At home in . . . Maynooth

University town has good transport links, lively centre and Carton estate for a garden

The commuter-belt counties bordering Dublin all offer good value property opportunities, in various respects in various different areas. However, Maynooth is perhaps best placed in all three counties – Meath, Kildare and Wicklow – for a number of reasons.

About a 30-minute drive from Dublin city centre, the Kildare town has an enviable transport connection to the capital, with the M4, as well as the Celbridge Road, linking it directly to the city, via west Dublin. Two direct bus lines also run right into heart of Dublin city.

Minister for Planning Simon Coveney has also recently announced plans for a €14 million development to link the Leixlip Road with the Celbridge Road, which will take infrastructure pressure off Maynooth town centre, and allow traffic to filter to the M4.

The Western Commuter train links into Dublin, with a line that ends at Pearse Station, having first accessed a number of other towns, such as Castleknock and Drumcondra, en route.

In direct relation to the recession, the property market ground to a virtual halt in Maynooth after 2008 but the upturn in the economy has seen the town begin to grow again both in terms of sales and construction, since 2013.

Affluent community

The wider north Kildare region consists of Maynooth, Kilcock, Leixlip and Celbridge, and within that quartet of towns there is a strong employment base and affluent community, which means that property prices are competitive, but not low.

The presence of Maynooth University – which has one of the country’s leading PhD schemes, and also boasts the stunning John Paul II Library – designed by Scott Tallon Walker Architects – means the town also has a very diverse age and cultural range, with a buzzing town centre midweek and a quieter, family atmosphere at weekends.

There’s direct access from the town to Carton demesne – an estate of more than 1,000 acres with a hotel, two golf courses and walkways and 9km of cycle trails. Golf club membership starts at €2,500 while guests can play at a rate of about €35.

Adventure sports, fishing and tennis are also catered for on the grounds.

“Maynooth itself is a university town,” says Will Coonan, director of REA Coonan real estate agents in the town.

We get a lot of buyers who went to college in Maynooth, then head off to Dublin and live there for a few years, and then get married and settle down in Maynooth

“But its prices are reflective of its distance from the city and its accessibility by road, bus and train. The transport links are attracting home buyers and have attracted businesses like the Kerry Group in Naas, Intel in Leixlip and Hewlett-Packard, also in Leixlip.”

The elements of family living in Maynooth are catered for by four primary schools. At secondary level there is a new education campus, which has received planning permission for two brand new secondary schools on a 40-acre site; construction will go ahead in September 2017 with a projected completion date of late 2018.

The 17,000 or so population of Maynooth is also well served by facilities – something that marks it out as a strong residential location compared with similar areas in Dublin’s surrounding counties.

Vibrancy

The four-star hotel Carton House has two championship golf courses, while there are also GAA, soccer and rugby clubs in the area. The town’s main street is lined with a growing selection of eateries and bars that have earned the prestigious Purple Flag recommendation, in recognition of the area’s vibrancy as a night-time location.

“We get a lot of buyers who went to college in Maynooth, then head off to Dublin and live there for a few years, and then get married and settle down in Maynooth. And a lot of those buyers commute to Dublin with the excellent train services,” says Eamon O’Flaherty of Property Partners Brady.

“But there is very broad spectrum of buyers, which you would expect, as it’s the number-one residential location in north Kildare.”

A large number of residents – and new buyers – also have a connection with the west of Ireland, as the town’s location on the M4 means it links directly to Galway and Sligo, allowing those hailing from Connacht to connect with their roots with a quicker journey time than travelling from Dublin or Wicklow.

Meeting demand is the current problem in the town, with four developments currently under construction that will all come to completion by mid-2019.

“At the moment in Maynooth, we have four developments,” says Coonan. “We have Moyglare Hall, Carton Grove, Carton Wood and there is another development on the edge of town called Limetree Hall.

“And just finishing up is a development of 62 houses and eight apartments called Hayfield on the Straffan Road. Generally speaking, those schemes are made up of two-, three- and four-bedroom family homes, ranging in size from 83sq m right up to about 134sq m.

Snapped up

Moyglare Hall, Carton Wood and Carton Grove currently have units for sale. Within those three developments there are probably 370 houses that will be released in phases over the next 12 to 24 months.

All of those homes will be snapped up and occupied by the end of 2019. Casting one’s mind further forward, the vision for the town as a whole is further expansion, in line with the current demand, and also in keeping with Kildare County Council’s development plans for the town. Cairn Homes is currently in the process of developing a 51-acre site as part of that growth.

Maynooth is very much in a growth phase, and could still take some steps that would further enhance its promise as a top-tier residential location, such as producing a Michelin-starred restaurant.

But the Kildare town does have a very good balance between a number of factors: price, amenities and a blend of country and town living, meaning that its current incarnation holds much appeal.

MAYNOOTH FACT BOX

What developments are coming up?

There are currently four housing schemes under construction: Moyglare Hall, Carton Grove, Carton Wood and Limetree Hall, all of which will bring 370 homes to the market by spring 2019. Prices for the new properties have not yet been set.

What are the going rates for existing properties in the area?

Prices for existing stock range from €139,000 for a one-bed, 35sq m apartment; two-bedroom units can be had for €200,000-plus; a four-bed, three-bath, semi-detached house goes for about €370,000 while larger five- and six-bedroom semi-detached and detached houses range from €635,000 to €690,000.

On view this weekend in Maynooth

New phase of four-bed, three-bath detached homes at Carton Wood, starting from €460,000. Agent: Savills.

Three-bed, one-bath detached house at 49 Newtown Court, €290,000. Agent: Property Partners Brady.

Six-bed, five-bath detached home at 29 Griffin Rath Manor, €635,000. Agent: Charters Estate Agent.