House of the week: Glanmire, Cork

New homes prices starting from €247,000 for two-beds, and €295,000 for three-bed townhouses, are the immediate, stand-out points to note as the long-awaited €150m Ballinglanna, Cork scheme of 600 homes and services by the O’Flynn Group gets launched next weekend, from February 16.

Ballinglanna, on a hill immediately east of Glanmire village, is finally out of the traps with the first 40 homes, spanning six types, to be released in the first phase, the majority of them aimed at first-time buyers.

It sees the traditional staple of the residential market, variations of the three-bedroomed semi-d, priced from €315,000 for 1,093 sq ft, and slightly larger 1,281 sq ft semis at €327,5000.

Also being released are four-bedroomed 1,435 sq ft semi-ds at €380,000, and four-bed detacheds, ranging from 1,907 sq ft – 2,087 sq ft, priced from €485,000.

It’s one of the most significant new homes launches in the Metropolitan Cork region for years, with approval for 600 homes on a phased basis, granted by An Bord Pleanála last April, under the rapid delivery Strategic Housing Development (SHD) legislation.

No more than 400 can be built at Ballinglanna until specific road infrastructure improvements are in place and the Ballinglanna/Dunkettle area is one of three in Cork to benefit from special Government LIHAF funding of €4.4m, under the Rebuilding Ireland initiative.

Ballinglanna was the first SHD decision to be green-lighted by the planning board outside of Dublin: at that stage last April, developer Michael O’Flynn indicated that they aimed to deliver two-beds in the mid-€200,000s price bracket — exactly where they have now come in nine months down the line, and after huge site and infrastructure works have commenced, now with up to 100 contractors on site.

His company had bought the 31 hectares of zoned land at Ballinglanna back in 2004/2005, close to where O’Flynn Construction had previously bought the period Dunkettle House, also proposed to accommodate about 600 houses. 

Dunkettle has been stalled since, pending major access upgrades at the Dunkettle interchange/Jack Lynch tunnel which have recently commenced.

At the time of Ballinglanna’s land purchase, new 1,100 sq ft three-bed semis at the 240-home development Fernwood, by Murphy Construction, launched in 2005 at €290,000, more than two years before the market peaked and crashed. 

Today, that sort of sum will get an A2 rated 1,066 sq ft three-bed townhouse within Ballinglanna, and a new road will feed from Ballinglanna through Fernwood to Glanmire.

Estate agent Paul Hannon, new homes director with Sherry FitzGerald, said there’s considerable advance interest already built up, with over 500 registered names and inquiries via the dedicated since Christmas, and reckoned that “60% are first-time buyers, the remainder are mainly traders.”

Qualifying first-time buyers can avail of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, worth about 5% or up to €20,0000 in terms of tax rebates. 

That scheme has approved over 10,000 out of over 21,000 applications, and is due to expire at the end of 2019, unless extended. 

For buyers of the €247,000 two-bed townhouses, they can effectively knock €12,500 off that asking price, or buyers of the four-bed semi-ds at €380,000 and €485,000 for detacheds can ‘save’ c €20,000.

About 10 of the 40 releases next Saturday will be four-beds, and 30 will be two- and three-bed homes, with apartments, crèche, community centre, sports hall and retail elements to follow in later phases. 

A 14-acre site is being held in reserve for a national school. First hand-over of the new builds is likely to be in early 2020.

The sizeable scheme, designed by Doyle McDonagh Nash architects, will include three external finishes and ‘looks’ to create more diverse identities, spanning brick, render finishes, and crisp ‘contemporary’ finishes.

In terms of scale, it’s broadly on a par with Mount Oval Village in Rochestown, now virtually complete with well over 800 houses and services delivered there.

VERDICT: start of a game changer for Glanmire and all points east of Cork city.

Glanmire, Cork

€247,000 to €485,000

Size: 80 sq m (861 sq ft) to 193 sq m (2,087 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 2-4

Bathrooms: 2-4

BER: A2/A3

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