06 Jul 2017
Forget about the taking of the Four Courts or Jacob’s factory during 1916. It was Ashbourne in Meath that played host to one of the most memorable battles of the Rising as the 5th battalion of the Dublin Brigade waged war against the British.
One of the few battles to take place outside the capital, it was also one of the biggest with a 60-strong battalion of rebels. They defeated the British and forced them to surrender; not a bad nod to Irish history!
A memorial still stands on the northern outskirts of the village to commemorate the event.
Aside from rebellious locals, Ashbourne’s other claim to fame is the uniquely Irish theme park named after a crisp!
Yes folks, Tayto Park, where you can ride the Cú Chulainn rollercoaster, explore the Vortex Tunnel or take the Steam Train Express.
Or if you’re looking for something a little gentler on the little ones, the park has also got a zoo and ice-cream parlour – all just a mile and a half outside Ashbourne.
Ashbourne has undergone a rapid transformation in recent years from a small village to a part of the commuter belt of Dublin. Now Meath’s second largest town after Navan, it has a population of 15,000 and is the largest town in the new Meath East constituency.
“It’s in the top five towns in Ireland in terms of retail facilities and is a thriving location that has seen much development since the mid-1990s,” explains Robert Grimes, manager of the EBS Ashbourne office.
“Ashbourne’s new ‘town centre’ is on Killegland Street which has become the new commercial street in the town. It has a variety of retailers along with a new library and council offices.”
Car parking in the town has been expanded thanks to a large underground car park beneath Killegland Street linking into the Tesco supermarket.
“As well as SuperValu and Tesco, there’s Dunnes, Lidl and Aldi and the new street also has gyms, coffee shops and ethnic restaurants, so retail wise it’s very strong,” says Robert.
“Plenty of families from the locality buy houses here; there’s a wide mix of first time buyers, trader uppers, families and commuters as well. A lot of people from the northside of Dublin city move out to Ashbourne as it’s more affordable but still close to family and friends.”
In terms of local amenities there’s rugby, soccer and GAA clubs plus high-end facilities for golf and the Showtime multi-screen cinema.
Yes, the Irish property market is as predictable as the weather, and while prices are still rising all round, properties in Meath are significantly lower than in Dublin
Four or five new developments in Ashbourne are already finished and currently on sale. That’s approximately 400 new houses and there’s plenty more land zoned for residential development, according to Robert.
“A new, three-bed, semi-detached house will set you back about €300,000 in Ashbourne which is on a par with Swords. While a second-hand, three bed semi will cost between €260,000 to €270,000"
“New houses are about 10 percent more expensive due to changes in energy rating regulations which is down to the A-rating insulation in all new builds,” says Robert.
But these new builds have their bonuses, as you won’t be forking out a fortune on heating and immersion bills down the line.
Meanwhile, Robert says, a detached house in Ratoath with a large garden will set you back €500,000, while apartments, always in high demand, range from €135,000 to €150,000.
The biggest growth area in terms of mortgages this year in Ashbourne is FTBs representing 66% of business with 33% represented by families trading up.
So what’s a first time buyer to do? Robert’s advice is simple. “Be loan approved so you know what you can buy and afford in advance of looking at properties; this avoids disappointment.”
Largo Foods, the brand behind the iconic Tayto crisp, are big employers in the area, as is the Park. Industrial estates with logistics, manufacturing and retail companies provide valuable employment locally too.
Tayto Park continues to expand and owner Ray Coyle’s ultimate goal is to have one million visitors per year and employ 800 people at its peak.
Ashbourne is only 20 minutes from Newgrange and if you love swimming or walking on the beach, it’s only 20 minutes from Bettystown, Co Meath or Portmarnock, Co Dublin.
There are two secondary schools and four primary schools, which means plenty of options for young families.
So the big question – how much will buying a home here set you back?
There are also other budget options if you are prepared to put the work in.
A second-hand semi-detached house built around 1990 in the town can be purchased for €300,000**.
New builds are currently happening in Archerstown Demesne where a three-bedroom, semi-detached house will cost €299,950. There are also new developments at Baltrasna Manor, Archerstown Wood, Millbourne and Crenigans Banog Building.
And for all those working in the city centre, Ashbourne is a prime spot for commuting!
Situated on the N2, Ashbourne is well serviced by public transport with buses into Dublin’s city centre every 20 minutes to both the north and south sides of the city, says Robert.
It’s only about 15 miles from the capital which means a ten-minute drive to the M50 (Finglas roundabout) and Bus Eireann provides transport every hour to the airport.
While you might come for the Tayto Park adventure, you’ll stay for the vibrant community, opportunities, and family-friendly feel.
Before you go house hunting it's a good idea to get your mortgage arranged – or at least discussed so you know where you stand.
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Paul Grimes and Associates is a tied mortgage agent acting solely on behalf of EBS d.a.c. EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.
EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.
**Prices taken from Daft.ie and Myhome.ie accessed May 2016.
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