Meath: Prices up by 5pc but now cooling after 2014 surge
Price rises in the Meath market cooled notably in the last 12 months after a massive 30pc increase in values the previous year. Overall a price rise of 5pc was considerably more reasonable.
Despite this, estate agent Jane Monaghan of REA T&G Gavigan says there is definitely a shortage of supply. Monaghan believes buyers are once again becoming more cautious and extremely reluctant to go over their budget.
On top of this, the new Central Bank lending restrictions have had an affect in Meath towns and supply logjams are occurring. "The 20pc deposit has affected things big time," says Monaghan. "As hard as it is for young couples to afford their first home, you also have the second-time buyers who can't afford to move out of their houses and qualify for the next band up.
"If it was made easier for people to trade up, then you'd have all of those properties freed up for first-time buyers. We have properties priced at €250,000-plus but it's hard to get a buyer for them because the 20pc deposit is definitely getting in the way."
Sales are more complicated than before, too, because of the bank properties that are coming onto the market, according to Monaghan. "Properties are selling but it has been a bit slower to close because you're not just dealing with a vendor anymore. Approval from the banks can take a lot longer."
Meath remains popular with Dublin commuters. "Last year we had a big buyer fallout from Dublin," says Monaghan. "A lot of investors who weren't prepared to bid on a property in the capital were coming to Meath to buy at set prices instead. Now I'm finding investors are buying up to a maximum price of €120,000, and that's it."
There are a few new developments in the pipeline in Meath but property prices currently need to be reaching €210,000/€220,000 for an average three-bed semi to make it feasible for the builders.
"Hopefully by September, we'll see builders move back in," says Monaghan. "There are also some unfinished developments that builders are planning to return to, but again, it's all about the price."
The coming year for the market in Meath is still somewhat uncertain. "It's hard to tell at this stage what will happen in 2016," says Monaghan. "It seems things have levelled off for now and I think it might stay that way for a while."