Life is more than a beach in Wexford

House­hunters drawn by new in­fra­struc­ture, va­ri­ety of hous­ing – and all those beaches

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Wexford Living - ALANNA GAL­LAGHER

With its ever-im­prov­ing in­fra­struc­ture, wide va­ri­ety of hous­ing stock, broad stretches of sandy beach front and a re­laxed pace of life, Co Wexford in the sunny south­east has plenty to of­fer those in search of a new home.

“The county coun­cil is in­vest­ing in tourism, up­grad­ing the quays in Wexford town, build­ing new ho­tels to in­crease bed num­bers, and plan­ning an of­fice park aimed at the fi­nan­cial sec­tor to draw new big-name em­ploy­ers,” says Tony Larkin, deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive of Wexford County Coun­cil. BNY Mellon, Zurich, Danone and Done Deal all have head­quar­ters in the county.

A new up­grade to the M11, which cur­rently ends north of Gorey, will ex­tend it south to about 11km from Wexford town. The En­nis­cor­thy by­pass, sched­uled for com­ple­tion early next year, is ex­pected to shave 15-20 min­utes off the jour­ney time from Dublin, while an up­grade to sewage works in the town will ease ca­pac­ity con­straints. Flood-pro­tec­tion works and a re­fur­bish­ment of t he town c e nt r e ar e al s o planned, Larkin says.

Drive times

The N25 New Ross by­pass scheme will cut drive times to Cork and Lim­er­ick and the new River Bar­row bridge cross­ing will, at 900m, be the long­est bridge in Ire­land, and con­nect Pink Point in Co Kilkenny and Strokestown in Co Wexford.

At the mo­ment Co Wexford ac­counts for just 5 per cent of the avail­able stock within the Repub­lic on prop­erty por­tal My­ Ac­cord­ing to the Prop­erty Price Reg­is­ter, 100 prop­er­ties sold in the past 12 months with an av­er­age price of about ¤172,000. The cheap­est sale listed was ¤10,000, while the most ex­pen­sive prop­erty was sold in Cour­town for ¤490,000.

The mar­ket is good and im­prov­ing all the time, says Adrian Haythorn­th­waite of Sher­ryFitzGer­ald Haythorn­th­waite. Ac­cord­ing to his data crunch­ing from open mar­ket sales on the Prop­erty Price Reg­is­ter there’s been a value rise of 11 per cent be­tween 2015 and 2016, with a sim­i­lar rise in the 12 months to 2017.

Ter­rific value

“There is ter­rific value for money here,” Colum Mur­phy of Ke­hoe & As­so­ciates says. Those buy­ing north of Gorey can rea­son­ably com­mute to Dublin. In Wexford town, where Mur­phy’s agency is based, house­hunters are mov­ing to live on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

“The busi­ness here is lo­cal,” says John Kear­ney of Kear­ney & Co, who says that while prices seem to be firm­ing up there was still growth of about 10 per cent in the last year in Wexford town and its en­vi­rons. A three-bed semi that last year sold for ¤165,000 is now ask­ing be­tween ¤180,000 and ¤200,000.

The cap on mort­gages is putting a brake on prices and this means de­vel­op­ers are not rush­ing to fin­ish new phases of de­vel­op­ments. Kear­ney notes that while there is plan­ning per­mis­sion com­ing on stream for new homes, turn-key new prop­er­ties are in short sup­ply. The coun­cil is buy­ing up new homes stock, the think­ing be­ing that it is quicker to buy than build, Kear­ney says.

Not all prices are on the rise though, and the mar­ket is slug­gish at the up­per end. For­est Lodge, in Barn­town, is a prop­erty that first came to mar­ket in 2006 ask­ing ¤825,000; it is now back on t he mar­ket through Kear­ney & Co seek­ing ¤425,000. Bor­leagh Manor came to the mar­ket in 2014 seek­ing ¤4.75 mil­lion through agent Col­liers and has since re­duced its price to ¤3.4 mil­lion.

In Wexford town, house hunters are mov­ing to live on a per­ma­nent ba­sis

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