Priced out of Dublin? Why not try Greystones

Where to buy and rent in the seaside town at the end of the Dart line

 Sunday afternoon walkers on the South Beach at Greystones, Co Wicklow. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Sunday afternoon walkers on the South Beach at Greystones, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

For those that have been struggling to get onto – or climb up – the property ladder in south Dublin, the Co Wicklow town of Greystones offers a far higher chance of success in what is now such a competitive market. With close to 80 properties listed on Myhome.ie, the choice ranges from starter houses and apartments to grand old homesteads in the swish Burnaby neighbourhood.

The seaside town offers an attractive living option in a great location, wedged as it is between the coast of the Irish Sea and the Wicklow mountains. On a sunny day the postcard-pretty town and seafront seem almost too good to be true. And it’s not just in Ireland that the town is recognised as offering exceptional living quality; in 2008 it was named the World’s Most Liveable Community in the under 20,000-population category at the LivCom Awards.

Plans to develop the town are now kicking into overdrive, with a large number of developments springing up around Greystones and in the surrounding towns of Delgany and Blacklion.

The plans for growth divide opinion, however, with the redevelopment of Greystones marina with 365 new units said in some quarters to be destroying the feel of the harbour area.

What’s the history of the town

Greystones started off as a fishing village, and became a destination for many Dubliners for summer holidays. The infrastructure improved with the construction of the N11, and people started living there in the 1970s, according to Derrick McGovern, managing director of McGovern Estates. “And then in the last 15 years it has exploded. It’s a very desirable area to live in. When people move here they tend not to leave. In addition, you now have a lot of people relocating here from Dublin; there are also others moving up from Wexford to the town.”

Who lives there?

Lots of young families who bought into the Charlesland development on the outskirts of the town. Well-to-do families in the Burnaby, an estate built on land that had been designated for retired colonels and generals of the British army.

The commute

Not bad, with the Dart getting one to Dublin city centre in 50 minutes. The drive can be a lot longer, with potential times on the N11 stretching to an hour or more at peak periods.

Eating out and about

Brothers David and Stephen Flynn who run the Happy Pear.

On a sunny weekend day Greystones is a magnet for tourists and Dubliners alike who are looking to get some R&R during an afternoon. The town is bulging with top-tier coffee shops, including the hugely influential Happy Pear serving some of Ireland’s best vegetarian food. Run by brothers David and Stephen Flynn – both media personalities and health and fitness gurus – the cafe has become a buzzword in Ireland’s booming healthy lifestyle movement.

The Happy Pear in Greystones. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
The Happy Pear in Greystones. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The Bray to Greystones cliff walk brings throngs of hikers into the town, with the Happy Pear and other eateries such as The Three Qs and Tramyard Kitchen accommodating them all before the Dart whisks them back to Dublin city.

Start of the Wicklow 200 Cycle Ride in Greystones. Its a 200km non-competitive ride which takes place around the roads of Wicklow. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Start of the Wicklow 200 Cycle Ride in Greystones. Its a 200km non-competitive ride which takes place around the roads of Wicklow. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Greystones prides itself on the variety of sporting activities available in town. The big four of Gaelic football, hurling, soccer and rugby are catered for, as well as other clubs for minority sports.

“You have a huge range of sports facilities in the town. You have the tennis club, the GAA club, Greystones rugby club and Greystones football club, Charlesland athletic track, Shoreline Swimming Pool, Gym and Fitness Centre and you have Charlesland golf club,” says Eamonn Foley, Sherry Fitzgerald’s Greystones branch manager. “You also have the South Beach, the harbour, the marina. It’s a sporting paradise.”

What about schools?

A skateboarder passing a bronze teddy bear sculpture by Patrick O’Reilly at the seafront in Greystones. Photograph: Eric Luke
A skateboarder passing a bronze teddy bear sculpture by Patrick O’Reilly at the seafront in Greystones. Photograph: Eric Luke

The town is well served with a number of primary schools, an Educate Together School and a Gaelscoil. Secondary schools include St David’s co-educational secondary school, which has the finest views of any secondary school in the country, right on the seafront. Temple Carrig secondary school is in nearby Blacklion.

What is being built in the town?

“There are a large number of developments that will change the face of the area,” says McGovern. “But it will also make things more affordable, and bring a lot of new people to the town and surrounding area.”

Carrigmill has been built beside Aldi and brought 50 properties to the market. On the road between Delgany and Blacklion, circa 1,300 houses will be constructed over the next three to five years. More planning will be secured over the short term as lands are rezoned 9/10 houses to the acre.

The Seagreen development will bring 180 properties to the market; the Waverly development will have 90 properties; and Cairn Homes will bring a further 400 homes the market in the coming years.

The Marina will have 365 units, with 200 apartments and the balance as houses. Little Orchard is a plot of land currently up for development that has planning permission for eight units. A development called Glenheron has just come to the market with 50 homes. Delgany Village Centre will amount to 26 units, with construction to begin shortly. There are also a number of other smaller developments on private parcels of land currently in negotiation.

What are the going rates for properties in the area?

A two-bed apartment in Charlesland Court goes for €220,000. A three-bed, two-bath semi-detached house in Oaklands starts at €375,000. A four-bed, three-bath property in the brand new Glenheron development has an asking price of €475,000. A four-bed, four-bath semi-detached period home in the uber-desirable Burnaby neighbourhood starts from €1.25 million.

What’s for sale right now?

21 Burnaby Park
21 Burnaby Park

Four-bed, two-bath detached home at Merriton, Kinlen Road, for €1.15 million. Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald.

Three-bed, two bath end-of-terrace house at 100 Charlesland Park, for €385,000. Agent: O’Gorman.

Four-bed, three-bath at 21 Burnaby Park, for €885,000. Agent: McGovern Estates.

What’s for rent right now?

Three-bed, two bath bungalow at Carrig Mill, Mill Road, can be rented for €2,000 a month. Agent: O’Gorman.

Three-bed cottage, Kindlestown Cottage, can be rented for €1,750 a month. Agent: McGovern Estates.

Three-bed, three-bath apartment can be rented at Charlesland Park for €1,595 a month. Agent: O’Gorman.

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