Re: Re: Aren’t the Irish Independent Property Supplement a disgrace?
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WINNING FORMULA OF HIGH SPEC AT LOW COST
Fiona Tyrrell 27/04/06
Just because no one has heard of Ballybrittas doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve good quality, claims developer Mick Cox whose high-spec development in the small Co Laois village was an instant sell-out earlier this month.
Young buyers and retired couples queued from 4am to put their deposit down for one of 77 homes at Graigavern Lodge, Ballybrittas located half way between Monasterevin and Portarlington in Co Laois.
Prices started at â‚¬259,000 for three-bedroom semi-detached houses with 119sq m (1,280sq ft) of living space and went up to â‚¬420,000 for 175sq m (1,885sq ft) four/five-bed homes.
With a cancellation list of 70 names, John Dunne of Hume Auctioneers says they could have sold the development twice over.
The secret of the success of the scheme? “Very good quality at a competitive price,” said the developer, Mick Cox of Boderg, who has been building in London for years. “Just because the houses are not â‚¬750,000 houses doesn’t mean they can’t have a good quality fit-out,” he explains.
People don’t want cheap and cheerful anymore and are fed up with small, high density three-bed semis with the creaking door, no storage space and low quality, according to Cox. “We recognise that people are not just buying a house. They are making the biggest purchase of their lives and you have to get it right.”
The UK residential sector is streets ahead of Ireland in terms of finish and quality, according to Cox. Cox transferred some elements of the UK sector to Ireland for the scheme. Site foremen were brought in from the UK. A quality control team flew over once a week to oversee the finish of the houses.
The Irish idea of getting nothing but the house and doing the rest yourself is unheard of in the UK, according to Cox.
“The demand is so strong in Ireland that a lot of developers have taken their eye off the ball in terms of quality fit-out and finish.” The spec at Graigavern Lodge is above average; particularity for homes in the wider commuter belt.
A big player in the UK scene, Cox’s UK company Hollybrook builds around 600 houses and apartments a year in the greater London area, making it the fourth largest developer in London.
Cox, who is originally from Rooskey in Co Roscommon and his wife Pauline, from Mountmellick, Co Laois, purchased the site in Ballybrittas just over a year ago.
After the success of the Ballybrittas scheme, Cox is scouting around for more suitable sites and plans to become a big player in the Irish market.
Â© The Irish Times
Well this is just what we need to reverse our chronic sprawl and car-dependency!
We’ve realised that the only sustainable way forward is to create compact high-quality urban areas well-served by public transport, but now Mick Cox is going to come here and start building estates of luxury homes 50 miles from Dublin from which the only means of transport is the car!
Dissapointed in the Irish Times’ tone of reportage here!