Sitewatch: 18 acres in Glounthaune, Cork

Development land just east of Cork city, at Glounthaune and near the commuter rail station, has come up for sale, described as “a prime residential development opportunity” by Frank Ryan and Seamus Costello of Cushman & Wakefield.

The 18 acres of land adjoins the Cois Chuain up-market scheme done by Lanes in the early 2000s, and includes three acres by the national school which is zoned for community use, and a 2,340 sq ft period style house with old courtyard stone outbuildings. About 8.8 acres is considered development lands, and is within the development boundary in the draft 2017 LAP.

Given the current focus and concern on rising house values due to an acute shortage of new builds, plus a re-emerging activity in site acquisition for development, this is likely to be actively viewed, with the rule run over end-value of housing, and site per stand which might be paid (see also lead story p19.)

A value close to €600,000 is put on the existing residential property on over six acres, much of it wooded, and the three acres zoned for community use (suitable for school expansion, sports facilities etc) is loosely guided at €150,000. That indicates an anticipated development land value of c €1.3m for the 8.8 acres, or €145,000/€150,000 per acre for building land.

A portion of the land by the school is currently used by them as a sports facility, under licence, and the land which is 0.7 kms north of the village and near Cois Chuain and the earlier builds at the Highlands slopes south, overlooking Cork’s Lower Harbour and Fota Island.

Eighteen acres of land has come up for Glounthaune, just east of Cork city; 8.8 acres of the land package is suitable for development and falls within the draft 2017 LAP.
Eighteen acres of land has come up for Glounthaune, just east of Cork city; 8.8 acres of the land package is suitable for development and falls within the draft 2017 LAP.

This land, and that at Midleton and Mallow featuring in these pages, comes for sale at a time of national, and indeed international/EU concern over the pace of Ireland’s house price increase, now topping 10% pa due to supply shortages and blockages.

However, there’s also a concern that builders in the past year around Cork have paid uneconomic sums for development land and haven’t started to build until prices rise further.

Such concerns have prompted developer Michael O’Flynn this week to warn about supply side shortages, and rather than artificially capping land values, he said the answer was to zone and service sufficient amounts of land.

Mr O’Flynn this coming weekend launches the first 20 of 144 new-builds at a brand new site, Clonlara, at Kerry Pike, where three-bed semi-ds are priced from €285,000/€295,000 (critically under the €300,000 mark for FTBs who’ll qualify for the Help to Buy scheme,) and the O’Flynn Group will also have 1,500 sq ft four-bed detacheds at €365,000.

Pointedly, Mr O’Flynn who now is a high profile de facto industry spokesperson as well as being Munster’s most significant developer says: “These prices levels are too high; we’re at the stage where an ordinary couple who are both working can’t afford to buy.”

The told the Irish Examiner he was building for 38 years, and was always able to provide homes for couples on average wages. “Prices should be brought down to a level an ordinary couple can afford,” he stated and suggested a suitable price level for a starter home should be €250,000/€260,000.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney was doing a good job under his housing action plan, Mr O’Flynn said, but argued that changes needed to follow urgently also at a broader Government level, addressing costs such as building levies, VAT and Part V social housing provision. Unless these costs were addressed at the highest level “prices won’t slow down,” he warned.

The O’Flynn group’s Clonlara scheme’s first phase launch of 144 units in total will be closely watched, as it is the first new development in some time independent of Nama, and he has funding from Bank of Ireland, AIB, his own equity resources and Avenue Capital.

The group is active on six sites, including two in Dublin and — while not directly commenting on current land offers — Mr O’Flynn told the Irish Examiner: “We’re in the market for land, but only at the right price.”

Details: Cushman & Wakefield 021-4275454


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