Ballincollig new homes market hots up at Heathfield

Pictures: Ted Murphy

With 700 names registered on the development's website, 40 sales already secured and prices edged up by €5,000 since January, it's a fair conclusion to expect huge viewing interest and volumes of visitors when Cork's Ballincollig development Heathfield finally unveils its first showhouse, and 27 units, come the weekend of  April 13 and 14.

The development of 210 homes, predominantly four-bed semi-detacheds, is just off the N40/N22 at Carriganarra, Ballincollig, and is being undertaken by builders and developers Murnane & O'Shea, who now have 50-70 workers active on site.

It's notable as a medium density scheme of three-and four-bed homes, most of them semi-detacheds and where 1,486 sq ft four-bed semis priced at €375,000 are particularly finding favour with first- time buyers (FTBs) who can view them as 'homes for life,' or at least for the medium to long-term.

First-time buyers will qualify for the Help to Buy scheme, worth up to €18,000 in tax rebates, and the development is being promoted in a special digital marketing campaign by a number of Cork AIB branches, says Murnane & O'Shea's Director of Operations Deirdre Herlihy.

They've also proven attractive to traders down, adds sales agent Elizabeth Hegarty of Savills, who's been dealing with quite the age span in the development's first two phases, released initially in a 'soft launch' in October. 

This was then followed up in January, when prices stood at €320,000 for three-beds, and at €370,000 for the larger semis, approximately 20% larger with 230 sq ft more space, and that vital extra, fourth bedroom, likely to be used as a home office until family occupancy expands.

Now, after a frenetic site tidying and ongoing tarmacing in the past week, already committed buyers and aspiring purchasers for next week's release of 24 more homes, will get to see in the showhouse what they're going to get for the colour of their money, in what's possibly one of the most geographically competitive new homes segments of metropolitan Cork.

Rival developments include a mix of types in releases at O'Flynn Construction's Coopers Grange and Millers Court in Old Quarter, O'Callaghan Properties in The Ferns at Classes Lake with townhouses at €290,000, and 1,700 sq ft and 1,800 sq ft four-bed detacheds at OCP's  Lisheen, Ovens. There are also several on-going developments around the Model Farm Road/Killumney area, and even O'Flynn's Clonlara in Kerry Pike, also getting a Ballincollig-based buyer bounce.

Murnane & O'Shea/MOS Homes' Heathfield is the latest kid on the block at Ballincollig, and buyers are working in places as diverse as Blarney, Apple in Hollyhill, the Airport Business Park and spots spread out along the ring road's southern stretch, including Mahon, says Savills', noting they are buying for the long-term.

Set to be released on a 'first-come, first-served' basis next weekend are eight three-bed semi-ds of 1,277 sq ft, and 16 four-bed semis at €375,000, with the new releases a slight variation on the four-bed type just being pressed into service as the development's showhouse.

Also being offered are three only detacheds, of 181 sq m 1,944 sq ft at €515,000 slightly smaller than the 2,120 sq  ft detacheds offered at a higher €530,000 in January 2019.   

Design is by Deady Gahan architects, with a very good floor plan and flow especially in the four-bed semis, with a rear add-on sun-room with slight, vaulted ceiling, and ceiling heights at ground are a good 2.7m.

The traditionally, block-built homes have an A3 BER, gas central heating, solar panels and PV panels for contribution electricity demand, and so should be very low energy to run, but no indicative running costs have yet been calculated. The showhouse has a fitted stove, but future builds after a design tweak are likely to not have one, and will be built without chimneys, and the homes have good understairs storage, as well as guest WCs and en suite master bedrooms, with fully tiled bathrooms.

The brick and render-faced homes will be painted internally, and buyers will get the choice of fitted kitchens, supplied by a related Murnane & O'Shea company, Bantry Bespoke Joinery, as well as built-ins also done by Bantry Bespoke in one bedroom.

Heathfield is at the Cork city end of the Ballincollig link road at Carriganarra, just south of the town itself, and adjoins the new and highly subscribed 750-pupil Gaelscoil Uí Riordáin national school and playing fields, recently relocated and on the go in Ballincollig since the mid 1980s.

Murnane & O'Shea have a business record going back 50 years, and MOS schemes in train around Cork include Crawford Woods in Glanmire, while the company has not yet released any development details about a prime five acre city suburban site it acquired at St Dominic's Retreat Centre, Montenotte for an unconfirmed c €2m, set to accommodate 40 new builds.

Completion and handover of the Heathfield 27 home release (show houses open 12pm to 2pm Sat and Sun April 13 and 14) is expected by Q1/Q2 2020, with activity likely to continue on site up to 2022, said MOS's Deirdre Herlihy.

Carriganarra, Ballincollig, Cork

VERDICT: Accessible new homes

  • €325,000/€375,000/€515,000
  • Size: 119 sq m (1,277 sq ft)/139 sq m (1,486 sq ft) 181 sq m (1,944 sq ft)
  • Bedrooms: 3/4
  • Bathrooms: 3
  • BER: A3

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