IT’S hardly a surprise, or hardly even news anymore, that coastal Cork’s Kinsale continues to dominate the top end of the Munster house market, favoured by the mega-rich, the odd oligarch, and by arriving and departing celebs and artistes, such as singer/songwriter Tori Amos.
But, in the year just ending, the property cocoon (we’d hesitate to say ‘bubble,’) that is Kinsale made even more waves at the €1m-plus price level, when looked at in broad-brush property strokes.
First up, there were almost ten sales of private Kinsale hinterland homes for over the €1m mark in 2019, and that sheer volume alone is impressive: there’s no other Irish address, bar in and around select Dublin locations, that can match that sort of clutch.
The year before, 2018, had seen ‘just’ four Kinsale properties make over this significant €1m price threshold. Then, for each of the years 2017 back to 2014 there were just three €1m-plus sales each year, so there’s way, way more Kinsale homes making serious returns for vendors.
The top Kinsale sale in the past ten years or more still stands at the €3m paid for Fastnet House back in 2015, sold by Cohalan Downing. Now, the same Cohalan Downing agency’s Malcolm Tyrrell has approached that sort of figure, in a roundabout way, with the house next door, called Rooska.
Offered off-market, Rooska (pic, above) at Ardbrack is a dated bungalow albeit on a truly prime perch and peach of a site above the Scilly Walk, and has the most expansive and expensive of views.
Rooska shows up on the Price Register at an even €2 million and was bought for its views ... not for its looks.
For the best part of two decades now, Kinsale’s Ardbrack has held the distinction of being where houses of almost any shape and size but on serious sites have made serious money and get knocked and replaced.
Demolition seems to be the fate for the €2m Rooska, subject to planning for a new-build. €2m for a site? Where else, but Kinsale?
2019 was also the year when a brand new build, within a development, made over €1m: the Price Register shows 1 Winter’s Hill, a contemporary design part of Cumnor Construction’s Convent Gardens scheme, fetching €1.04m, sold by Savills, Cork who had three other of the three-storey builds there sell for between €920,000 and €950,000 a-piece. Also sold as a Kinsale new build, at €1.35m, was 3 Ard Alainn, Compass Hill.
Different builders and diggers were in and active in jig-time, within days of the closing of the sale of the period Ballywilliam House.
The 200-year old Georgian home, on 2.5 acres at the end of a long cul de sac upriver of Kinsale, had been the hideaway and spiritual retreat home for singer/songwriter Tori Amos for 25 years.
It went to market in October 2018, guiding €1.45m, and shows on the Register at €1.192m, while local sources say the overall deal (with land) was closer to €1.25m.
It was bought by a businessman with local Kinsale family roots and who owns several Kinsale AirBnB properties: he is understood to have made at least one other purchase too in ‘19 in the vicinity of tranquil-set Ballywilliam.
Sold also in Kinsale in ‘19 was Ardcarrig, for a recorded €1.79m up on Compass Hill, in a deal done by Ron Kruger of Engel & Volkers who had 2018’s biggie, Corafine at Scilly Walk which made €2.55m, and he also had Ard Na Greina, a Da Vinci framed kit-build further up Compass Hill, and which is on the Register at €1.24m after a lengthy period on the market.
An older era townhouse, at 3 Dennis Quay by the harbour front, is recorded as a €1m sale, and a slightly anonymous Ardbrack listing (ie, no house name or number) is down at €1.02m.
Also still under the Price Register’s radar, apparently, is another Ardbrack Kinsale house, Seascape, which went for sale in March 2018 guiding €2.45m, now sold via Sherry FitzGerald, understood to be for over €2m, but as yet officially unrecorded.