Longford: Prices rise in Longford for first time since recession
Longford saw a lot of bad-quality builds during the boom as well as a proliferation of ill-sited developments which would subsequently become ghost estates and this continues to affect the market in one of Ireland's least populated counties.
However, prices started rising for the first time since the downturn in the last 12 months.
Estate agent Fintan McGill says that house prices rose slowly but they are still coming from a very low base. "They're up around 4pc but they're still not where we want them to be. There's been over-supply in the last six or seven years. A lot of ghost estates have been taken over by the council and they are starting to sell all of the old stock," says McGill. "Once that's cleared away, we might be moving to a better place in 2016/2017."
Longford was the scene of the first ghost apartment block demolitions. This remains a good decision according to McGill. "In Battery Court just outside Longford Town, they knocked down 39 units. Since they knocked them down we've sold the last remaining 33 of them. So it goes to show that when you get it right, it moves the whole development along."
With many of the remaining bankrupted or stalled housing units across the county, the developers or others are moving back in on them and spending money to upgrade them for BER certs, etc.
McGill is now optimistic for the future of the Longford market which is one of the last in Ireland to start to recover. "There's definitely more activity. It would be nice to see higher prices but we're coming from such a low base that until we get rid of the over-supply, things won't change much. That said, we recently sold a 2,500 sq ft house on half an acre for in excess of €300,000. We haven't achieved a price like that in years."
His prediction for 2016 is that prices will increase "slowly but surely" at a rate of about 5pc.