Healthy homes, lifts and city pads: Top 10 trends in the new homes market

Whether buying in established areas or off plans, planning to work from home or for retirement, some themes are emerging

Deerpark in Mount Merrion, Dublin: Buying into established neighbourhoods is becoming increasingly popular. Photograph: Alan Betson

Deerpark in Mount Merrion, Dublin: Buying into established neighbourhoods is becoming increasingly popular. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

1. Buying into established suburbs

New homes divisional director Stephanie Patterson at Lisney says she has a high level of trader-down prospective parties making enquiries about One Springfield Park, in Foxrock, Dublin 18, a small development of 20 sizeable apartments coming to market next month. “They are living in the area already and want something smaller, easier to manage, within easy reach of the city centre via the bus corridor.” Prices are from €590,000 for the two-bed apartments with 88sq m (947sq ft), and from €720,000 for the three-bed duplexes with 122sq m (1,303sq ft).

Beside St Vincent’s Hospital, number 143 Merrion Road is a swanky scheme in the heart of Dublin 4 by award-winning architecture practice Urban Agency. While launch dates are not firmed up, the 63-unit Lioncor development will be sold off plans and boasts stellar sea views from its upper floors, says selling agent Ray Palmer Smith of Knight Frank.

In Mount Merrion, Thornhill Oaks is a new development of 39 apartments and 15 houses set in the grounds of Thornhill House, PV Doyle’s former home in Mount Merrion. The site’s elevated position gives it views over Dublin Bay and towards the Dublin Mountains. Large two- and three-bed units, including some top floor penthouses, designed by London-based Lawrence & Long architects, come to the market in early November through Lisney, with prices still to be confirmed.

In the same neighbourhood, on the old cinema site, Oakmount is to offer The Pinnacle – one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments – through agents Knight Frank with prices yet to be confirmed.

One Springfield Park, Foxrock
One Springfield Park, Foxrock

2. Dublin 2 is desirable again

There are several high-end apartment schemes rising in Dublin 2’s Georgian quarter. Parents with children of university-going age can check out 55 Lad Lane, a 25-unit scheme by Oakmount that is less than a 10-minute walk from Trinity College. Featuring one-, two- and three-bedroom properties designed by ODA Architecture & Design and marketed through Knight Frank, these all have private terraces as well as access to its two roof terraces, one of which spans the top of the building and boasts views across the city.

Merrion Park offers contemporary living within Georgian proportions with prices from €1.085 million for a ground-floor two-bed apartment rising to €1.125 million for a two-bed plus study on the first floor. Three-bed townhouses are from €1.1 million, while three-bed duplexes start from €1.595million through Savills.

Brookfield, Malahide
Brookfield, Malahide

3. The sales pitch shift

Agents are always looking for new ways to catch the attention of would-be buyers. In a Covid era, bravo then to Carroll Estates Brookfield, in Malahide, for pitching its four- and five-beds as “healthy homes”. The 40-unit development boasts Quartz Sinquastone anti-microbial worktops, which are free from micro-pores, a touch-free bin, and filtered taps for drinking water. Further antibacterial measures include the property being wired for optional voice recognition to reduce the need to touch and contaminate switches, sockets and remote controls, and “touchless” features in the guest toilet including motion-sensitive toilet, tap and lighting, “with a view to minimising the spread of microorganisms and bacteria”, according to its press release.

4. What’s hot at the high end of the market

An infill development of just three terraced, three-bedroom homes on Ardbrugh Road in Dalkey by Torca Homes features granite cladding using stone from the site, privacy fins to the front, inverted layouts that see the bedrooms on the ground floor, interiors by new talent North Design and curved kitchen islands by Enigma Design. Interested buyers include expats from the area looking to make a move home, says Maureen Cummins of Lisney, with prices ranging from €1.1 million to €1.65 million.

Lifts are another selling tool, a feature of the four-bed townhouses in Foxrock that are asking €2million, while the four-bed homes at Trimbleston, on Goatstown Road in Dublin 14, priced from €995,000 to €1.25 million, have beautiful-to-the-touch, painted ash with oak interior kitchens by Brogan Jordan. Developers have realised the innate value in well-laid out abodes. While only at early construction stage, Arkle in Killiney’s “luxury is intuitive in the flow of its design and the quality of its spaces”, says creative director Declan O’Donnell of ODKM Architects.

