The developer of the Mullen Park estate in Maynooth is to offer the remaining homes at the scheme for individual sale rather than proceed with a deal to sell them in their entirety to UK-headquartered property investor, Round Hill Capital.
The change of direction by the parties will see a total of 115 three and four-bedroom houses being brought to the market in three phases between now and early 2022. A further 20 houses which had reportedly formed part of Keltston Properties' proposed portfolio sale to Round Hill will be acquired by Kildare County Council for social and affordable housing under the terms of Part V of the Planning and Development Act.
Agent Hooke & MacDonald is expected to offer the first phase of the Mullen Park houses to intending purchasers shortly when show houses are ready for viewing by appointment under the Government’s Covid-19 safety guidelines. Prices for the properties are expected to start from €395,000, with the first tranche of houses due for completion this September, the second towards the end of this year, and the final ones available for sale in early 2022.
While news of the about-turn will be welcomed by prospective first-time buyers and other owner occupiers looking for a home, it will be welcomed too by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien and his colleagues in Government given the public anger and political pressure they had to contend with in relation to Round Hill’s potential purchase of the houses at Mullen Park.
Following days and weeks of sustained pressure from the Opposition, the Government introduced a package of measures aimed at maximising the ability of individual purchasers to secure a new house in the face of competing interest from institutional or other block buyers. The most significant of the new measures saw an immediate increase in the level of stamp duty applied on purchases of 10 or more houses. The change, which was introduced by means of a financial resolution saw the tax jump from 1 per cent to 10 per cent overnight.
While that increase will be interpreted by some as having effectively called a halt to Keltston Properties’ sale to Round Hill of the Maynooth houses, it was apparently the sheer strength of public feeling on the matter that is understood to have informed the move.
The 115 houses now available for sale at Mullen Park are likely to be sold quickly to individual buyers given the level of demand for new homes in Dublin and the commuter-belt counties of Kildare and Wicklow.