Property Focus: Demand for coastal homes sees Cobh prices surge

Profile of the harbour town's current market and four homes currently for sale 
Property Focus: Demand for coastal homes sees Cobh prices surge

Cobh town centre with the statue of Sonia O’Sullvan. Picture Dan Linehan

Thanks to the surge in demand for coastal properties during the pandemic the town of Cobh has seen some of its highest priced sales of period houses in recent years.

The most expensive was Carrigrhu House — an 1880-built five-bed on 5.5 acres which Savills sold last month for €895,000. Next up was Belvelly House, a period property on 1.8 acres, listed with auctioneer Johanna Murphy, which made €795,000 in May. In September the sale also closed on Carrigmore House, a 120-year-old six-bed property which went for €761,000, considerably above the €575,000 guide set by Savills at the start of the year.

The Property Price Register reveals that since 2010 only one property — Grove House in East Ferry which made €1.5m in 2013 — sold for a higher price than Carrigrhu House. The register shows just six Cobh houses selling above €700.000, including the three from this year.

Michael O’Donovan of Savills says that both Carrigmore and Carrigrhu attracted interest from returning emigrants — a type of buyer particularly active in the market this year — but ultimately sold to local Cork buyers.

Looking across to Cobh from Haulbowline Island Amenity Park. Picture Denis Minihane.
Looking across to Cobh from Haulbowline Island Amenity Park. Picture Denis Minihane.

And while period properties in Cobh, especially ones with sea views, are being sought after by a small number of high spending buyers, local auctioneers say the town’s main attraction, along with its coastal location, is its supply of affordable property.

Of the 177 properties sold in Cobh so far this year, only slightly less than 30 sold for more than €300,000.

“You can buy a three-bed semi in Cobh for €270,000 and a three-bed apartment for €195,000 to €210,000,’’ says auctioneer Johanna Murphy noting that affordable properties including three-bed semis and bungalows have been in short supply all year, although the situation is improving.

As with almost every other place in the country, shortage of supply has pushed prices upwards. “At the start of this year you could have bought a three-bed semi for €235,000,” observes Ms Murphy.

At present, there are 57 properties listed for sale in the Cobh area although many, especially the lower priced ones, are close to being sold.

At the higher end of the market, some options are still available for returning expats in search of coastal property. The most expensive of these is Brumana at Rushbrooke, an Edwardian five-bed house with sea views and a guide of €1.4m, which is on the market with English auctioneers.

Other high priced listings include Ballynoe House, a Victorian property with an asking price of €895,000 and Oakhurst, a Victorian residence with waterfront views and a guide of €875,000.

Although new houses — as per the rest of country — are in very short supply in Cobh, DNG Spillane has three remaining townhouses in a development at Cooline, Ballyvoloon which will appeal to first time buyers.

“We have two mid terraced houses priced at €279,000 and one end of terrace for €289,000,” reveals auctioneer Donna Ryan-Pender explaining that these are the last left of a phase of 15 released in September.

Over the next two years, a further 100 houses are planned for Cooline and Ms Ryan Pender says another release — which will include four bed-semis — is expected in early 2022.

Tay Road, Cobh, €550,000 

The Glebe on Tay Road — a five-bed dormer bungalow with a guide of €550,000 — is an option for a trade up buyer in search of a spacious home in the Cobh area.

On the market with English auctioneers, the 1998 built property has a large tree-lined site with electric gates. “Maximum privacy and seclusion is afforded in this idyllic country setting, yet the property is minutes from Ticknok Retail Park ,’’ says auctioneer Liz Hannon noting that it’s just 2 km from Cobh town centre.

It was insulated in 2017 by the owner. Accommodation includes four reception rooms, a conservatory and five bedrooms, two at ground level.

The Glebe has extensive lawned gardens with a detached garage and a decked patio.

VERDICT: Very spacious and very private.

Grahams Terrace, €305,000 

The views out across Cobh harbour to Haulbowline and Spike islands are a key selling point for 6 Grahams Terrace on Church Street. 

So says Donna Ryan Pender of DNG Spillane noting that the spacious end of terrace Victorian four-bed property has old world charm and some original features, including high corniced ceilings It is in need of renovation but its current owners have replaced the roof and upgraded the heating, she reveals quoting a guide of €305,000 for the 1,680 sq ft property “You have harbour views from two of the upstairs bedrooms and the living room. And from a seating area at the front of the house you can enjoy the vista of cruise ships and yachts passing by,’’ says Ms Ryan Pender.

VERDICT: The price could appeal to first time buyers but the location, size and views could attract trade up buyers.

Ballyleary, Cobh €445,000 

Properties with an acre of gardens, like this three-bed bungalow at Orchards Way, Ballyleary in Cobh, can be hard to come by.

Selling agents Sherry FitzGerald say the upgraded and extended property and its large landscaped gardens offers wonderful space for family living.

“Built in 1987 and extended in 2012 it’s finished to a high standard,’’ says auctioneer Ann O’Mahony.

who is seeking offers of €445,000.Offering 1,485 sq ft of living space, it’s a single storey property with a large open plan living dining space. It also has two bathrooms and small home office/study. In the gardens there are lawns, decking and a garage.

Located 1.5 km from Cobh it offers easy access by bus train or ferry to commuters from the city.

VERDICT: A buyer relocating from a house in a city estate with a small garden will love the idea of having a whole acre to play around in.

Rushbrook Links, Cobh €350,000

Asked about the main selling point for 61 Chandler Rest, Rushbrook Links in Cobh, auctioneer Johanna Murphy says “value for money.’’ 

“For a guide of €350,000 it’s a three-storey, four-bed, ready to move in to modern house with 130 sq m (1,400 sq ft) of living space,” she reveals, adding that the 2004 built mid terrace house has a B2 BER rating and is fetchingly decorated.

Additional attractions for trade up buyers include a long west facing back garden overlooking the Cobh estuary. Located within a ten minute drive from the town centre and the train station, the property is 1.5 km from the river ferry crossing at Carrigaloe. Ms Murphy says it attractive to city buyers in search of a trade up since it offers good space for its asking price. “It’s also ready to walk into with no further expenditure being needed,’’ Ms Murphy adds.

VERDICT: Spacious modern home with estuary views.

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