House of the week: Blackrock Road, Cork City, €475,000/€485,000 (sites)

Get a committed, quality builder on board, and buyers could be living here in not much more than a year’s time.
House of the week: Blackrock Road, Cork City, €475,000/€485,000 (sites)

Size: 2,365 sq ft/2,975 sq ft

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 4


Best Feature: Select sites

THERE’S going to be quite the tussle among Cork city’s better-heeled home hunters as a duo of exceptionally-set private house sites come to market this week, on the so-in-vogue Blackrock Road, within a stroll of the village.

The chance to build a dream, contemporary, highly-efficient home on decent sized, c one-third of an acre is rare enough: factor in the fact there’s a choice of two distinct houses good-to-go, with full planning already in place, and the race will hot up even further.

Location is near Menloe Gardens, behind the former family home of the late Fine Gael TD and former Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Barry and Margaret Barry’s long-time family home on the Blackrock Road, where they reared their own family of six.

The Barry family got planning permission in the early 2000s for two houses for a few of the siblings, set well back off the main road.

Current MEP Deirdre Clune (nee Barry) and her husband Conor Clune built here, at No 144, over a decade ago when they moved to this venerable Blackrock suburb and family patch, from the Rochestown Road.

Last year they applied for, and got, full planning for three new builds around No 144, and after a third party appeal to An Bord Pleanála, they were cleared to allow all three be built, subject to a number of conditions.

They are likely to move into one of the trio in time, in front of No 144, and now two sites in at the very far end now come to market this week with estate agent Dennis Guerin of Frank V Murphy & Co, to designs by Coughlan DeKeyser Architects who also did the ‘original’ No 144 in the mid 2000s.

One, Site A, is 0.34 of an acre, with FP for a two-storey, four-bed home in two, linked/kinked blocks, of almost 3,000 sq ft, and it’s priced at €485,000.

The other, Site B, has FPP for a slightly smaller four-bed, single storey house, again in two linked sections, that’s 2,360 sq ft, on a site of 0.3 of an acre, and is guided at €475,000. Where they’ll be bid to is anyone’s guess.

Auctioneer Dennis Guerin of Frank V Murphy & Co says he’s going to be busy here, as word is already out and he puts it down to pent-up demand for quality sites in such a rare setting, the privacy of these sites in particular, the size of them at c one-third of an acre each, and the location.

They are plum offers, premium all the way, he accepts. Full planning permission being in place is the cherry on top of the several layers of icing already laid upon them.

One way or another, the eventual buyers may well be looking at 1m-plus overall budgets, as homes to the anticipated quality may come in at just under, or comfortably over, the €200 per sq ft build and finish level.

That’s hardly likely to daunt the would-be denizens of this location and stretch, and there’s already a precedent for c €500,000 site purchases, from the city end to the village end of the Blackrock Road.

This road, rich in period properties and large gardens, has hit the 1m-plus house price mark more often in the past decade or two than any other Cork suburb: it’s back in the utter ascendant, and back in the boomiest times, at least a couple of homes were built along the Blackrock Road at reputed costs of €5/6 million.

Now, for the slightly better news for those home-hunting out this way with smaller budgets...

Reinvigorated builder/developers Citidwell Homes has confirmed their purchase of a six acre site at Cleve Hill from Dublin investor buyers Bridgedale Homes/Oaktree Capital, who got it two years ago for 3m and who’ve now flipped it on to Citidwell.

Citidwell Homes say they’ll be on site to build at this long-anticipated location within a month or so. Cleve Hill has planning now for 16 substantial semi-ds and 15 detacheds: there’s no details of sales price or agents just yet.

Last year, Citidwell sold out four, three-storey detacheds at Bulls Lane, Blackrock near Ashton School, for prices in the mid €500,000s.

And, there’s even more to come, thankfully, for a new homes’ starved suburban market.

Planning permission has finally been lodged this week for yet another prime Cork suburban site, the Eircom site at Ballintemple, near Cork Con.

Colsaerts Ltd, associated with Peter Leonard of Centurion Homes/Clarendon Properties, has sought planning for 73 homes on the Eir/Eircom site.

It’s for a medium density mix of houses, townhouses and duplexes, with no other apartment element.

It’s a slight reduction in density from previous expectations for this pivotal Ballintemple plot, and the developers Colsaerts/Centurion have already laid down a quality-build marker in Kinsale’s Cluain Mara scheme in 2016/2017.

VERDICT: Supply pipeline finally opening up a bit in mid and upper Cork suburban markets

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