THE SOUTHSIDE of Drogheda is now the place to live!
One Drogheda estate agent says the market for firsttime buyers has lifted considerably, especially around the Dublin Road area of Drogheda.
People are moving to the area to be near the train station and to avoid heavy traffic and the toll on the M1 into the northside of the town.
'We all need first-time buyers to be active for the overall market to improve, and as far as we are concerned, the most popular place for them to buy is anywhere along the Dublin Road, including Roscoill, Grange Rath, Deepforde and Beaubec,' says Shane Black of Shane Black Property Advisors & Agents.
'When you look at the profile of people who are being given mortgages by the big lenders, most work in Dublin, and either want to live near the train station or to avoid the toll bridge.'
Shane, who has his offices near the Bull Ring in Drogheda, says he also has buyers looking to move from the outskirts of the town for the same reasons.
'We have enquires from renters from places like Tullyallen, Clogherhead, Termonfeckin or Donore, who all want to move southside for ease of access to Dublin,' he adds.
'If you bought in this outer circle of Drogheda, chances are your property has dropped by as much as 60% in the past few years, and like many, you may be caught in a trap and unable to sell.'
The northside of Drogheda had been earmarked for future emphasis on housing, with plans for up to 10,000 homes.
However, a new northside train station was also proposed, as well as a link road off the Monasterboice roundabout, but neither has materialised.
According to MyHome.ie's latest survey, house prices in Co Louth have continued to drop in the last three months of 2012, but are now in line with neighbouring Meath.
The average asking price of a three-bed semi in Drogheda fell by €9,000 to €150,000 – a drop of 5.7%.
That has put it on a par with neighbours Meath for the second quarter this year.
Meanwhile, the median asking price of a four-bed home in Louth fell by €7,250 during the last quarter to €180,000 – a fall of 3.8%
The outlook nationally shows the average asking price is now €201k, down 51.5% from the height of the boom.
'Like everywhere, the best locations matching the profiles of those in a position to buy will win out,' adds Shane Black. ' The survey results may be slightly skewed, as I would suggest that 50% of house closures probably happened in the last quarter, but were instigated long before that.'
He also says that the sale of derelict properties or those in need of great improvements is very buoyant.
'House renovations are very popular at the moment on the north side, with the Chord Road and Windmill Road doing extremely well. It is mostly the small builder who is able to do this, or those who can now release money from a pension, as the larger developers are mostly out of the market now.'
The Property Price Register shows the number of transactions throughout the country in 2012 was up 15.4% on 2011, showing an upturn to the industry.