House of the Week: The grandeur of Ardfoyle Crescent

  • Ardfoyle Crescent, Ballintemple

  • Price: €545,000
  • Size: 117 sq m (1,250 sq ft)
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • BER: F

There's hardly a row of homes in Cork city’s older southside suburbs with as much ‘kerb appeal’ as those on one side of Ardfoyle Crescent: even their entrance pillars set quite a tone of grandeur, in red brick and crowned with large terracotta globes.

The row, rising upwards from Ballintemple’s narrow Park Avenue and hooking around to Ardfoyle Avenue, includes nine ‘special’ private homes, with three detacheds including Ardfoyle House on the largest site, and six semi-d’s, in three pairs, on the higher stretch close to the green, open spaces of Ardfoyle Convent. And, while the adjacent Ardfoyle Avenue which links to the very heart of Ballintemple has seen a clutch of sales and resales in the past decade, stubbornly there’s been little or no movement on the Crescent.

Until now. Listed just last week, and with the first viewings in recent days, is Glenlara, a right-hand side three-bed semi-d, of just over 1,300 sq ft inside. It’s charming, in a low-key manner, dated but with lots of original touches, including much-polished original pine doors and architraves, and is on extra-special, private gardens.

It carries a guide price of €545,000 with estate agent Timothy Sullivan, and he says the first to view have, as expected, been very enthusiastic about the Crescent as a location, and this section in particular.

Houses on the other/inner side of Ardfoyle Crescent are more modern, they don’t have those great boundary walls and pillars, but in part-compensation they have a sunnier aspect to their back gardens.

Glenara’s rear grounds are, indeed, largely north aspected, yet are of a depth that most get lots of sun, and the back of the house picks up incidental light too, bright in the evenings and not only have the gardens here thrived, they’ve won garden competitions, Mr Sullivan says.

Despite the cachet and convenience of the Ardfoyle address (it would put Irish Examiner Agony Aunt ‘Ask Audrey’ into envious raptures), and the aesthetic appeal of these homes, the estate agent expects bidding may well be less frenetic than might have been the case a year or so ago, before Brexit/Trump and some economic and sectoral employment concerns served to temper the excesses of a recovering residential market.

If that proves to be the case, that will be to the benefit of bidders here, as whoever buys is likely to spend more, upgrade, work to improve its ‘F’ BER rating and energy performance.

On the upside, they can be pretty sure of putting down roots in a location they won’t want to move on from for many years to come. Market sources indicate there may well be another Ardfoyle Crescent home of similar vintage, or even two, to come to market in coming months, including at least one other semi-detached.

Perusing the Price Register shows five sales closeby, on Ardfoyle Avenue where top prices were €610,000 for No 8, recorded just two months ago, and €745,000 for Cooolscart back in 2016, with the address curiously spelled as ‘Ardfoile.’

A number of the Avenue houses facing the glorious grounds of Ardfoyle Convent have had very significant upgrades, extensions and makeovers in recent years: whoever looks at Glenlara may get some design ideas from one or two of those. At present, Glenlara has two reception rooms with mid ‘60s fireplaces, hall, conservatory/porch entrance, kitchen/breakfast rooms, and rear hall/utility with guest WC, plus three bedrooms, bathroom and separate first floor WC.

There’s a glass ceiling/attic panel bringing light to the landing, and the house has a detached garage tucked away in the back garden.) Meanwhile, about 200 metres away from Glenlara, facing Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the Atlantic Pond, a super-sized contemporary home on a double site has just been completed, designed by Cook Architects.

In the wider picture, too, the location’s within a walk of the city centre for the fitter out there, and Blackrock village’s an easier stroll, while the immediate hinterland is set to benefit from the provision of the City Hall-driven Marina Park public amenity, and other investments along the leafy Leeside Marina, and the Atlantic Pond.

VERDICT:

Ballintemple beauty, with kerb appeal and fine features that are more than skin deep.

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