, from where the rail service to Connolly Station takes 45 minutes.
There are also plans afoot for a train station at Bettystown itself.
Eastham Square is only a 15-minute drive from Drogheda, and 30 minutes from Dublin Airport and access to the M50 motorway.
Viewings will be held tomorrow and Sunday, between 2pm and 4pm.