Starter homes with a 70% price drop


30 units ranging from two-bed apartments to four-bed homes are on offer in Rathfarnham with discounts on original prices of up to 70 per cent, writes BERNICE HARRISON

TWO-BEDROOM apartments for €115,000; three-bedroom houses for €215,000 and four-bedroom houses for €260,000 – and they’re in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 so no prizes for guessing that what’s on offer this weekend in Stocking Wood in the foothills of the Dublin mountains is a receivership sale.

HT Meagher O’Reilly is selling the 11 two-bedroom apartments, eight three-bedroom houses and 11 four-bedroom houses, built in 2007 by Deane Homes on the instructions of the receiver, Kavanagh Fennell.

Deane Homes’ plans for the vast site off Stocking Avenue were ambitious. The idea was to build 850 units – a mix of apartments and houses in three separate developments – and when the first development, Stocking Wood, was launched off the plans, 110, or just over half the units, were sold.

Six months later, when the next phase was released, the market was turning and prices have been dropping ever since. The original prices were from €410,000 for the apartments and from €595,000 for the three-bed houses and €690,000 for the four-beds.

Sales have clearly been taking place over the past five years as all that is left are these 30 units. Receivers tend not to want to hang around and this price level – a large two-bedroom apartment in Dublin 16 for €115,000 – is a new low and a drop of over 70 per cent on the original price. The semi ds are priced to be in reach of many first-time buyers.

What buyers will get is a home in a mature, landscaped development. The units which are for sale are dotted throughout Stocking Wood, which means buyers will have neighbours who have already been living here for years.

Layouts differ a little but mainly the three-bedroom houses (93-97 sq m) have an eat-in kitchen, a living room, three double bedrooms, one ensuite, a family bathroom and a downstairs toilet. They are priced from €215,000-€250,000. The four- bedroom houses (122-124 sq m) are taller, with the spacious fourth ensuite bedroom located in the roof with a dormer window. They are priced from €260,000-€290,000.

The living rooms – and there’s only one in each house – are oddly small. It’s particularly noticeable in the four-bed houses where the living space seems out of proportion with the number of bedrooms, something buyers with a growing family will need to think about.

All houses have two parking places out front – they have no front gardens – and they have reasonable sized back gardens. In the houses where the kitchens are to the front, the back gardens are accessed from the living room via patio doors – not an ideal arrangement in a family home.

The apartments are a good size – 70-71 sq m – with an attractive layout.

They have two large double bedrooms both with ensuites, a good-sized living room with two sets of patio doors opening onto balconies and with the kitchen area at an angle off the living room. Prices start between €115,000 and €135,000.

The finish throughout is good with fitted wardrobes in all bedrooms, attractive oak fitted kitchens with granite worktops and integrated appliances and internal cherrywood doors.

If the entire development had gone ahead there would be a “neighbourhood centre” with shops and so on located nearby, but that was part of the second phase and there is no longer any sign of such a development. So while Stocking Wood has a bus service, a car would be almost essential.

There is a small undeveloped plot in the middle of Stocking Wood – where five-bedroom houses had been planned – and some of the houses and apartments on offer overlook it, but HT Meagher O’Reilly is confident, based on interest from builders, that it will be sold and built on.