Concrete ‘block buying’ in Cork

Two waterfront apartment blocks in Cork’s suburban Rochestown, totalling 50 units, are up for sale in one lot, with a guide price of €6.75 million, or an average of €135,000 each. They come to market at time of proven and competitive demand for multi-let investments.

The blocks, called the Neptune and the Schooner, are in the Hartys Quay development which is now about a decade old, and were developed by McCarthy Developments on a former boat quay and yard in Rochestown, near Douglas. They are all let, with a current rent roll of €520,000: two show units aren’t let, so this would bring income to €540,000, and based on Cork’s current rental market and rent inflation, this could rise further to €570,000, suggests surveyor Eoin Ryan of DTZ Sherry FitzGerald.

Designed by Project Architects, the contemporary-styled development is laid out in nine five-storey blocks with mono-pitch roofs, over basement/lower ground parking, in an estuarine setting.

Hartys Quay is set along the popular Cork harbour amenity walk, along a former rail line from Blackrock to Monkstown, via Rochestown and Passage West. The same firm McCarthys also developed several hundred apartments and houses at Jacobs Island, across the Douglas/Mahon estuary in the mid 2000s. DTZ don’t identify the vendor of these 50 apartments, but sources say they were sold on early to a pension-type buyer.

Noting a pick-up in activity in the multi-family unit sector in Cork in the past year DTZ Sherry FitzGerald say Harty’s Quay has been popular with renters and buyers alike since built, with many residents working in City Gate and Mahon Point across the water.

Recent multi-let sales include: Fullers Lodge, College Road, with 49 student beds, generating €185,000 pa and sold via a receiver and DTZ for close to €2.2m. Also sold was Temple Grove, with 35 apartments generating €395,000 pa on Carr’s Hill, Douglas, via Savills, for over its €5.5m guide which promised a 6.89% return. Sold too were nine apartments in Jacob’s Island, Mahon, for €1m, with a €110,00 rent roll, via Downing Commercial, who also sold 26 apartment at Mariner Hall, Mahon, for €1.9m.

Currently under offer around €6m with DTZ Sherry FitzGerald in Cork are 46 apartments at Elderwood, Boreenmanna Road, with a €475,000 rent roll, and Lisneys report very keen and broad interest in the former Ursuline convent conversion into 27 high-quality (and practically completed) apartments, guiding €3.75m by best bids in mid-April.

Noting the primacy of the Rochestown location and address for the Hartys Quay offer, Mr Ryan predicts “a great deal of interest, from a wide range of purchasers — including funds, local private buyers and also from abroad, including Irish expats— due to the quality of the product on offer, the strong rent roll, the large lot size and the potential break-up value of the asset over time.”

The offer includes five one-beds, three three-beds, and 42 two-beds, with 10 penthouses, some up to 1,500 sq ft.

The development is close to the Rochestown Inn, Cinnamon Cottage, a busy convenience store and petrol station, and is a couple of kilometres from Douglas, and easily reached from the South Ring/Tunnel. Net yield on the quoted €6.75m price is 7.65%, and given the anticipated arrival of hundreds of new IT jobs in Cork city and suburbs (eg, Tyco) and the lack of new builds, rents are set to increase further. “The current rental value is estimated to be in excess of €570,000 pa and this is certainly on an upward curve,” say the agents.

Details: DTZ 021-4275454

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