Living the Wicklow way? County still pricey, but travel for value
Median asking price in Wicklow is €310,000, the highest in the country
In Wicklow town and its environs the upper end of the market is performing well, says local agent Catherine O’Reilly. Photograph: Eric Luke
Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland, has been luring commuters for decades and the rise in property prices reflects that. Average house prices are up €15,000 in the last year, according to the latest MyHome.ie property report, in association with Davy, and the population has grown by more than 4 per cent in the last census figures.
The median asking price for a property now stands at €310,000, an annual rise of 5.1 per cent from €295,000. Wicklow remains the most expensive place in the country to buy a home, topping Dublin by €20,000, the report says.
Bray, the county’s biggest town with a population of about 33,000, has the most homes for sale. The period home market is quite strong here with prices hitting near the €1 million mark on Killarney Road and King Edward Road.
Three-bed semis here have jumped by about 15-18 per cent in the past 18 months. “These move quickly, selling in eight to 12 weeks,” says Ed Place, director with DNG. “Many of these are 1980s builds and cost in the region of €370,000, considerably less than a comparable property in nearby Shankhill which would be €450,000.”
Bray’s shingle seafront is one of its big draws and is home to some good eateries like Platform Pizza. Its near neighbour, Greystones, is a scenic 7km hike over the headland.
Between 2002 and 2016 Greystones’ population took a jump from nearly 12,000 to 18,000 according to census records. Its marina finally opened five years ago, and much of the county’s new homes development has been centred on the Greystones area. “Its popularity means that there is literally nothing under €200,000 available to buy,” says Derrick McGovern of McGovern Estates.
Charlesland, a high-density estate minutes from the dual carriageway, offers some value with two-bedroom town houses for sale at just under €300,000. You’ll need a minimum of €430,00 to buy a three-bed semi here. High rollers should look to the Burnaby, which is Greystones’ answer to Dublin’s Ailesbury and Shrewsbury Roads.
Its hinterlands offer better affordability. Kilpedder, is 2km away; Kilcoole, about 3km away and Newtownmountkennedy a 4km drive. All are within striking distance of the N11 and the M50 and they will all eventually merge, says McGovern, meaning the town is expanding rapidly. Delgany, less than a kilometre inland, offers Dubliners a village atmosphere many crave while retaining good connectivity.
In Wicklow town and its environs the upper end of the market is performing well says local agent Catherine O’Reilly. “These properties represent better value for buyers coming from Dublin, especially those executives with families who’d like to keep horses or ponies for kids. Train times, while not frequent, are good for commuters and the number 133 bus goes every hour on the hour. Come rain, hail or snow that bus will run. We’re used to snow here,” she says.
Arklow, too, offers value, says agent Breda Bermingham Roberts. Commute time on the train is 95 minutes to Connolly while the bus to Custom House Quay takes 68 minutes. Drive time is about 75 minutes. A three-bed semi costs between €210,000 and €215,000 although she anticipates price increases in the region of 10 per cent this year. “If you have €450,000 plus to spend you can get a mansion but don’t expect period charm. Most of the stock is 1970s, 1980s or 1990s.”
West of the county, Blessington and the satellite towns and villages to its south offer some of the best value in the county, says Patsey Nugent of Nugent Auctioneers. In Blessington, a commute distance of 45 minutes in traffic to Templeogue, prices are up about 12 per cent. A three-bed semi ranges from €280,000 to €330,000 while a four-bed will cost from €325,000 upwards.
Specifically Nugent points to the village of Donard, about 13 km south, and the market town of Baltinglass, 31km south, as two affordable places to buy decent-sized family homes.
Taking the county as a whole, four-bed semis homes seem to represent better value. In the MyHome/Davy report the asking price for this property type was down 1.3 per cent on this time last year when the price was €380,000.
But wherever you search stock remains an issue. The number of properties for sale in Co Wicklow on MyHome.ie has fallen by 8.2 per cent in the last year and stands at just under 750 units.
AFFORDABLE THREE-BED SEMI IN BRAY
75 Ripley Hills, Oldcourt, Bray: Solid property in need of modernization asking €350,000 through agents DNG.
IF YOU WANT TO KEEP HORSES/PONIES
Derkeller, Church Road, Newtownmountkennedy: An modern build six-bedroom house on 7.5acres with paddocks and an all-weather tennis court asking €1.595million through SherryFitzGerald Catherine O’Reilly.
WHERE TO BUY A FAMILY HOUSE FOR LESS THAN €200,000
Main Street, Donard: This four-bed, B2-rated end-of-terrace property was rebuilt in 2007 and is asking €195,000 through Nugent Auctioneers.