The Cork suburb with three €1m plus sales during lockdown

Property Focus on Cork's Blackrock where houses don't come cheap
The Cork suburb with three €1m plus sales during lockdown

Even in the depths of pandemic lockdowns in 2020, Blackrock had three sales which went over the €1m mark. Picture: Larry Cummins

Given the high prices people are willing to pay for large detached properties in Blackrock, few would dispute the claim that it is Cork city’s most sought-after suburb.

Even in the depths of pandemic lockdowns in 2020, the area had three sales which went over the €1m mark — the highest of which was Ashton Park House, a six-bed detached house — which sold for €1.85m in September.

Back before Covid in 2019, Blackrock had five €1m+ sales — including that of Temple Lawn House which went for €1.75m and Coraville, Temple Lawn, which fetched €1.85m.

As recognition of its status — the posh Cork city accent which once belonged to Montenotte residents is now being identified as a Blackrock one. This is shamelessly mocked in the Irish Examiner’s Ask Audrey column, which features ‘Reggie’ — who snottily laments the arrival of riff-raff, northsiders, and Kerry people on the Blackrock Road while laying claim to owning a €4.8m property and a yacht.

Although it doesn’t have any properties valued as high as Reggie thinks his is worth, the Blackrock Road does seem to have more than its fair share of €1m+ sales.

Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing, who sold Ashton Park House for €1.85m last year, says he still has a list of underbidders waiting for a chance to buy something similar.

The Blackrock property market can almost be said to have a microclimate of its own where demand is higher than in other parts of the city. Picture: Denis Scannell

The Blackrock property market can almost be said to have a microclimate of its own where demand is higher than in other parts of the city. Picture: Denis Scannell

As to why there is such a demand for Blackrock houses and why buyers are willing to pay more for its large detached houses and even for its three-bed semis and smaller properties, he says there are a number of reasons.

The fact that the Blackrock Road is a three-kilometre stretch with a range of detached, terraced and semi-detached houses including Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian and some strikingly modern ones is a key factor — but, he believes, not the only one.

“There’s proximity to the city and the fact that it doesn’t have as much traffic as other parts of the city. People travelling on the Blackrock Road are mostly people who live there,’’ he says, adding that the quality of schools and amenities in the area is another attraction.

“The fact that Blackrock has a village and a community with coffee shops, pubs and a farmers market is important and there is also access to the river at the Marina, which is a hugely popular amenity.’’

Auctioneer Tim Sullivan says the Blackrock property market can almost be said to have a microclimate of its own where demand is higher than in other parts of the city.

Right now, in the depths of lockdown when there’s a national shortage of second-hand properties, Blackrock houses are in extremely short supply. On Myhome.ie, just 20 Blackrock properties are advertised, including quite a number which are already sale agreed.

Shamrock Place — a large Blackrock Road detached house with a guide of €1.5m — is one of quite a small number still available. The auctioneers selling these now have long lists of interested buyers who are eager to view them when this becomes possible.

At the start of this week, there were no new houses for sale in Blackrock, but now there is one. Casey & Kingston had a mid-week cancellation for a four-bed mid-terraced house at the Crawford Gate. Part of a 65-house development off the Skehard Road, it has almost 1,300 sq ft of living space and is priced at €365,000.

Blackrock Road €1.5m 

Detached houses on Blackrock Road are among the most expensive in the city, sought after by buyers who have in excess of a million Euros to spend.

Shamrock Place, a five-bed four-bathroom house on a site of circa a third of an acre is currently the only property available at this price level.

Guiding at €1.5 million it’s on the market with Ann O’Mahony of Sherry FitzGerald who says that in addition to its prestigious address, it has almost 3,000 sq ft of space and great privacy courtesy of high front walls.

At the city end of the Blackrock Road it’s a 1940s build, extended and upgraded over the years. Its large back garden has a magnificent Monterey cypress tree.

VERDICT: A fine property with scope for 21st century improvement

Beaumont €395,000 

A very popular option for families seeking to settle in the Blackrock area in recent years has been to purchase a 1960s-built estate house in Beaumont and give it a 21st century upgrade.

Once lockdown ends, Adare, No 26 Beaumont Crescent is set to attract a great deal of attention from this type of buyer.

A mature three-bed semi with original tiled fireplaces and picture rails, a long detached garage/workshop, a good-sized garden and around 1,200 sq ft of living space including a kitchen extension, it offers buyers scope to extend and modernise

Seeking offers of €395,000, Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing says he has already been contacted by 40 buyers who are eager to view it. Selling points include the quite mature setting, just 350m from Blackrock Road and Ballintemple and within a 15-minute walk from the Atlantic Pond and Marina.

“This is a highly sought-after location with a wealth of amenities on your doorstep to include clubs, shops, schools, and amenity walks,’’ says Mr Olden.

VERDICT: Likely to go quickly once viewing becomes possible.

Jacob’s Island €370,000

VIEWERS of 33 Longshore Drive in Jacob’s Island will admire the spacious, modern, four-bed semi and love its proximity to Blackrock’s waterfront walkway and the Joe McHugh public park.

Appreciation of green spaces and amenities is at an all-time high and the Mahon estuary walkway is an extremely popular recreational area.

Auctioneer Tim Sullivan says the 1,400 sq ft property is very well maintained and very well situated as it is close to Mahon Point, the Lee Tunnel and the link road.

Seeking offers of €370,000, he says it’s an excellent family home, which even has a built-in trampoline in the back garden.

VERDICT: A spacious modern trade up with easy access to the Blackrock walkway.

Jacob’s Island €230,000

Affordable properties aren’t readily available in the Blackrock area, but a two-bed apartment at 87 The Haven in Jacobs Island with a guide of €230,000 could do nicely for a young couple starting out.

Trevor O’Sullivan of Coldwell Banker Estates recently sold a similar apartment at no 85 for €225,000 to a first-time buyer and expects similar interest for no 87.

“It’s a well-maintained, owner-occupied, ground-floor apartment in a secure gated complex,’’ he says, adding that it has a private patio garden at the rear and a parking space, as well as an option to buy a second one.

Pointing out that the property is close to Mahon Point and offers easy access to the Link Road and the Jack Lynch Tunnel, Mr O’Sullivan says it could suit employees of technology companies in the area.

VERDICT: Highly affordable

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