Balbriggan: three- and four-bed semis starting from €305k
New Homes 2019: plenty of value and heritage in this commuter hotspot
Balbriggan Harbour, Balbriggan, Co Dublin. Photograph: Tom Honan.
Distance to Dublin city centre: 37 kilometres
Connectivity: Commuter trains to Connolly take 45 minutes; Bus Éireann and private operator Matthews operate 20-minute frequency bus services, the latter travelling all the way to UCD. Some of these journey via Dublin Airport. By car Dublin Airport is a 15-minute drive, the M50 is 17 minutes and the Port Tunnel is 18 minutes.
Along with its fishing heritage, Balbriggan has an impressive industrial past and is home too to some original stained-glass windows designed and created by Harry Clarke, as well as several others by Harry Clarke Studios in The Church of Saints Peter and Paul.
It has not one but two castles, Ardgillen and Bremore Castle, both of which are operated by Fingal County Council. The latter has recently been refurbished to an impressive level and will be used as a conference centre.
The council has also developed extensive playing fields around the site and is investing some €20 million into the town to improve the harbour, coastal walks and cycle routes – all with the aim of improving its attractiveness for visitors. There are stunning sea vistas from the lighthouse at the harbour wall.
Now bypassed by the M1, Balbriggan sits on the economic corridor between Dublin and Belfast. It is also within Irish Rail’s Short Hop zone – making commuting by train more affordable.
There has been a four- to five-fold increase in population numbers in the area, says John Cumisky of estate agent REA Cumisky. In the Census 2016 figures the north Fingal town broke the 20,000 population mark for the first time, with 21,723 people now calling the place home, up 8.8 per cent on the 2011 figure and nearly double its 1991 census figure. Balbriggan seems to have languished a bit, though; property sale prices here are not as strong as in other parts of north Co Dublin, says one agent, but that can also be an advantage.
There are currently about 22 three- and four-bed units for sale at Castleland Park, says selling agent Margaret Healy of DNG McKenna Healy. It’s the second-last phase in an estate of about 300 units by J Wade Developments, with three-beds priced from €280,000 to €310,000. There are also a couple of four-bed detached houses with prices expected to be from €345,000, Healy says.
REA Cumisky has sold out Hampton Gardens, a small estate of about 80 mainly three-bed semis that were seeking €255,000 last year.
There are new homes at Taylor Hill, the site owned by Glenveagh Homes, the principal house builder in the area. You would expect the firm’s success in Greystones, another coastal commuter spot, to be emulated here.
While there is currently planning for 135 homes, its landbank has scope for 400 or 500 houses, Cumiskey says. The two-bed units in the current phase, available through agent Knight Frank, are sold out, but there are three-bed semis starting from €305,000; four-bed semis from €355,000 and four-bed detached homes starting from €395,000.