Covid-19, and its rolling aftermath, perversely has been good to Kinsale, both on the tourist destination/staycation front, and on the property market also.
Since emerging from lockdown in June, the market has been performing exceptionally well, according to estate agents active on the sale frontline, with some worrying about stock levels dropping due to the number of ‘sale agreeds’. Notably, and very much to the fore in the mid to upper end of the market (but, possibly now the very highest end) are Irish buyers, buying for lifestyle reasons and either able to work remotely from home, or looking a few years down the line to impending retirement.
Websites show a drop in available stock over recent years: Myhome now has 74 Kinsale property listings for sale, and Daft has 88, down marginally from 99 on this time in 2018 when the local Kinsale market may well have peaked in terms of top prices commanded and secured. Unsurprisingly, there’s only a handful of rentals available online, about ten this week, at rates from studios at €200 a week, to detached houses in the hinterland at €2,300 a month: corporate rentals, when available, can be far higher than this.
Similar to 2018, there are about ten individual Kinsale properties actively on the market with price tags in excess of €1m, more than almost any other Irish town, or even most Irish cities: the Kinsale factor holds up well, as ever.
To date, the Price Register shows just one €1m+ concluded sale for 2020, and that’s for 3 Fort View over in Summercove, but the year’s young. Quite incredibly, 2019 saw nin e€1m+ property transactions, three of which were new builds at Compass Hill, in two niche schemes.
Top '19 result was recorded as Fastnet House, at €3.25m, and that also had sold in 2013 for €3m. This time around, Fastnet House (built by the late Howard Holdings’ MD Greg Coughlan at a reported cost of €6m) may have been an asset transfer or some such non-market transaction rather than a third-party sale.
Currently, the dearest property on the Kinsale market is Walton Court in Oysterhaven, with main six-bed period home (dating to 1776, the year of America’s independence) on the shoreline, including a mix of 12 cottages/mews for letting income. The house can be bought on its own for €2.2m At the lower end of the price spectrum, you might get a site from €100,000 (such as agent Josie Dinneen’s one-acre upriver at Tisaxonmore….but, she’s also just gone sale agreed on another site by Sandycove for €700,000, so the range is vast!).
Ms Dinneen is also currently active on a €1.2m upriver and upmarket property, of 2,875 sq ft on 0.6 of an acre by Abbeylands, which went to market in 2019 and is suddenly getting a Covid-19 bounce with active UK interest.
In the town centre, a tiny doer-up is priced at €140,000; there are four or five other listings sub-€200k and after that, you’re pretty much talking €200k+ for a Kinsale home fit to move into.
Key attractions remain the same for Kinsale home buyers: coastal lifestyle, property mix, good supply of new builds (at least three new homes developments have kept a lid on runaway prices in the lower to mid-market), proximity to Cork city and airport at half an hour, and even Dublin’s only three hours by car.
Enraptured by the summer feelgood factor surprisingly currently on the town’s streets, Kinsale estate agent Josie Dinneen this week says there’s a very active Irish property buying cohort.
And, doing a quick tot of what’s moving on her books (and, she’s afraid of running out of listings) she says 90% of inquiries are from native Irish buyers, including those returning from the likes of Dubai, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and US.
She puts the average age at mid-50s, and notes as many as 90% are cash buyers, many who came back over the past two years, have rented and are now prepared to commit to purchases.