Glensavage, Blackrock
Glensavage, Blackrock

5. Blackrock is back

Those looking for large houses in coastal villages should put their names down for Glensavage, a new homes scheme on Avoca Road in Blackrock, built on the grounds of an old manor house and being sold through agents Colliers.

Within a short walk of shops and schools and designed by award-winning architect de Blacam and Meagher it includes a mix of Scandinavian-inspired homes; five five-bedroom houses, from €1.9 million to €2.1 million, and smaller one-bedroom plus study detached gate lodges, asking €800,000. In addition there are two boutique blocks of just seven apartments featuring a range of one-beds units; one-beds with study and two-beds with study units, with prices ranging from €625,000 to €1.075million.

Infill sites continue to seduce buyers at the upper end of the market. Ventura Mews is a pair of four-bed homes with south-west facing gardens on Brookfield Terrace for sale through Colliers, from €1.2million, while SherryFitzGerald is bringing Old Meadow, a small block of apartments and five or six houses on Avoca Avenue, to market at prices to be confirmed.

6. Build your own

One of the big home ownership dreams is to build your own place. Buying a site is relatively easy, but getting planning permission is altogether trickier, especially within the counties of Dublin’s broad commuter belt. Developer Castlethorn has tapped into a new market with its offer of large 0.75 of an acre sites within the grounds of Killeen Castle at Dunsany, Co Meath, which you buy with planning for a four- or five-bedroom home plus garage in a sylvan setting. All of the 22 plots in the first launch have been sale agreed, says Philip Byrne, a director at selling agent Coonan Property. Prices for phase one ranged from €265,000 to €350,000 and have not yet been fixed for the next launch later this season, but the agent is taking cancellations. He says quotations for the build cost have ranged from €200 to €250 per sq ft.

7. The return of buying from plans

Buying off plans is making a comeback at all levels of the market. Several examples are listed in Dublin 22 and Dublin 24 as well as Kilkenny and Waterford. Churchview in Nutgrove, Dublin 14, is a development of just four terraced houses by Ursula Homes at the higher end. Extending to 177sq m (1,905sq ft) the four-beds are priced from €725,000 through DNG.

8. The rise of the asking price

One of the key selling points of new homes schemes has always been the attractive nature of its fixed asking prices, allowing buyers to budget accordingly. In a hot market like the current one, asking prices, the pricing structure used in the second-hand market, whereby would-be purchasers are invited to offer the highest price they can, are creeping in on some small or special developments such as Greenmount Court in Harold’s Cross, which is launching later this month through DNG New Homes. The three terraced houses ranges in size from 130 to 140 sq m (1,400-1,507sq ft) with prices in the region of €665,000 to €700,000 for these three-bed plus study homes. They come to market with a winter garden and a separate enterprise unit of about 85sq m.

greenmountcourthx.ie

9. Accommodating working from home

Richmond Homes has factored in the so-called new normal that may be working from home, at least some of the time, into several of its schemes by laying outdoor electric cabling in the gardens of Oak Park, Malahide; Mariner’s Way, Rush, and the next phase at Bay View at The Coast in Baldoyle, so that if buyers want to install a garden room all the cabling is in situ already, explains associate director, Nicole Delaney. 

Egremont, Church Road, Killiney
Egremont, Church Road, Killiney

10. Many shades of green

NZEB regs is the new building criteria standard that came in being in November 2019 requiring all new residential dwellings to have a Ber of A2 or higher. New buildings with this high level of energy performance are called Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB). These buildings are 70 per cent more energy efficient and emit 70 per cent less carbon dioxide that homes constructed under the 2005 Building Regulation standards. Egremont, the Durkan Residential development of three-bed plus study houses, two-bed duplexes and two-bed apartments, on Killiney Church Road in Killiney, are being built to passive house standards and coming to market in January, says Barry Durkan.

“While a new home’s A-rating is attractive to buyers, the overall green agenda is a personal choice rather than budget-led,” says selling agent Colm Byrne of SherryFitzGerald. “It’s important to some, but not to others.”

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