Slick Citywest estate was designed with first time buyers in mind
Gabrielle Monaghan examines the new developments around the country.
Harcourt Developments was among a number of developers that co-funded a 4.2km-extension of the Tallaght Luas line to the Citywest Business Campus during the boom era in the hope of attracting more employers and house buyers to the area.
The extension didn't open until 2011, when the property market - like the economy - was in the doldrums. Harcourt, best known as the developer behind the Titanic Quarter that regenerated Belfast's Docklands, didn't re- enter the Irish house-building market until last year, when the Luas extension finally bore fruit for the company.
Last summer, it launched a new estate called Cúil Dúin in Citywest that's a five-minute walk from the Saggart Luas stop and is pitched at first-time buyers seeking an affordable home within the confines of Co Dublin - no easy feat for developers these days.
The first phase of 45 houses at Cúil Dúin was sold out within a few weeks of their launch in June, but the second phase of the development is being released this week. There will be 220 houses at Cúil Dúin when it is eventually finished. The west Dublin scheme is beside the Citywest Hotel, the largest in the country, and the City-west Business Campus. Also nearby is the village of Saggart and the Avoca complex at Rathcoole.
The scheme, named after the Irish for 'corner fort' and the historic townland in which it sits, will have 30 three and four-bed homes in the latest tranche. Prices start at €295,000 for a three-bed measuring 1,355 sq ft and at €420,000 for a four-bed extending over 1,700 sq ft. All are spread over three floors.
The exteriors at Cúil Dúin are finished either in a full red brick or a mix of brick with cream render, with uPVC windows that come with ivory, wood-effect frames. Out front are cobble-lock driveways and landscaped shrub dividers between units. To the rear, a patio connects the living area to the garden. The rear gardens are surrounded by a 1.8m-high timber fence with concrete posts.
The four-beds are semi-detached, while the three houses are a mix of semi-detached, mid-terrace and end-of-terrace units. The three-beds have a living room, kitchen/dining room, and a WC on the ground floor, with two double bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor. The top floor has an ensuite master bedroom and a separate under-eaves storage area that could also be used as a study. The larger four-beds have a similar layout but come with a second living room, as well the two bedrooms, on the first floor. On the top floor is a master ensuite and a fourth double bedroom.
Buyers have an option for a high-gloss finish or painted solid wood doors for the fitted kitchen and stone or quartz work surfaces in the larger houses. The kitchens feature soft-close doors and drawers, under-cupboard LED lights to illuminate the countertops, and an integrated hob, oven, fridge-freezer, cooker hood and dishwasher. Most bedrooms have contemporary-style built-in wardrobes. A sealed attic hatch with a pull-down ladder allows easy access to the attic storage area.
Extra touches include oak finish doors fitted with satin chrome-finished handles, hinges and locks, as well as oak handrails to the staircase.
Passive building principles were applied throughout the design, specification and construction process at Cúil Dúin. The A-rated buildings come with solar thermal panels and a heat- recovery system, and are equipped with a wall-mounted Climote system that enables residents to control their heating and hot water remotely via a smartphone app, helping them keep their heating bills in check. Solar panels on the roof provide hot water throughout the year
The Citywest Shopping Centre, anchored by Dunnes Stores and containing a number of top retailers, is within a five-minute walk from Cúil Dúin. Two primary schools, Scoil Niamh Community National School and Citywest Educate Together, are located just across the road from the development, on Fortunestown Lane.
Viewings of the showhouses at Cúil Dúin will take place today, between 12pm and 2pm, and continue tomorrow and Sunday, from 2.30pm to 4pm.
Citywest, Dublin 24
Asking price: €295,000-€420,000
Agent: Hooke & MacDonald (01) 6318402
Garville Drive a gem for downsizers
Garville Drive, Rathgar, Dublin 6
The pale contemporary-style mews houses that make up Garville Drive in the 18th-century Dublin suburb of Rathgar may stand out amid a housing stock that largely comprises red-brick late Georgian and Victorian- era terraces, but they have been feted as ideal for affluent house hunters trading down from larger abodes in the neighbourhood.
This boutique development of just eight four-bed townhouses is tucked away off Garville Avenue. It was originally launched in September, when the first phase of four homes was sold. A new showhouse at Garville Drive will open this weekend to market the final phase of four houses at the scheme.
Each home has 2,000 sq ft spread out over three floors - excluding a 350 sq ft basement earmarked for storage, a rarity in Irish new-builds. Prices start at €1.075m.
The design of the homes, by DDA Architects, was influenced by contemporary city dwellings throughout other European capitals. The properties were built by Montane Developments, the company behind the careful transformation of a 130-year-old orphanage in Dún Laoghaire into a new high-end residential enclave called Tivoli Place.
At Garville Drive, the south-facing back gardens have low-maintenance synthetic grass, a paved patio area, a planter with stone cladding, and feature timber panelling to the back wall.
The kitchens include a full complement of Smeg appliances, such as a fridge-freezer and a wine fridge. The main living room includes a wood-burning stove set in a modern-style quartz surround, and there fully fitted wardrobes to all bedrooms. All ensuites are fitted with walk-in pressurised 'monsoon' showers and with heated towel rails.
Among the low-energy/low-carbon emissions features contributing to the properties' A2 rating are air-tight membranes to ensure that the homes are draft-free and that heat does not escape, solar panels, a mechanical heat-recovery ventilation system to reduce condensation and dust levels and supply a constant stream of fresh air, double-glazed windows and patio doors, and argon-filled windows that reflect light back into each room.
Garville Drive is a few minutes' walk to Rathgar village. The city centre is 4km away.
The first showhouse at Garville Drive was put on the market last year, with a price tag of €1.15m, including furnishings, and has since gone sale agreed. So the developers hired s Interior Design to kit out another show unit at Garville Drive to showcase the last tranche of homes. It will be open for viewings tomorrow and Sunday, from 12pm to 1pm, or by private appointment.
Enquiries to: Sherry FitzGerald New Homes (01) 66718881.
A fair haven beside the Phoenix Park
Fairhaven, Castleknock, Dublin 15
Situated next to the Phoenix Park - one of the largest enclosed parks of any European capital - are the three- and four-bed semi-detached homes at Fairhaven, on the tree-lined Castleknock Road.
The residential estate was first launched in the autumn of 2015 and a series of phases have followed, proving popular with buyers seeking a mature setting like Castleknock that's close to the city centre.
Four homes remain from the last release at Fairhaven, all of which are four-bed semi-detached properties. There are two of each of the four-bed types available, namely a 1,334-sq ft home priced from €625,000 and a slightly larger end-of-row four-bed with 1,399 sq ft of living space that's selling for €650,000. The façades of the houses, developed by Flynn & O'Flaherty, are in red brick and render with granite detailing. The properties have an A3 energy building rating.
Inside, a large kitchen/dining room opens out on to a generous patio and rear garden.
A spacious landing on the first floor leads to bedrooms fitted with floor- to-ceiling wardrobes, while the bathrooms and ensuites are fully tiled.
Fairhaven is within walking distance of Castleknock village and its restaurants, bars, shops and cafés. Dublin city centre is 4km away.
Viewings at the development will be held tomorrow, from 11am to 1pm.
Enquiries to: Hooke & MacDonald (01) 6318402
Mallow's first new homes to hit the market in six years
Clonmore, Mallow, Co Cork
The first new homes to come on the market in Mallow in six years aren't entirely new: O'Flynn Construction launched Clonmore in the north Cork town's Ballyviniter area a decade ago, before the property crash led to the scheme being put on ice.
O'Flynn has now finished out 10 semi-detached and detached homes at Clonmore, plastering and wiring them and adding fittings such as kitchens and wardrobes. Three have already been sold since their release in February. Development of an entirely new phase at Clonmore is a possibility, according to the selling agent.
The exteriors at Clonmore have a smooth plaster façade with cornicing, a cobble-locked driveway, and an enclosed and fenced rear garden. Unlike many new releases around the country, the front is not open plan, so prospective buyers could add a gate.
The new tranche consists of three-bed detached homes measuring 1,409 sq ft, four-bed semi-detached dwellings with 1,343 sq ft of accommodation and three-bed semi-detached units extending over 1,149 sq ft. Prices start at €225,000. Because the homes were designed and started a decade ago, the energy rating, of a B2 to C1, is not as high as new-builds started from scratch and the properties have natural gas central heating.
