Private island off Cork coast sells for over €5.5 million

Private island off Cork coast sells for over €5.5 million

A luxurious private island off the west coast of Cork has been sold for over €5.5m to an anonymous European buyer, following months of negotiations during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The purchase of off-market Horse Island, located off the coast of Schull in West Cork, has been facilitated by Mayfair-based real estate broker Montague Real Estate, who were first instructed to source the buyer a suitable island in December 2019.

With the Covid-19 lockdown placing restrictions on meetings and travel, negotiations were undertaken between Montague Property and their client primarily over WhatsApp; a further stumbling block was that the client does not speak English.

The 157-acre island boasts a natural, rugged landscape including three sandy beaches populated by seals, farming pastures and extensive natural wildlife.

Seven luxury properties occupy the island, including a six-bedroom main house, two three-bedroom guest houses, two two-bedroom guest houses and two one-bedroom cottages. All the properties have views over the Atlantic and Roaring Water Bay, where guests can swim and scuba dive amongst dolphins.

As well as six bedrooms, the Main House on Horse Island offers over 4,500 square feet of floor area, including double height ceilings, a guest wing, extra large panoramic windows, a roof terrace and Al Fresco courtyard. Amenities found at the other six guest properties include saunas, stoves, en-suite bathrooms and private gardens.

Further luxury amenities found on Horse Island include a private pier for mooring ferries and private boats, a helipad, a games and gym house, a tennis court and a shipwreck play house. Entirely self-contained, the island also has its own electricity, water and sewage systems, as well as private roads providing access to all areas of the island.

Horse Island boasts a rich history, having been home to a thriving copper industry between 1820 and 1874. In 1841, the population of the island peaked at 137 people, most of whom were employed in the mines. By 1965, all the inhabitants had left; some of the ruins of the old village and mangers’ houses can still be found on the island.

Montague Real Estate facilitated the purchase of the property by sourcing a range of suitable islands that met their client’s criteria, instructing the legal teams required to complete the deal, providing comprehensive tax advice and undertaking all the relevant negotiations between buyer and seller.

A number of other parties were also involved in the sale including Alex Robinson, from Knight Frank’s Private Office who brokered the deal, Ron Krueger of Engel & Völkers and selling agent Callum Baines of Colliers International.

Thomas Balashev, Founder and CEO, Montague Real Estate said: “Horse Island is a unique trophy asset; sourcing the land off-market and getting the sale over the line during Covid-19 has been a challenge, so naturally we are delighted with this result.

“We work on trust, not retainers, and will always be willing to go the extra mile to meet our clients’ bespoke needs. We look forward to working on more projects of this scale in the future.”

Alex Robinson, Knight Frank’s Private Office said: “The sale of Horse Island is a great example of some significant deals that have taken place during lockdown and we are thrilled to have been part of it.

“It highlights a trend that is becoming more apparent as the impact of Covid-19 is felt and people look to purchase property or land in remote locations.”

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