Brittas Bay becomes Brittas Stay as home buyers rethink work-life balance
Properties have been sailing past their asking prices at the coastal Co Wicklow resort
Greenfields, a four/five-bed home on 1.5 acres at Magheramore, near Brittas Bay
As we slowly lift the blinds and venture beyond our county boundaries from next Tuesday, we expect a mini-exodus from south Co Dublin to the mobile-home and caravan parks along the Co Wicklow coast. The sun will surely shine on people travelling to their own stationary mobile home or caravan (rentals are prohibited until June 2nd), but it appears that many people are itching for a permanent pitch at Brittas Bay.
With the commute from there to Dublin reduced to about an hour by car, the boom in the area is fuelled by the general work-pattern rethink, and if a coastal burrow on the Wild Atlantic Way is too long a journey midweek, it’s possible to see yourself working a few days in a city-centre office and decamping to a closer beach house for the rest of the week. It’s a permanent prospect for families as more schools open in Wicklow town, although some keep their children in their Dublin boarding schools.
Tara, a four-bed bungalow on nearly 0.5ac close to the golden strand at Brittas Bay, was on the market for €525,000, and with up to eight parties bidding the sale has just closed for a sum ‘substantially more’ than the asking price
But is it too late to take the plunge? The Wicklow estage agent Eugene Dooley, of Dooley Poynton, says that the market is very buoyant –“prices in southeast Wicklow have gone up 10 per cent since January” – and that he has never sale-agreed so many houses in such a short time. And the proof is in the prices: Tara, a 138sq m four-bed bungalow on nearly 0.5ac close to the golden strand at Brittas Bay, was on the market for €525,000, and with up to eight parties bidding in tens of thousands the sale has just closed for a sum “substantially more” than the asking price, Dooley says.
There’s a mix of properties on the books at Sherry FitzGerald Catherine O’Reilly in Wicklow, with Ennermount, a 107sq m four-bed bungalow on 0.5ac in Sallymount, beside three beaches, just having gone sale agreed for a sum “massively over” the asking price of €320,000. There were nine bidders up to the €400,000 mark, at which point three parties chased it to the finish.
“If I had three houses on an acre I’d sell them in no time,” says O’Reilly, citing interest from people looking for holiday houses, people who want to remodel existing properties knowing they will find it difficult to get planning permission for new builds, and, interestingly, first-time buyers whom she would not have seen even two years ago.
The same agent is selling a 3ac site at Ballinapark, near Brittas Bay beach, for €150,000 without planning permission; there is also a modern holiday home on the market at Brittas Bay Village, a development of 34 three-bed houses, for €320,000, with a €2,400 annual service charge.
Greenfields, a substantial 1970s four/five-bed on 1.5ac at Magheramore, beside Blainroe golf course and a choice of beaches, and with stables and a hot tub, is a prospect for a family on the move. Dooley says there is already a lot of interest in the €725,000 house. In general, he notes interest from Irish people seeking to return from the UK and the United States, and says that although supply is very short he expects older people whose families have grown away from holiday homes to free up some equity.
Sonya O’Gorman of O’Gorman Properties in Greystones has active bidders on Sallymount Cottage, a three-bed, 115sq m cottage with a Hamptons-style interior that went on the market just two weeks ago, asking €450,000; interest is split between people looking for a holiday home and people who rent regularly and are seeking a permanent home in the area.
The mobile-home market is quiet, with only three or four of the 72 at Jack’s Hole Beach Resort changing hands last year, but those owners will be hoping to get more use out of their properties and their €5,000 annual maintenance fee if restrictions lift.
So pack your yoga pants and prepare your cockapoo yearling for plenty of sandplay; a flop-down outside the dog-friendly Bay cafe near Potter’s Point will make a pleasant change from doing laps of the local park with the other bored, ungroomed locals.