Mallow, which is set in the Blackwater Valley, is increasingly becoming popular with commuters from Cork city who are priced out of the city and nearby towns such as Ballincollig. It helps that there is an hourly commuter train from Mallow to the city. Cork is a half-hour drive away, traffic permitting.
Viewing at Clonmore is by appointment.
Enquiries to: Sherry FitzGerald O'Donovan (022) 42651
Four house styles available at Tullamore development
Millbrook Grove, Tullamore, Co Offaly
The landscaping, cast-iron streetlamps and cut stone walls within Millbrook Grove, a development of 20 period-style four-bed homes in Killeigh, are influenced by the period homes in the picturesque village.
Killeigh, a village with a large green as its centrepiece, is located just south of Tullamore and is close to the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Tullamore is a five-minute drive.
The double-fronted detached homes with spacious private sites and landscaped gardens at Millbrook Grove are sold off the plans with a six-month build time.
Would-be buyers have plenty of input into the individual specifications in consultation with local builders Millbrook Valley, led by Justin and Gerard Heffernan.
There are only six properties at Millbrook Grove remaining, with prices starting at €336,000 for a 2,367-sq ft home.
The development has four general house types for sale, with a variety of sizes and specifications on offer.
All the two-storey properties have façades in traditional stone and nap plaster with granite windowsills and quoin stones.
All homes come with a building energy rating of A3, thanks to energy-saving features such as triple-glazed windows and solar panels. Killeigh is a 45-minute drive from Naas and an hour from Dublin. The village has a primary school, shop, pub and church.
Enquiries to: DNG Kelly Duncan (057) 9325050
Red-brick chic in Ratoath
Stonebridge, Ratoath, Co Meath
Some 14 buyers queued up last weekend for the release of the second phase of Stonebridge in Ratoath to secure the style of their choice, lured by starting price tags of €295,000 in return for commuting 30km to Dublin city.
Most of the interest in the Co Meath development to date has come from first-time buyers buoyed by the tax rebate and priced out of the Dublin market.
Indeed, when Stonebridge was initially launched back in November, a similar number of house hunters queued from 3am and six additional homes were released by the selling agent to meet their demand.
The second phase of three and four-bed homes at the scheme was released last weekend to pre-registered buyers, though the selling agent doesn't expect any queues this weekend.
Of the 21 homes in the latest tranche, only five three-bed semi-detached properties remain. These are priced from €295,000, while prices for the limited number of four-beds started at €365,000. Stonebridge will have 66 homes in all when it's complete.
The scheme is being built by Kingscroft Developments, which has developed residential estates in the greater Dublin area, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. Completions on the latest release at Stonebridge are expected this summer.
The traditionally built homes have selected brick and render finishes, a uPVC bay window, private driveways and back gardens. Interior features included as standard at Stonebridge are contemporary- style custom-fitted kitchens, fitted bedroom wardrobes along with sanitary ware and coordinated wall tiling in the main bathroom, ensuites and downstairs WC.
The properties have an A3 BER courtesy of a high-efficiency gas condensing boiler for the central heating system that can be controlled from three different zones, as well as solar panels on the roof to harness the sun's energy to heat domestic hot water. PV panels generate free electricity.
The showhomes at Stonebridge will be on view tomorrow and Sunday, between 2pm and 4pm.
Enquiries to: Knight Frank New Homes (01) 6342466
Pick yourself a poppy
St Marnock’s Bay, Portmarnock, Co Dublin
Asking price: From €630,000
Agent: Savills (01) 9014252 or O’Farrell Cleere (01) 8453377
In scenes evocative of the Celtic Tiger-era quest to get on the property ladder, some house hunters in the queue for homes at St Marnock's Bay slept in their cars overnight in mid-February, on one of the coldest nights of the year, to secure their dream home.
Their appetite for a family property in Portmarnock - home to the 5km-long Velvet Strand - had been whetted for weeks by a marketing blitz for the development that took in everything from a radio campaign to ads on the back of buses and promotions on Instagram.
