The residential market in Offaly offers an eclectic mix of properties for buyers hoping to settle in the midlands. It promotes itself as an ideal destination for those who love the outdoors; it has the gorgeous Slieve Bloom mountains, Lough Boora Discovery Park and the Grand Canal Greenway along the river Shannon. Its central location also makes it accessible to eastern and western counties.
Asked for an overview of the county’s residential market this year, Glen Corcoran of DNG Glen Corcoran, which serves the south and west of Offaly, said: “The first part of the year was extremely busy. There was a tendency for properties to exceed the asking prices.
“Summer quietened, then it didn’t really lift after summer,” he said. “Obviously with interest rates rising and a lot of media attention on the cost of living, that has affected purchaser mood. Buyers are still there, but not as many.”
He said there had also been a drop-off in recent months of interest from UK buyers, who had previously been in the market for rural properties.
In terms of the benefits of living in Offaly, Mr Corcoran said: “It is still quite affordable in comparison to the traditional commuter-belt counties: Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, Louth. And it is very accessible.”
Gloster House, Hill Road, Cloghan
Gloster House is an Edwardian-style five-bedroom home, extending to 239sq m (3,150sq ft), about 500m from Cloghan village. This property has been sympathetically refurbished to retain its period charm while creating a turnkey home with a B3 Ber. Rooms are freshly painted with coving, including two reception rooms and another room that has been listed as a bedroom which would make an ideal study.
The generous-sized kitchen-diningroom has a cream Aga range and integrated units. There is also a large utility room and a shower room on the ground floor. There are four double bedrooms upstairs as well as two large bathrooms, one with a free-standing bath. The property sits in a peaceful rural setting on 1.07 hectares (2.64 acres) of landscaped gardens.
The river Shannon and Lough Boora Discovery Park are nearby for outdoor activities. Cloghan village has shops and a primary school, and the towns of Ferbane and Banagher are a short drive away. This property is on the market through DNG Glen Corcoran, seeking €495,000.
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9 Spollanstown Wood, Tullamore
This three-bed semi-detached home, extending to 120sq m (1,292sq ft), is in Spollanstown in Tullamore, close to the town’s train station and the local rugby club. The shops and restaurants of the town centre are just a short walk away from the home, which is nestled in the corner of the Spollanstown Wood development, with a driveway for two cars.
The rooms are of a generous size with a large livingroom to the front of the ground floor and a kitchen-diningroom to the back with French doors leading out to the easy-to-maintain paved back garden. There is also a guest WC and a sunroom, which could be used as a playroom, a home office or a living space.
There are three bedrooms upstairs, one of which is en suite, and a family bathroom. The house is in good condition but could do with a cosmetic refresh to make it more contemporary. This home has a C3 Ber and is on the market through DNG Kelly Durcan, seeking €285,000.
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76 Carraig Cluain, Tullamore
This two-bed mid-terrace house in the Carraig Cluain development is likely to appeal to someone looking for a manageable home close to the amenities of Tullamore; the town centre and Tullamore General Hospital are nearby. There is a driveway to the front of the property and a lawned back garden, which a new owner may wish to pave to make it easier to maintain.
On the ground floor the eat-in kitchen opens up to the livingroom, which has French doors to the back garden. There is also a guest WC. There are two double bedrooms and a family bathroom upstairs. This home, with a C1 Ber, is on the market through DNG Kelly Durcan, seeking €185,000.
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4 Compton Row, Birr
This two-bedroom cottage in Birr has been carefully refurbished to create a modern, considered home which would require little work for a potential investor.
The current owners clearly had an eye for fresh, minimalist design, making the most of the small proportions in the eat-in kitchen with white walls and floating shelves. The same can be said for the livingroom which has built-in storage on either side of the chimney breast and black floors contrasting with the white walls.
There are two double bedrooms and a good-sized family bathroom with a bath. The back garden is paved and has plenty of space for a table and chairs. This Ber-exempt home, measuring 57sq m (614sq ft), is likely to appeal to renters working in or near Birr, and it is right in the heart of the action, with cafes and shops nearby. This property is on the market through DNG Glen Corcoran, seeking €200,000.
This two-bedroom cottage right next to the Grand Canal offers a rural retreat in turnkey condition. From the freshly painted white and red exterior, to the country kitchen and the family bathroom with a red free-standing bath, this home has a lot of personality. There is also a large two-storey garage with the property, which could possibly be used as a work studio or a gym.
This property, extending to 60sq m (646sq ft), is a 30-minute drive from Athlone and 1¼ hours from Galway. It has an E2 Ber which a new owner may want to improve with upgrades. It is on the market through DNG Glen Corcoran, seeking €189,000.
This three-bed bungalow on the outskirts of Ballycumber village needs a complete refurbishment and could be transformed into a cosy home by an imaginative buyer. It occupies a 0.84 acre site and, with an area of 83.5sq m (899sq ft), comprises a livingroom, kitchen, utility room, three bedrooms and a bathroom, and has a G Ber.
This property is in a good location within walking distance of Ballycumber village and a six-minute drive to Clara, which has a train station, shops and schools. It is also 15 minutes from Tullamore and Kilbeggan. It is on the market through Sherry FitzGerald Lewis Hamill, seeking €155,000.