Monday 27 March 2017

Sales 'boom' as agents cut price of new houses in half

House for half price . . . auctioneer Ronan Long with a house with
a guide price of €125,000 outside Tuam, Co Galway
House for half price . . . auctioneer Ronan Long with a house with a guide price of €125,000 outside Tuam, Co Galway

Allison Bray and Tom Gilmore

HOME buyers can look forward to a growing number of bargain-priced homes as a result of the fallout from receivership sales.

Receivers appointed by the banks to liquidate the assets of bankrupt developers had already put bargain-priced houses on the market priced in such areas as Longford town, where luxury three-bed houses recently went on the market for under €100,000.

But now some auctioneers are following suit due to a recent flurry of interest in homes being sold at more "realistic prices".

Three auctioneers in Tuam, Co Galway, have advertised houses at prices ranging from €95,000 to €180,000.

They said business is booming because prices had effectively been halved since the end of the boom.

"We sold 13 properties this month alone, but most of them were priced at approximately 50pc of what they would have cost three years ago," auctioneer John Joyce said.

One house sold earlier this week for just over €180,000 -- it would have cost approximately €360,000 three years ago, he said.

"The first night after we advertised a new two-storey detached house near Tuam at a bargain guide price of €150,000 we got 28 viewings. A further eight viewed the property the following evening," Mr Joyce added.

While receivers are flogging properties at firesale prices to squeeze whatever they can out of them, some estate agents have copped on and are offering homes at more realistic prices.

Realistic

"The prices might not be as high as many vendors would have expected, but it is good to see that properties are moving again and perhaps the banks should look more favourably on giving loans as property prices are now very realistic," Mr Joyce said.

Another Tuam auctioneer, Ronan Long, advertised a new semi-detached house starting at €125,000. And he fully expects to have it sold by the weekend.

"That property would have been in the region of €270,000 to €300,000 three years ago and that's at least a 50pc drop," he said.

"I would say that prices are now back to 2002 levels, but demand is definitely on the up," he added.

"The real winner is the purchaser and to get the ball rolling some developers are selling new houses at very good prices."

Real-estate economist Geoff Tucker said prospective house buyers can indeed snap up some bargains in receivership sales, which may lower prices in the market generally.

But most of them tend to be in rural areas where there would be little or no demand, especially in areas hit hard by the recession and job losses.

"Only a handful of developers are bring them down to astonishingly low prices," he told the Irish Independent.

"But as the year goes on, we'll probably see more -- yet they'll be in rural areas where there's little local employment."

Irish Independent

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