Good level of ac­tiv­ity in lo­cal mar­ket

New Ross Standard - - LAND & PROPERTY GUIDE -

IT’S all sys­tems go for the prop­erty mar­ket in the Model County, with a steady if not dra­matic in­crease in prices and a good level of ac­tiv­ity re­ported, both north and south.

Colum Mur­phy, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ke­hoe and Associates, said the gen­eral feed­back at the mo­ment is that all is pos­i­tive.

‘ The vol­ume of sales has in­creased and the prop­erty val­ues are in­creas­ing. There is very good ap­petite out there for buy­ers to pur­chase and mort­gages are be­com­ing a lit­tle eas­ier to ob­tain,’ said Col­umn.

‘Just gen­er­ally the econ­omy is im­prov­ing and the un­em­ploy­ment fig­ure is down again to 6.3 per cent na­tion­ally, so all ar­rows are point­ing in the right di­rec­tion,’ he said.

Colum said prices were reach­ing lev­els where it made fi­nan­cial sense for new builds.

‘ The av­er­age price of three-bed semi needs to be in and around €200,000 be­fore it makes sense to build so the next phase will be new de­vel­op­ments and show houses and there are a lot of new plan­ning applications in at the mo­ment.

‘ The ques­tion is what can the mar­ket sus­tain in the vi­a­bil­ity in the num­bers of new homes,’ he said.

Colum said Wex­ford town an at­trac­tive place to lo­cate to and new by­passes around traf­fic blackspots in En­nis­cor­thy and New Ross would make it in­creas­ingly so and more ac­ces­si­ble.

He said the com­mer­cial end of the mar­ket was mov­ing along very well and he had sold ‘some very nice’ com­mer­cial in­vest­ment prop­er­ties over the sum­mer.

‘ There is an ap­petite out there. Con­sumers are look­ing at com­mer­cial prop­erty for a steady re­turn in the medium- to long-term,’ he said.

He said that in Wex­ford town, there were signs of steady im­prove­ment with busi­ness prop­er­ties on the sides streets off Main Street - that were va­cated fol­low­ing the crash - fill­ing up again.

‘ There is in­ter­est across the board re­ally. Apart­ments are com­ing back into vogue at the mo­ment and more peo­ple are be­ing tempted be­cause the value of town houses has in­creased.

And we’ve had quite a few trans­ac­tions in the €300,000 to €400,000 range in res­i­den­tial which is an im­prove­ment.. so there are very en­cour­ag­ing signs out there. Let’s hope its sus­tain­able in the medium to long term, set­tling into five or six per cent growth which will keep the stake-hold­ers happy,’ he said.

It was a sim­i­lar story for Wex­ford town-based auc­tion­eer Benny Sul­li­van.

‘We’re pro­gress­ing at a great rate. Since I opened in June of 2016, both my busi­ness and the prop­erty mar­ket are be­ing driven by a buoy­ant Wex­ford town.

‘A lot of peo­ple are down­siz­ing, which is the or­der of the day. Peo­ple are look­ing for some­thing smaller and eas­ier to man­age to en­able them to spend more time on them­selves and their fam­i­lies and this is cre­at­ing a de­mand for smaller houses,’ said Benny.

‘Big­ger houses are more dif­fi­cult to shift and while there is a mar­ket for ev­ery­thing at the right price, those around 2,000 to 2,500 square feet are eas­ier to sell at the mo­ment,’ he said.

Benny said ‘Wex­ford prices are around the right level’.

He said a re­cent IPAV sur­vey put the av­er­age price of a three-bed semi in the county at around €145,000, al­though he be­lieved that a fig­ure €165,000 was more re­al­is­tic in Wex­ford town as ‘ there is still a bit of cash around Wex­ford’.

Benny said he was find­ing Septem­ber a lot busier than last year.

‘It’s on­wards and up­wards, there sim­ply aren’t enough hours in the day,’ he said.

The auc­tion­eer said there was huge de­mand for ‘doer-up­pers’ par­tic­u­larly from peo­ple look­ing for starter homes.

‘It can be a way for peo­ple to start off,’ he said. Benny said that by con­trast, the hol­i­day home mar­ket was still dif­fi­cult, with noth­ing like the prices be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced in the nor­mal res­i­den­tial mar­ket, which meant there were some very keenly-priced hol­i­day homes out there.

Ciara Slat­tery, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Gorey-based War­ren Es­tates, said 2017 had been a good year and the past cou­ple of months had been par­tic­u­larly good.

She said there had been a good move on most types of prop­erty, with those in the town, and coun­try prop­er­ties north of Gorey mov­ing quickly, par­tic­u­larly those in the lower price brack­ets.

‘Coun­try prop­er­ties over 250,000 to €300,000 are still a strug­gle, par­tic­u­larly those south of Gorey, but those to the north of the town are pig­gy­back­ing on Wick­low,’ she said.

Ciara said €255,000, which she had just achieved on a good four-bed semi, was a bench­mark for this year and a cou­ple of coun­try sales, but within strik­ing dis­tance of Gorey, had been achieved in ex­cess of €400,000 ‘which would have been a strug­gle be­fore this year’.

‘Ev­ery­thing is rea­son­ably good and there is still a lot of bank prop­erty in terms of re­ceiver sales, prob­a­bly on a par with last year year, but the mar­ket can still be un­pre­dictable,’ she said.

Ciara said sales of hol­i­day homes in the Gorey area had also picked up, with some at Sandy­cove, Bal­ly­money, which would have sold for be­tween €185,000 and €190,000, now achiev­ing more than €200,000 with some bought as per­ma­nent homes.

She said sales were very price sen­si­tive and most ven­dors were clued in about what was hap­pen­ing on the ground in terms of job prospects and com­mut­ing, both of which in­flu­enced prices.

The lack of avail­able houses in New Ross town and its en­vi­rons is driv­ing pur­chasers fur­ther out into the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to John Rad­ford, of Sherry Fitzger­ald Rad­ford.

De­spite na­tional me­dia re­ports of huge in­creases in house prices, the re­al­ity in the lo­cal mar­ket is that prices have been ris­ing steadily, if not dra­mat­i­cally over the past three years, he said.

‘De­mand has in­creased but there is a no­tice­able lack of sup­ply com­ing into the mar­ket. Prices are restricted by the amount of fi­nance peo­ple can get and the lack of wage in­creases lo­cally. The banks are fi­nanc­ing but there are is no new home sup­ply in New Ross so peo­ple are not get­ting the re­bate they can get in other towns,’ said John.

His auc­tion­eers han­dled some deals for de­vel­op­ment sites so build­ing ac­tiv­ity is ex­pected in 2018.

De­mand in ru­ral parts of the county and along the coast, in par­tic­u­lar, is very strong, with houses sell­ing quickly for be­tween €200,000 and €250,000.

Brexit and the fall in ster­ling has af­fected the mar­ket, but John said fam­i­lies from the UK are start­ing to re­lo­cate to the area. He has around 2,000 ac­tive clients look­ing at prop­er­ties in the area, so de­mand is very high and prices re­main rel­a­tively low.

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