The sale of ten acres of stunningly-set development land around the historic Charleston House, on the edge of East Cork’s Midleton at Ballinacurra, will be one to watch for future trends, and as an indicator of the state of the still dysfunctional housing market, at a time of rapidly-rising house prices.

Of interest will be how many bid, who bids and who ultimately succeeds, where they are come from, either local/Munster or Dublin-based, and as a test of developer appetite and funding sources.

Sitewatch: Charleston House, Midleton, Cork, €3.65m

Also keenly watched will be the indications of new-builds allowed, as part of the land is zoned for high-density development; most importantly for the overall market, and for ultimate home-buyers at Charleston House, will be the price paid per acre, which feeds directly into eventual house prices (also see story p20).

Sitewatch: Charleston House, Midleton, Cork, €3.65m

Agents Peter O’Meara and Michael O’Donovan of Savills are selling the prime property in lots, with an immaculate early 1900s period home on two acres, plus ten further acres of land zoned high-density/existing built up area, or will sell the entire on 12 acres, at a guide of €3.65 million.

Sitewatch: Charleston House, Midleton, Cork, €3.65m

The house on two acres is guided at €795,000, and the balance then is valued at c €2.85m, indicating a price per acre of between €275,000 and €300,000 an acre. Of most relevance will be the eventual price per house stand, dictated by indicated densities.

Sitewatch: Charleston House, Midleton, Cork, €3.65m

There’s very little current building in Midleton, which has a commuter rail link to Cork city, and, similarly, rents have skyrocketed with a dearth of supply of houses to buy or to rent. Sales will be strong — but only at viable and sustainable prices.

Local sources say a recent sale of land at the Mill Road for Dairygold, with planning for 38 acres, saw between €50,000 and €60,000 per stand paid, and after costs and other levies, it could see site costs of €80,000 per house stand at that Mill Road purchase.

Sitewatch: Charleston House, Midleton, Cork, €3.65m

“We need estates, but that would mean having to sell three-bed semis at €350,000, and that would be like back in 2006 levels,” warned the local observer.

Associated with Bennett family of barley malters for generations, and latterly with the West family, Charleston’s lands are likely to carry a prestige factor, given their proximity to the N25 and setting 1.5kms east of Midleton, as well as mature tree boundaries, leafy avenues some water/harbour views to the mills and quays at Ballinacurra, and the overall character of the area.

Sitewatch: Charleston House, Midleton, Cork, €3.65m

The ten acres carry a split zoning, with frontage at the north to the R630 and the Dark Road, and the southern portion has 80m of frontage to the R630. Nearby are now-mature estates like the Cotswolds to the north, and the large Castleredmond to the east. Land to the west is bounded by the small townhouse development Charleston Court, and the south are a small number of one-off detached houses, as well as the Old Stable apartment scheme.

Sitewatch: Charleston House, Midleton, Cork, €3.65m

Midleton’s LAP 2015 zoning includes high-density on the northern section, while acknowledging that any development proposal will have to take cognisance of the impact on Charleston House itself.

Sitewatch: Charleston House, Midleton, Cork, €3.65m

Charleston House’s remaining lands sale will contrast with the extraordinary €19.7m paid at auction in 2004 by Bride View Development for 26 acres, with 18 acres zoned, at the period Lakeview House. The land has remained undeveloped since the bust, with the house abandoned, awaiting some resurrection.... perhaps through Nama.

Sitewatch: Charleston House, Midleton, Cork, €3.65m

Details: Savills 021-4271371


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