Driving up values: Properties around Center Parcs soar
The sheer size of the Center Parcs Longford Forest scheme currently under way near Ballymahon has caused the price of an average property in the county to rise by 21.1pc in the past year.
They rose by a phenomenal 9.5pc in the past three months as new workers strive to find homes and investors probe for property purchases to let out.
It lifts home prices in the county to an average of €115,000, which is still one of the lowest average house prices in Ireland.
Local estate agent REA Brady estimates that prices in the Ballymahon area itself in the south of Longford closest to the scheme have risen even further.
"We have seen increases of 30pc over the past year in anticipation of the opening of the massive tourist attraction, which will be the biggest water park ever seen in Ireland," it said.
The scheme, which is scheduled to open in the summer, is situated on 400 acres and will provide 470 guest lodges and 30 apartments along with related catering facilities and amenities and representing a total investment of €233m.
The effect on Longford's tiny business economy has been akin to Apple in Cork. Recruiters have been hiring people from the local area but will also have to bring in a good number of the 1,000 new permanent jobs which will be located there. The effect has been the surge in value of local properties.