Site costs slashed as downturn bites
Residential site prices have plummeted by 50pc or more across the country in the past three years. Rural sites for one-off houses have taken a battering in the past 36 months, with prices now ranging from €20,000 to €70,000 per site.
A guaranteed money-maker during the building boom, sites of 0.5-0.75ac in size regularly sold for between €80,000 and €150,000.
However, the collapse of the housing market has effectively halved the value of a residential site and stalled the site market. Auctioneers across the country say prices have fallen dramatically but there are also fewer buyers and sellers for one-off sites.
In some areas, it is now cheaper to buy a newly built home on a rural site than it would be to build a new home, even though building costs are now considerably reduced.
Stricter planning requirements also mean that farmers are now more careful about selling a site subject to planning permission. They are reluctant to sell a site to someone who is unlikely to have permission granted because the buyer could throw up the site again.
Site prices have plummeted in Co Wexford, where a 0.5-0.75ac site with full planning permission would have sold for up to €140,000 three years ago.
Today, prices have fallen to €45,000-60,000, according to auctioneer Denis Howell from Warren Estates.
Auctioneer Dylan Murtagh, from Murtagh Bros REA, said that although Co Westmeath had one of the most restrictive planning regimes in the country, sites still made up to €100,000 in the boom.