The price is right as development at The Woods reflects changed market

TWO years on, and not only has the penny dropped about local property pricing and comparative values, but the market overall has dropped too.

Back in March 2007, houses at The Woods, Glounthaune in Co Cork were launched with prices from an eyebrow-raising €1 million, for a 2,100 sq ft detached four-bed, to €500,000 for a two-bed, 1,200 sq ft lodge/apartment.

Developers of The Woods were Diamond Rock, mainly Dublin based, and perhaps their sense of house values were more east coast than east Cork. They’d bought the costly 12-acre site in 2006 from local development firm, MurrayForde who’d got the planning.

In any case, sales from the March 2007 launch were sluggish, the property market had already taken a downward turn and the quality houses — in a scheme to total 82 in all — languished. Agents changed and new ones were drafted in, but prices only dropped a bit.

Now, newly appointed sales agent Tom O’Keefe (whose decades of new homes sales experience was with Bride View Developments/Homes, and hundreds of BVD home owners will only have seen him as the face of that company) is in charge of sales at The Woods, and prices have been well cut back. The €1 million detacheds are now down to a more practical €670,000, and the lodges are down from €500,000 to €360,000, and other types in between have similar reductions.

Given that he’s a seasoned selling pro, Tom O’Keeffe is probably open to a bit of negotiation on those prices, but of course he won’t say that publicly. He’s on site at weekends with show units open, or will show at other times by appointment. He does endorse the product, though, and the location just east of Cork city. Design of the bright, energy efficient and very high-tech split-level homes is by Richard Rainey Architects in Kinsale, and they are fanned out across the site for the southerly views of Cork harbour just beyond the 1970s Johnston Close series of US-style bungalows, and the Cork-Cobh/Midelton rail line, with a commuter station just across the N25 road.

Features of the timber-framed, permanent colour rendered houses include underfloor heating, assisted ventilation systems, tanked wet room bathrooms, multi-zone audio, ICE broadband with VOIP low phone and communication costs, pantry/laundries by the kitchen, coloured kitchens with granite worktops, marble tops in the bathrooms and whirlpool baths.

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