House of the week: Carrigrohane, Cork

Tommy Barker reports

Carrigrohane, Cork - €425,000-€820,000

Size: Sq ft from 1,438-2,885

Bedrooms: 4-upwards

Bathrooms: 3-upwards

BER: A3

Best feature: Location

And, they’re nearly out — the first 11 homes in the long-anticipated Steeplewoods development come out of the traps next weekend, with a grand showhouse opening.

There’ll be a wide range of house types even within that
limited release, and prices are diverse, but clearly not aimed at the lower end of the market. They kick off at €420,000 via Sherry FitzGerald New Homes, and that’s for A3-rated, four-bedroomed semi-ds, of 1,438 sq ft.

Steeplewoods is a scheme of 26 detached and semi-detached homes beyond Carrigrohane and the Model Farm Rd, west of Cork City and close to Ballincollig, on a multimillion-euro 4.17 acre site acquired with planning in place over a year ago by developers O’Flynn Construction.

It’s the first new scheme to launch in this Model Farm Rd/Greater Ballincollig vicinity where a number of other new homes developments are also set to flow and start, including at the former Nangle Nurseries land by St Peter’s Church.

Ironically, Steeplewoods comes to market just as it’s confirmed the Church of Ireland has sold land due to be zoned for residential development close to St Peter’s Church, to an as yet-unconfirmed buyer.

The Carrigrohane Union of Parishes got about €3.5m for 4.6 acres, and is reinvesting in developing a new church and parish hub at the former Gun Store in Ballincollig’s redeveloped barracks site, recently acquired post-auction for about €1.2m. In a further sign that Cork’s western front is waking up to development and housing demand, a site adjoining Steeplewoods had a sale tender date yesterday, with agents Irish & European. It’s 50% bigger than Steeplewoods’ 4.17 acres, at 6.17 acres and had an initial price guide of €3.25m via Irish & European.

That sum is certain to be exceeded. O’Flynn Construction will have been among those at the top of the bidding pile, and access to that additional land (it’s all being sold by the same family executor) is through Steeplewoods. It’s zoned for development, but no planning has been sought on it so whoever buys it will have all density options open to them, subject to planning, and so may well see a scheme of more affordable mid-market and starter homes delivered on its six-plus acres.

Demand in the area is strong, given easy access to the western suburbs, hospitals, and third-level colleges, and firms like VMWare and Dell/EMC in Ballincollig and Ovens, which between them employ many thousands more, as some of the region’s biggest FDI firms. Also seeking to sate some demand is the proposed sale of land at Kilumney, within a walk of EMC, with a recent grant of planning for 70 homes, on 7.1 acres: it went to market last week with Lisney, for a Dairygold-related company, and is guided at €4m. Houses and apartments there will meet first-time buyer needs, in particular, and among those who may bid will be O’Flynn Construction, and O’Callaghan Properties.

First to launch is Steeplewoods, with house types pictured here. It will have nine different variations or design across the detached and semi-d spectrum.

There are four semis launching, from €420,000, and one on a larger site will carry a slight premium, the seven detacheds range from 1,840 sq ft to 2,885 sq ft, with prices starting from €620,000, and likely to go from €620-€820,000, for the very largest.

Sherry FitzGerald New Homes director Paul Hannon says: “Steeplewoods is perfectly designed and located to appeal to Cork-based, first-time buyers, young families and owners of existing homes seeking to trade up.”

Meanwhile, a further phase of releases aimed at a more broad-based cohort come in early October. O’Flynn Construction is to launch a mix of 20 semis and detacheds at Clonlara, Kerry Pike, having sold out the first phase of 20 in May, when semis sold for just under, and over, the €300,000 mark and 1,500 sq ft detacheds were from €365,000. Prices for the next 20 to be released at Clonlara are not yet confirmed, but all can be expected to be above the €300,000 threshold.

VERDICT: New homes market finally getting some momentum in Greater Cork area

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