Surgical snip of €1.3m

FORGET “is there doctor in the house?” It’s now a case of “is there a doctor in the market?”

Surgically cut and cut again in price, is Rockrohan Court — surely now in the bargain basement league for best buys with its asking price shaved by over 50%.

What price a 3,000 sq ft, six-bedroom home with heated outdoor swimming pool and immaculate gardens on 2.25 acres of truly prime Cork suburban land on Model Farm Road?

In May 2008, this very distinctive but dated architect-designed home hit an already declined property market guiding at €2.5 million. By spring this year, this was cut to €1.6 million. Now, as autumn leaves fall, it is truly slashed to the bone by its newly-appointed agent to €1.2 million — and may end up selling between €1m and the quoted €1.2m AMV. Between those figures, it has to be a great offer for those that can get the necessary finance together.

There’s hardly been more than a couple of €1m-plus sales in Cork city or suburbs in the past year (Fleming Construction’s Waterfall scheme Earl’s Well has three going through), so confidence is naturally low at the southern city’s upper middle and top end market sectors. And, of the better €1 million price bracket sales that did go ahead in the past two or three years, medics on the move made up the bulk of the buyers. Doctors seeking a great family base in a prestigious location may find their house or site needs met at Rockrohan.

Its vendor is a retired medic, who bought this house (built in three linked pagoda-like shapes) several decades ago from the Casey family who still own lots of land in this jealously-guarded section of green belt land just west of Bishopstown, the CIT, Cork University Hospital, and a technology park. It’s also near the Ballincollig bypass.

He is downsizing, has a place by the sea and is ready to cut his Rockrohan links, says auctioneer Dennis Guerin of Frank V Murphy Ltd.

“He’s very realistic, is philosophical about the market and is prepared to sell for a very significant reduction,” says Mr Guerin. He suggests the initial €2.5 million asking price might have been strong for 2008. If it sells for €1.2 million, it is a 52% reduction, if it only makes €1 million, it is a very considerable 60% reduction on first aspirations.

A fairly recent €1.1m agreed deal on Rockrohan Court saw its vendor pull out because of delays by the purchaser, while a €950,000 bid this month hasn’t been entertained.

While the house’s decor is definitely of its 1970s period, it is a good build, three of its six bedrooms are en suite and it has recently had its electrics upgraded and has been re-roofed.

Not only can it accommodate a large family, it has proven itself as a venue for entertaining, hosting a wedding for 250, with the aid of a marquee, and came out unscathed from a party for 350 guests.

Totally private from the approach avenue, it has trees up to 150 years old, there’s a rear paddock with space for a pony, the main garden has been professionally planted and there’s a pavilion-like pool changing facility.


Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin, which is owned by her father, Maurice Earls.Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

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