Another reversal of fortunes for prices in Tallaght
Published 21/12/2015 | 02:30
The West Dublin suburb of Tallaght has long been a target for buyers seeking affordable family-sized homes. The area, which is the size of Limerick and largely developed since the 1960s, was notorious in the 1970s and 1980s as an example of sprawl without amenities and has suffered its fair share of social problems.
And while many parts of Tallaght are still in poverty, overall the area's prospects have improved massively through the past 20 years.
It has taken delivery of a national hospital, a new village centre and received an industrial and commercial hub with the addition of Citywest on its doorstep. On top of this, the area has been linked to the Luas, easing a once difficult trip to the city centre.
But Tallaght's property market fortunes have turned on a sixpence through the last year and a quarter.
In October last year, before the Central Bank tightening on mortgage lending, Tallaght saw the fastest rising prices in the capital as hard-pressed buyers swarmed in to take advantage of a limited supply of affordable homes. In the first nine months of last year, this caused the price of an average semi to increase by 37.5pc.
But 2015 saw prices tumble and in the last three months of the year prices in Tallaght have fallen by almost 5pc (-4.55pc) with properties shedding €10,000 to €210,000 on average.
Local agents say it's all about soaring rents.
"Constantly increasing rents have made it almost impossible for first-time buyers to save the deposit required," said Anthony McGee of REA McGee.
Because Tallaght is a target for those buying at the bottom or lower end in Dublin, it also means that buyers are likely to be earning less than those seeking homes elsewhere in the capital. Therefore those who are renting and trying to save a deposit are more likely to be affected by rising rents.
"An average couple who are paying €1,400 a month to rent a two-bed apartment in Tallaght, running a car and paying for childcare cannot afford to save upwards of €20,000 for a deposit.
"And what is so frustrating for them is that what they are paying in rent exceeds the cost of a mortgage in the same property," said Mr McGee.
It's a picture we're likely to see more of throughout the rest of Ireland as homes rise towards the €200,000 level amid housing shortages, and rents rising along with them.