Limerick City Suburbs: Looking attractive and confident
With fewer investors moving in the suburbs than the city centre, the residential estates are up by 8pc with another 7pc expected this year. A standard three-bed semi now costs €254,000 in the Limerick suburbs, while the four-bed semi stands at €270,000.
Three- and four-bed semis comprise 90pc of the stock in Raheen/Dooradoyle, Castletroy and Corbally. Bank lending returned three years ago but it was cagey at first. Many of those who got mortgage approval found a home only to have the bank turn them down as they weren't happy with the property. Each year since 2014 the banks have lent a little more, but it hasn't been easy for mortgaged buyers.
Despite this, prices rose significantly since there were no new developments at all in the Limerick suburbs last year. "The problem now is that while there are a few schemes coming on stream in Mungret, with 200 houses in planning and another 100 elsewhere, these will not be available until 2018," says local expert Geoff de Courcy, who estimates that Limerick's suburbs need about 300 homes per year just to tick over. He believes around 1.5pc of the stock is coming up for sale when 4pc to 6pc is required for a "normal" amount of supply.
Careful lending practices, competition from investors in some quarters and shortage mean that four-bed semis in Limerick suburbs are likely to see their prices reach close to the €300,000 barrier.
De Courcy notes the investors did target apartments in the suburbs and these home types rose by 15pc due to competition with owner-occupiers in the bidding. That said, apartments are very reasonably priced by city standards - despite going up 14pc, the one-beds are still available for €57,000, the price of a new luxury saloon car; two-bed units stand at €86,000.
At the bottom end also, here you can have some of the cheapest city houses in Ireland, albeit in areas that have had their share of social problems. Former Corporation two-beds have only just hit €50,000 this year, while the three-bed versions can be had for €57,000.
The 'hotspot' most demand is, as last year, Raheen/Dooradoyle, home to top-end employers like Analog, Regeneron, Uber and Stryker.
Property value in Limerick's suburbs hasn't been overly affected by Brexit as most of the UK-bound emigrants who left during the crash and planned to come back to the area, have already bought.
At the other end of the scale, detached properties over 2,000 sq ft are set to push above the €500,000 mark for the first time since the crash, a sign of Limerick's increasing confidence and recovery.
Unlike young couples in Dublin, Galway and Cork, Limerick's first-timers enjoy good affordability.