Promise of hybrid work-life balance means housebuyers looking beyond the Pale

With more of us looking to work from home, Dublin’s dominance is being challenged

Prices for the three-bed houses at the Ard Rua scheme in Waterford start at €320,000.
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When it comes to where new homebuyers want to live there has been a significant shift in thinking, beyond Dublin’s traditional commuter counties, to urban centres well beyond the Pale, says Ivan Gaine, managing director of Sherry FitzGerald New Homes.

“There has been a change in sentiment. Aspirations are different and all are in search of a better quality of life and a better work-life balance. Buyers are realising that they don’t have to base themselves in Dublin with an increased appetite for schemes in Cork, Galway and Limerick, all cities that have great connectivity. All have come into viability and are performing well.”

He adds that buyers in these cities generally have a connection to the area whether they are returning emigrants or those leaving Dublin for pastures less frenetic.

In Limerick demand has been such that developer Lioncor sold 25 of its 26 units at The Edge, Castlebrook Manor, Limerick, over its launch weekend starting Friday, August 27th, where three-beds started from €330,000 and four-bed semis from €425,000 with four-bed detached homes ranging from €455,000 to €495,000.


It will be interesting to see Homeland Projects’ first 20 or so units at at Abbey Grove, Mungret Gate, will go when the scheme launches later this month. It includes two-bedroom, semi-detached, bungalows, from €270,000, three-bedroom mid-terrace townhouses from €299,000 and semi-detached units from €310,000. Also on sale are sizeable one-bed apartments starting from €190,000 with two-bed own-door units starting from €235,000, through SherryFitzGerald New Homes.

Cork’s suburbs, meanwhile, offer a lot of living space. Schemes of note include the O’Flynn Group’s Ballinglanna, in Glanmire, which will have 16 detached homes, likely priced from €500,000 to €540,000 and a further 40 units, a mix of two, three and four-bed townhouse and semi-detached styles, with prices likely to be from €270,000 to €420,000.

In Passage West, Harbour Heights developer OBOF is bringing the first 20 houses, three-bed semis and four-bedroom detached, with prices likely to start from €300,000.

Due west from the city in the village of Coachford, prices for the two, three and four-bed semis in phase two of Vicar’s Glebe will likely start from €280,000.

In Kinsale, Ireland’s so-called gourmet capital, Abbey Fort by Hatley Homes is launching about 18 three and four-bed terraced homes with prices likely to be from €320,000 to €420,000.

Later in the season The O’Flynn Group launches phase two of the three- and four-bedroom semis and detached houses at Clonmore in Mallow. Prices have yet to be confirmed.

Gaine says that new centres on the radar of those who can work from home some of the time and commute to Dublin on a weekly or biweekly basis include, Kilkenny city and its environs, Dundalk and Drogheda, Waterford and Athlone. All have excellent train and bus connectivity to the capital and offer better value for money with many of the homes larger in size than those in the capital.

Cairn Homes already has the marble city in its sights and is at the masterplanning stage of a 27-hectacre scheme that is set to comprise 94 apartments and 90 houses off College Avenue in Breagagh.

Prices at the Ballinglanna scheme in Glanmire, Co Cork, will likely start at €500,000.

Just an hour to Dublin by train and a 10-minute drive along the medieval mile from Kilkenny city centre is Fox Meadow, in Loughnacask. This development which is launching off-plans will comprise 23 mainly four-bed houses, starting at about the €435,000 mark. Five-beds at the scheme are expected to start from about €625,000 through local DNG agent Ella Dunphy.

Dunphy is also handling the sales at Rosehill Court, a bijou scheme of just six three-bed houses. Extending to 105sq m (1,130sq ft) each, the prices here range from €340,000 to €360,000.

When complete Long Meadows, on Old Sion Road, a sloping site down to the river Nore, will comprise 31 homes. Two four-bed, detached houses remain from € 650,000 through Sherry FitzGerald McCreery.

Dundalk, is another notable location. With its population projected to increase 7,000 by 2027, Co Louth’s administrative capital is one of just eight European municipalities to participate in a pilot programme of integrated and sustainable initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens with an outdoor learning hub within the courtyard of its county library linking with an urban rejuvenation scheme.

The projected growth in the town’s population is being supported by a number of current and future developments. Through a consortium of local investors there are 1,300 homes planned on lands at Fairhill on the Ardee Road.

The Dublin Road, meanwhile, is where a number of the existing new homes schemes are located. SherryFitzGerald Carroll will be selling a new phase of sizeable three- and four-bed semis at Marlmount, with the three-beds starting from about €300,000 while REA Gunne Property’s Belfield Park has a limited number of three- and four-bedroom homes with prices for the former starting from €310,000.

Just a few kilometres south of the town is its most chic suburb, Blackrock. Here prices for the new phase at Earlsfort on Seafield Road will start from €270,000 for two-beds while prices for the architect-designed Hamilton Terrace start from €525,000 through REA Gunne.

Two clicks west and a couple of two-beds (priced from €224,950) and three-beds (priced from €274.950), remain at Dundoogan, at Haynestown. Built by the Cannon Kirk Group, the development was launched in the summer of 2020.

In Athlone An Bord Pleanála gave the green light last June to a fast-track planning application for 576 new homes in a joint venture between Westmeath County Council and developers Alanna Homes and Roadbridge, of which 174 will be allocated towards social housing at the Lissywollen Housing Development.

A small development of just 20 homes, Lus Avenue on the Roscommon side of the town, has good-sized three and four-bedroom houses in its second phase with the three-beds starting from €290,000 and the four-beds from €320,000 through DNG Begley.

The university town of Waterford is home to several desirable developments. Castleview, on Williamstown Road in the city’s eastern suburbs, is an estate of 23 detached two-storey homes. Prices for the four-bed units (246sq m/2,648sq ft) start from €645,000 while the five-beds (274sq m/2,949sq ft) start from €685,000 through DNG Reid & Coppinger. In the same area Frisby Homes is selling Knightswood, a new launch of three- and four-bedroom semi and detached houses off-plans. Prices are expected to start from about €330,000 for the former and from about €385,0000 for the latter.

Also off-plans from the same developer is The Park in Foxwood where prices for three-bed semis start from €299,950.

Kinsella Homes' Ard Rua, on Quarry Road, is close to the greenway. The first of its 44 houses are being sold off plans through Property Partners Phelan Herterich. Prices for the generous 143sq m (1,539sq ft) three-bed semis, which are set over three floors, start from €320,000.

On Waterford’s outer edge Sherry FitzGerald Rohan is selling Cosmos Developments’ second phase of Ormond, on Six Cross roads. Its three-bed semis, (108sq m/1,162 sq ft), should be coming to market later this month at just under the €300,000 mark.

Across the river Suir, in Ferrybank, is Arbourmount, a small development of large four-bedroom semis with four remaining at prices starting from €340,000.

South of the city, in the seaside resort of Dunmore East, Galgey Meadow is a small development of just nine four-bedroom detached houses of about 176sq m (1,894sq ft). The scheme launches later this month.

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors