Monday 26 September 2016

Sales are up across the country off a 'very low base - IPAV

Jim O'Brien

Published 13/01/2016 | 02:30

Eamon O'Flaherty, president of the IPAV.
Eamon O'Flaherty, president of the IPAV.

The property business is good at the moment, says Eamon O'Flaherty, president of the Insitute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV).

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"At a number of regional IPAV meetings of late it was clear things are on the up around the country, albeit from a very low base. Prices are up 20pc in some places but what you are looking at are properties selling for €120,000 that were making €100,000," he says.

Eamon is originally from Lanesboro in Co Longford, where he was born into a culture of buying and selling. "My father owned a shop that sold everything from beef nuts to underwear. I was born into business," he says. "It's second nature to me."

He came to Maynooth 20 years ago and joined local auctioneer Gerry Brady and has been plying his trade with Brady Property Partners since.

IPAV has a very active agriculture committee and while farmland business has been steady over the last number of years he sees no great lift in the price of farmland, an observation borne out by the recent survey of land sales published in this paper.

"My colleagues around the country are reporting that the ordinary farmer is finding it more difficult to get the money to buy under the hammer," he says. "Many are not able to do the business on the day of the auction, the banks are not giving out the money. The hoops that have to be jumped through to get money are getting more numerous and it's taking much longer than before."

Rural renewal and regeneration is very close to Eamon's heart and one of his ambitions as president of IPAV is to see a tax incentive scheme introduced for owner-occupiers who buy property in rural settlements.

"Towns and villages up and down the country are blighted with abandoned properties," he explains. "Buildings that once housed the butcher, the baker and even the pub are idle. We are hopeful the Minister for Finance might look at our proposal to give a tax break to people who buy these properties to live in them and spend money renovating them.

"We would hope to see a tax incentive to encourage this kind of purchase whereby people could write off the costs of renovation against tax. This would encourage people to buy these relatively cheap properties, improve them and live in them bringing life back to localities, to the schools, shops and sports clubs."

While Eamon admits this will not happen in the lifetime of the current government he believes it will be in the new programme for government. He is happy that IPAV is in a very healthy state, with 1,000 members. "Our CEO Pat Davitt is doing trojan work building and strengthening the organisation," he says.

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