Tuesday 21 October 2014

What our experts say: Louise McBride

Published 18/01/2014 | 22:57

I’VE been keeping a close eye on the property market in north Wicklow since summer 2012. I bought a property near Roundwood in late 2012 and moved there at the start of last year.

It was clear back in the summer of 2012 that properties in the area had been sitting on the market for years. ‘For Sale’ signs sat stubbornly outside houses.

Sites weren’t being sold. That all started to change last summer — albeit slowly. A house very near us, with a spectacular view over Lough Dan, was sold in July. An old school house in Roundwood Village, which had been up for sale for some time, now has a ‘Sale Agreed’ sign outside it.

A nearby cottage in the village, which I never thought would be sold (it needs a complete overhaul), is also Sale Agreed. Sites are selling again in the area — and houses are being built.

Roundwood is a beautiful place to live — but its public transport links are woeful. If houses are starting to sell in Roundwood again — despite the woeful public transport links, this is a good sign. It shows that the recovery in Dublin is spreading to the hinterlands — and that people have the money and confidence to take the leap and buy a home.

House sales in Wicklow have been up and down over the last year, according to various analyses of the Property Price Register. My experience on the ground certainly suggests to me that the worst is over for north Wicklow — I expect sales here to pick up over the next year, particularly as house prices continue to race ahead in Dublin. This should in turn push up prices in Wicklow — we’re unlikely to ever see a return to the madness of the boom years.

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