NOW that we’re in the trillionaire category, and second only to the Japanese in terms of per capita income, paying a little under a million euro for a holiday home should be a blip on the radar — throwaway money, in fact.
There’s still a lot of it around: the launch this week of The Lodges, in Kenmare, Co Kerry, has seen a number of the large, detached properties booked from the plans.
The heavy-hitting buyer who values water views, and privacy, will probably go for the premium product in this niche estate — the waterside houses.
Big, at 4,000 sq ft apiece, the proposed houses are pencilled in for the Kenmare Bay side of the site and are the truffles of this smart scheme.
There are just 22 houses on a five-plus acre site at Killowen, on the Cork approach to Kenmare, and each villa is given a lot of garden space, besides lush communal areas.
A builder’s dream, the site slopes southwards and is a level rectangle running down to Kenmare Bay and facing onto Sheen Falls.
This five-star hotel, one of the top 100 in the world, has a 90-unit, holiday-home-and-apartment scheme in progress. Prices start at a low €800,000, rising to €1.8m for the pick of the crop.
Developers are the Hoyer family/McCarthy Developments and Sherry FitzGerald are the selling agents.
Further down the road, the equally exclusive Park Hotel is developing an ultra-modern scheme on its own, town-centre grounds with prices starting at €1.45 to €2m for apartments of 1,650 sq ft with full hotel/concierge back-up.
Densities in both schemes are higher than at The Lodges and prices differ too: the starting point for a 2,000 sq ft house at Killowen is €780,000 and that includes complete fit-out, down to a kitchen fittings, bathrooms and bedrooms.
Developers Coolfadda have gone for a pleasing, Edwardian style and have invested in hard landscaping and environmentally-aware infrastructure.
Water features, (including a natural rock pool at the showhouse), stepping-stone paths, rockeries and wild flower meadows, are part of the overall plan and will be managed by a caretaker and gardener. There may even be mooring potential, subject to permission.
The BMS, or building management system, will have a strong attraction for second-home buyers here, as the remote dial-up facility will allow distance control of heating, alarms and solar panels.
High quality, industrially finished joinery means low maintenance, but with a hand-painted look. Windows and doors come with five-point locking and tiles are natural slate.
Fascia and soffitt are also in painted hardwood with natural stone boundaries and full landscaping on offer with each property.
In the first phase, there is a choice of four house types with the smallest at 1,510 sq ft, the C type, rising to 2,120 sq ft for the A type.
Developers Coolfadda were also part of a consortium behind an ambitious, 300-house plan for Kenmare which has been turned down by An Bord Pleanála.
In its decision, the Bord cited lack of infrastructure for refusing the mixed-use plan, which also saw a number of local objections. Traffic congestion and an inadequate water supply in Kenmare were among the reasons for the refusal and the extrapolation of that decision could mean that any further development in the town will also be refused, pending better infrastructure.
Which means opportunity to buy in the town is also limited — so it might be worth checking out The Lodges. Show house opening day is August 12.