House of the week: Kerry Pike, Cork €395,000

There were four house types built at the 33-unit scheme Mitchell’s Court, in Kerry Pike, just a short haul up the shouldering hills of Cork heading towards Blarney — or, towards Kerry, if you were to take the old butter roads.

House of the week: Kerry Pike, Cork €395,000

Now, No 30 — which was one of the scheme’s later showhouses after an earlier launch by D&J Builders in 2008 — is for sale. And, with a bit of style in the build (limestone window heads, no less, and more) and good finishes it’s in walk-in condition.

Selling agent is Jeremy Murphy, and he guides No 30 at just under the €400,000 mark, at €395,000, which puts it within the reach of a broad swathe of trading-up buyers.

Location wise, it’s just a few miles north-west of the city, up above the Lee Road, in a tightly controlled and zoned green-belt, green-lung for the commuter belt.

In fact, when started back in the mid-2000s, it was the first housing scheme in 30 years in Kerry Pike, which shares amenities like a national school with adjacent Clogheen. (Land nearby has recently been sold for more housing for a receiver, via Irish and European.)

Although launched at the start of the downturn, Mitchell’s Court is now, finally, a close-to-completed scheme, with just a couple of houses to be finished off and gone ‘sale agreed’ as market momentum revives.

No 30 overlooks countryside from within its limestone boundary walls, on a corner site. Design on day one was by architect Bill Mullins, and he’s delivered houses that feel every bit as big as their floor areas suggest, thanks to a sense of proportion and large, welcoming hallways that set a tone from the get-go.

With just over 2,300 sq ft, No 30 has that feature large hall, a living room, a sun-room/lounge, kitchen/dining room with gloss units and granite tops, and there’s a utility and guest loo, all at ground floor level.

Overhead are four bedrooms, with two en suite bathrooms plus main family bathroom, and there’s a Stira to a partially floored attic for storage.

External finishes include Kenmare stone facades, slate roof, cut limestone sills and window heads and painted render, dark framed pvc windows, and No 30 has a BBQ area and a sheltered spot between its two rear, projecting wings/sun room.

Back when it was first launched (with a fanfare from the Blarney Brass and Reed band) price hopes at Mitchell’s Court were from €670,000 to over €830,000 for the various top types with bells and whistles of ‘intelligent control systems’ and such like, but as the market dived, specification dropped, and sales were at a lower price level too.

A number sold in uncompleted states: the price registers shows sales in the mid to high €400,000s, dropping to €118,000-200,000 for very uncompleted homes/sites in subsequent years, with buyers spending up to €250,000 more on building on top of site purchases.

The price register shows this fully-finished entity, No 30 and done by D&J Builders, selling in 2010 at €460,000. Today it’s priced at €395,000 by estate agent Fiona Waldron of Jeremy Murphy & Associates, but given the quality and lack of trading up stock in the western suburbs, it may well get bids above that, possibly even back up towards its last sale price.

“No 30 Mitchell’s Court is only on the market a week and is already attracting huge interest,” said Ms Waldron, after the first of several open viewings in the past week.

Demand is expected to come from people working in the likes of Apple, EMc and VMWare, as well as in hospitals in the western suburbs. Kerry Pike’s village community amenities include national school, Gleann Na Laoi GAA club with pitches within the village and a walking area, two garden centres, new coffee shop, bar and restaurant.

VERDICT: Mitchell’s Court has weathered the storm.

Sq m 215 (2,320 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

BER rating: B2

Best feature: Well-built, large homes

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