Clare: Stock shortage in Clare as prices rise
The popularity of Ennis as a commuter town for buyers working in employment hubs along the M18 motorway, namely Shannon, Limerick and Galway, as well as a shortage of housing, helped drive up prices at the lower end of the market in Co Clare last year.
The most active end of the market was for properties priced under €200,000, which were sought after by both locals and purchasers priced out of cities. "Under that price, there was a lot of demand and big volumes," says Diarmuid McMahon of Sherry FitzGerald McMahon in Ennis. "We even got a query from a frustrated would-be buyer in Dublin wondering if he can get a three-bed semi in Clare for €400,000 - I told him I could give him two."
Indeed, the three-bed semi in a town was the most popular house type among buyers in 2017, compared to four-bed semis a year earlier, though too few three-bed semis came on the market to satisfy demand. A shortage of stock helped drive up prices by 10pc by 2017, with prices likely accelerating by 12pc this year.
While some estates have been finished out, such as in Clarecastle (a 10-minute drive from Ennis) and Acha Bhile in Ennis, and there is planning for more schemes, no sod has been turned on a brand site yet, McMahon says.
In the rest of the county, coastal holiday homes in the Burren were popular with Americans with Irish connections. They help compensate for a lack of UK buyers deterred by Brexit and the sterling exchange rate. As a result of this demand, the price of a two-bed cottage climbed 11pc to €100,000 and is expected to rise 10pc to €110,000 by the end of 2018. The price of an average holiday home jumped 16pc to €180,000 last year and is set to climb 8pc to €195,000 in 2018.