This apartment in Sutton Castle won't spend too long on the market before it's snapped up
Bayview 17 Sutton Castle Sutton, Co Dublin €1.25m
As any would-be downsizer knows, a good-sized apartment with generous storage is the rarest of finds. Not only is demand sky high for the few developments that have come on the market but prices for apartments are rising at a rate not seen elsewhere in the Dublin market.
Official figures for the year to July showed an average price increase for an apartment of 11pc, compared to just 6pc for a Dublin house.
It's a fair bet then that even with a price tag of €1.25m, plus an annual service charge of €7,030, No 17 Bayview in Sutton Castle won't spend too long on the market before it is snapped up.
The castle was once the home of the well-known Dublin family and whiskey distillers, the Jamesons. It was designed by architect Alfred Darbyshire in the Tudor style and set on the southern slopes of the Howth peninsula. When it was built in 1895, the property would have been considered to be in the depths of the country.
Pheasant have been spotted on the estate - escapees, no doubt, from shoots in the area. In fact, the castle has retained the feel of a place in the country. "If the sound of songbirds irritates you," says Conor Gallagher, of selling agents Quigley Gallagher, "then Bayview isn't for you."
Currently the grounds run to seven acres of lawns, woods and gardens - and the prospective buyer needs do no more than enjoy the view as the upkeep of the estate is covered by the service contract, and there is also a caretaker on site.
The apartment runs to 181sqm, with an additional 35sqm of sun terrace that faces south and has superb views of Dublin Bay. It is the last and the largest of both the seven apartments in the main period house and the eight units in the adjoining west wing. It was, until recently, rented out and is in turnkey condition. The other 16 apartments are all owner occupied.
"It's an ideal spot for someone who wants privacy but not isolation," says Gallagher, adding that the majority of Sutton Castle's residents are retired.
"It would suit someone who might spend a few months of the year abroad and who wants to be able to walk out the door and not turn back." An ornate carved staircase, complete with stags' heads and vaulted ceiling, leads up to the apartment on the second storey. There is also lift access.
The apartment is set over two floors with the main living areas on the first floor. A cloakroom and hot press lead off the hallway.
There is a large living/dining room with bay window and French doors out on to the sun terrace, which could easily accommodate a table and chairs.
The floors are American oak and there is a fine limestone fireplace fitted with a gas fire. The fitted kitchen has integrated appliances and opens on to a breakfast room.
A guest double bedroom with en suite and fitted wardrobes leads off the hall. The master bedroom is on the next floor with a shower en suite, walk-in wardrobe and steps down to French doors that lead to a second sun terrace.
Househunters who are downsizing from a period property will appreciate the Tudor-style details in windows and architraves as well as the fact that the apartment offers a high level of insulation and is easy to run.
Storage - or lack of it - is one of the factors that deters many a potential apartment buyer. However, Bayview offers an additional lock-up store as well as a place to keep bicycles. There are two parking bays included in the sale and additional guest parking is available.
Sutton Castle is roughly five minutes' drive from the shops at Sutton Cross in one direction and five minutes from the pretty harbourside village of Howth in the other.
Those interested in walking, golf or sailing will find plenty of appealing options on their doorstep.
There are a number of looped walks across the head, with Howth Golf Club and the Deer Park Golf Club both a few kilometres from Sutton Castle, while Howth Yacht Club has a busy and active sailing and racing scene.
Size: 181sqm plus 35sqm terrace
Agent: Gallagher Quigley (01) 818 3000
Viewing: By appointment