Wednesday 14 November 2018

Peek inside these €920,000 villas in Cork - with very specific buyers in mind

Winter's lane Convent Garden, Kinsale, Co Cork Asking price: €920,000 to €1m plus Agent: Savills (021) 427 1371

The exterior of the homes at Winter's Lane
The exterior of the homes at Winter's Lane

Sales to UK buyers have increased by 10pc on average over the past year, a Real Estate Alliance survey of its estate agents showed this week, with almost one in five purchasers enquiring about Irish property citing Brexit as a direct reason for moving to Ireland.

So it's no surprise that developers in Kinsale, the traditional bastion of British expats and retirees, are building high-end homes to target well-heeled buyers seeking refuge from the effects of Brexit. The latest offering for that market in the upmarket coastal town is Winter's Lane, a new phase of contemporary homes at Convent Garden that's perched on Winter's Hill.

Catherine McAuliffe from Savills Cork says: "We are seeing an influx of Irish and other nationals living abroad wishing to set up home in Kinsale for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, gourmet food, quality of life and picturesque scenery, along with good schools, ease of access to the airport and the city centre employment centres. Specific interest varies from young couples to people close to retirement moving from the UK and escaping Brexit. There are also Cork and Dublin couples moving to Kinsale for a better quality of life."

In June, Savills had the same demographic in mind when it began selling 3,500-sq ft, contemporary-style homes off the plans for at least €1.35m apiece at Árd Álainn on nearby Compass Hill.

Convent Garden is set on an elevated seven-acre plot that was previously St Joseph's Convent of Mercy. Winter's Lane is the most exclusive phase to date at the Cumnor Construction scheme: it comprises four four-bed detached villa-style homes, each spanning 2,250 sq ft. Three of the four properties, which are priced between €920,000 and €950,000, were reserved when the showhouse opened at the weekend. Savills is already fielding enquiries for the showhouse itself, which is set to go on the market in a few weeks' time at a price in excess of €1m.

The three-storey homes were designed by Brazilian-born architect Haroldo Oliviera to make the most of the site's harbour and town views, by positioning the living quarters on the top two floors and the bedroom accommodation on the ground floor, with each floor decreasing in size from the ground up.

The lounge
The lounge

The living room, which features a built-in wood-burning Stovax stove, occupies the entirety of the second floor, while the open-plan kitchen/living/dining space, guest WC and a 334-sq ft, south-facing decked terrace are located on the first floor. Buyers can avail of a PC allowance for the bespoke Elmar kitchen units from Italy.

An open-steel staircase with beech treads connects all three levels. The ground floor is home to four bedrooms, two of which are ensuite, a separate bathroom, a utility room, and a cloakroom. Three of the bedrooms have floor-to-ceiling sliding doors out to the patio. All the bathrooms and ensuites are fitted with a high-end range of sanitaryware, as well as mirrors, heated towel rails and underfloor heating. There's also a PC sum for the built-in bedroom wardrobes.

To the rear of each property is a south-facing garden with a paved granite patio, all enclosed by high stone walls and raised planters. The landscaped garden is ideal for entertaining when the summer crowds throng the restaurants of Kinsale's colourful winding streets. The covered car port area and side passageway are also paved in granite.

The exterior walls are finished with Kilsaran colour render, and there is aluminium to the main door, which has a smart door bell, and to the tall triple-glazed windows and sliding doors. The flat canopy that hangs over the top living space is clad in zinc.

The A2-rated homes are just a few minutes' walk from the centre of Kinsale. Cork city and Cork International Airport are within a half hour's drive.

Viewings at Winter's Lane are by private appointment.

The deck with views of the sea
The deck with views of the sea

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