By Emma Connolly
THE largest site for residential development in decades has just hit the market in Clonakilty with a €1m price tag.
Selling agent Martin Kelleher describes the site at Clogheen as having major potential for the town which has been stifled by its lack of available housing in recent times.
The 14-acre site has the potential for in excess of 100 houses and, according to Mr Kelleher, the medium density development would comprise a mix of three, four and five bed detached and semi-detached homes.
He predicts the houses to be ready for sale by mid 2019 with three-beds going for around €220,000, four-beds at €300,000 and five-beds around €400,000.
The site has only come to market this week but there has already been considerable interest expressed in it by several of Cork’s larger builders.
Likewise, Mr Kelleher expects strong demand for the houses with a ready market in the area.
‘There’s an incredible shortage of houses in Clonakilty at the moment,’ he said. ‘There are very few starter homes and any house that comes up for sale attracts multiple biddings. We had a house suitable for a first time buyer go on the market with a price of €159,000 which sold for €200,000.’
He noticed a marked surge in interest in the area from outside after Clonakilty was announced Best Town in Europe late last year.
‘People were checking out schools etc, but were drawing a blank when it came to finding houses, even a place to rent.
‘The possibility of areas in the town to be developed is in fact very limited with the sea on one side and a hill on the other. This site in Clogheen has a country feel to it, and is only two and a half miles from the sea,’ he pointed out.
The County Council, in its Local Area Plan for West Cork, has outlined the need for an additional 1,500 houses for Clonakilty by 2022 which this development, if granted planning, would go some way to delivering. The town, he said, was currently stifled by its lack of residential property.
‘I get calls every week from people considering taking job offers in the Technology Park and the like. But finding rental accommodation is a factor in whether they take the job or not; and I’ve had people say they decided not to take the job because of this.’
This new development would be helpful in attracting workers to the town, which would then have a knock-on benefit for all other existing businesses, he said.
It also has the potential to create movement within the existing property stock with people moving from apartments to three-beds, etc.
‘While prices are up on average of 10% compared to March 2016, transactions are currently down by 20%,’ said Mr Kelleher.