Wicklow a favourite for buyers with supply finally coming on
From a cottage for €60k to the great Luggala for €28m, the garden county has it all
The coast at Greystones, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
County Wicklow offers among the best ranges of property stock types in the country. Its cheapest property – currently listed on property website MyHome – is a three-bed end of terrace G energy-rated house in Carnew, just inside the Co Wexford border, which is part of the next Bid X1 auction later this month carrying a reserve of €60,000. It is on the market with a tenancy at a current annual rent of €7,200. Contrast that with the gorgeous Gothic revival Luggala, outside Roundwood, on the market for €28 million, the most expensive property in the county and indeed the country.
House hunters should be heartened to hear that stock levels are up in Wicklow. The number of properties for sale on MyHome.ie has risen almost 34 per cent from this time last year.
The county offers mountainous backwaters to the west but the option of both rail and road connectivity to the capital along its eastern seaboard, explains why much of the development has been happening along its coast.
Last year Wicklow bucked a Leinster trend as being the only county in the province to see a fall both in the number of sales and the value of those sales, according to MyHome data. The number of transactions fell 3.4 per cent, down from 1,667 to 1,611. Meanwhile the value of those sales was down 3 per cent from €552.2 million to €535.9 million, a decline of €16.3 million, according to the latest MyHome Property Report in association with Davy.
The report for Q1 2019 shows that the median asking price for a property in the county is now €320,000, up 3.2 per cent on this time last year.
A three-bed semi, has increased in price 7.5 per cent in the last 12 months, with prices now €23,000 ahead of this time last year and at the highest levels since the end of 2009.
Four-bed semis have seen more marginal increases, up 2 per cent year-on-year from €375,000 to €382,500 and at the highest level since Q2 2015, according to MyHome data.
It is a county of two halves, says Gordon Lennox, director of business development at Sherry FitzGerald. “North Wicklow is a dormitory for Dublin and for the first time we are seeing tech workers from [Dublin] docklands seeing value in the work-life balance opportunities, especially in the Greystones region. Their weekend and summer downtime there makes the longer commute worth it.”
Greystones, or Wicklow 4, as some wags call it, has been well documented as one of the more desirable parts of the county’s offering, but inland areas gaining traction include Ashford, whose Mount Usher Gardens give Powerscourt in Enniskerry a run for its money, Lennox says. The TV series Vikings filmed there has also helped put it on commuter radars.
The parts of Wicklow within the 01 telephone area, Kilpedder, Enniskerry and Roundwood, all offer reasonable broadband to those who work from home along with opportunities to buy a house on a couple of acres for those who might like the country life.
You can buy a bigger property in Bray, the first stop on the Dart line in Co Wicklow than you can in Shankhill, one stop nearer the city, says Karen Bosch, senior negotiator at DNG Bray. Here a two-bed townhouse or apartment will cost about €300,000 and will attract a lot of first-time buyers who account for about 60 per cent of the office’s sales.
In Wicklow town buyers looking for a bigger home with a decent garden and good Ber rating can buy a four- or five-bed detached property for €550,000, says Catherine O’Reilly. In the country homes market, in the €1.5-€2 million price range, the quality of the land will tend to be more important than the property’s energy rating.
For the middle section of the county connectivity remains an issue, says Derek Mitchell, Fine Gael councillor for Greystones, Kilcoole,Newcastle and Delgany. The N11/M11 is congested and the Dart only services Greystones every 30 minutes with journey times to the city centre almost an hour in duration. The service needs to run every 20 minutes, he says.