The majority of the 33 homes in the first phase were three- and four-bed homes priced from €450,000 to €535,000 sold to first-time buyers with pockets bolstered by the new tax rebate and the relaxation of caps on mortgage lending. The target market for the remaining properties, four-bed semi-detached homes from the Poppy house style, is a different category entirely, namely locals trading up from smaller homes who can afford the starting price tags of €630,000.
While the main launch at the Station Road development was on February 11, the showhouse for the Poppy opened more quietly on February 25. The cheaper styles at St Marnock's Bay may have all been snapped up in the spotlight, but the 1,793-sq ft Poppy type is selling at a more solid pace and there are five still available.
The Poppy - one of the slew of house types at St Marnock's Bay named after meadow plants - are double-fronted properties with accommodation arranged over three floors. The exteriors of these tall timber-framed homes are mostly in a mottled yellow brick, complemented by self-coloured render and reconstituted concrete roof tiles.
The classically designed kitchens come with bespoke cabinetry from Ballymore's in-house design team. A roof light floods the kitchen with extra natural light. Kitchen appliances are included in the sale price, if contracts are returned on time. The utility room has a floor drain that safely channels any spillages away.
The open-plan kitchen has a dining area to the front of the home, with a separate living room on the other side of the front hallway. There is another reception room on the first floor, this time with a dual aspect. Two bedrooms and a family bathroom complete the accommodation on this level. The second floor is home to a large ensuite double bedroom and a master ensuite with walk-in wardrobes. All bathrooms come tiled as standard.
There will be 101 homes in all at the Ballymore development when it is eventually completed, with a second phase expected to come on stream in September, for which the selling agent is already fielding inquiries. Would-be buyers at St Marnock's Bay will be able to access the adjoining Portmarnock Dart station directly from the scheme itself, taking the hassle out of travelling to school or work, and there are plans afoot for a small neighbourhood retail centre.
Viewings of the Poppy house style at St Marnock's Bay are by appointment.
Old convent site with all mod cons
Terenure Gate, Terenure, Dublin 6W
Terenure Gate, a new high-end scheme in the sought-after suburb, was built on the site of the 19th- century Presentation convent that was illegally razed to the ground by developer Laurence Keegan in 2006.
Keegan's company Kimptonvale, which built a slew of estates in Castleknock, bulldozed the 1830s convent without planning consent. In 2008 he was fined €1,000. After the property market recovered from the crash, Kimptonvale began building 51 houses, apartments and duplexes on the site off Terenure Road West, opposite Greenlea Road. The first phase of 20 homes at Terenure Gate go on sale this weekend.
Prices start at €440,000 for a two-bed own-door apartment with 893 sq ft of space, rising to €595,000 for a three-bed, 1,388-sq ft end-of-terrace duplex. Prices for the houses start at €700,000 for a three-bed detached gate lodge, rising to €785,000 for a three-bed plus study/four-bed mid-terrace property with 1,679 sq ft of space. The most expensive house type is a three-bed plus study/four-bed end-of-terrace style priced from €895,000. All the houses are arranged over three floors, apart from the two-storey gate lodge.
The selling agent says Terenure Gate will likely appeal to families and professionals trading up as well as downsizers keen to remain in the leafy neighbourhood.
The façades of the timber-framed homes are finished in a mix of red brick and render, with sash windows, and granite stone windowsills and reveals, all a period-style nod to the original site's heritage.
Inside, the custom-designed fitted kitchens come with classic painted wood doors. Other interior finishes include higher-than-standard ceiling heights on the ground floor. An ambient electric fire has been fitted in each living room.
Passive house principles were adopted at Terenure Gate to future-proof the homes and reduce their energy demands. The A-rated homes come with energy- efficient features such as an A-rated condensing gas boiler, PV panels and a heat recovery ventilation to provide a supply of fresh air. The heating zones are controlled by a Nest smart thermostat.
The scheme is a short walk from the centre of Terenure village and from Bushy Park. The city centre is 5km away.
The showhouses at Terenure Gate will open tomorrow for the first time, from 2pm to 4pm, with viewings continuing at the same time on Sunday.
Enquiries to: DNG New Homes (01) 4912600