Cork County North: Trader-uppers and downsizers boost north county market
Homeowners coming out of negative equity have brought a lot of movement to a property market in north Cork that had been stagnant for a few years. This brought about a price increase of 6pc in the area in the last 12 months.
John Singleton of Sherry FitzGerald O'Donovan said it has been a year of change for the county. "What bucked the trend last year was the popularity of the larger family home, between 2500sqft-3000sq ft," says Singleton. "Prices have pushed from €350,000 a few years ago to an average of €450,000 now. People with positive equity finally have the means to trade up. Also, people who have been waiting to downsize have been on the move too, so there's been a lot of movement in all areas which is quite healthy because it has been stagnant for years. Once families can move up to a larger home, the three-bed semi's are freed up so first-timers have options too."
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In the year ahead, Singleton thinks there are a number of factors that will impact the property market in north Cork. One of these is lending restrictions. "People are struggling to get approval," says Singleton. "Deposits are high so it is hard for couples who are trying to get started. It doesn't help that rents are at an all-time high in Mallow, with semi-ds going for in excess of €1,000, which would have been unheard of a few years ago. It makes saving for a deposit nearly impossible."
The other problem is lack of supply, with no new building in the area for years. "We are hopeful that one developer will start to build in Mallow this year, which will be the first new development in over 10 years," says Singleton. "There would definitely be demand for new high-spec homes. We haven't had anything like that around here. Buyers are more prudent so are looking for a high-energy rating, which would be a key factor in selling them."
Mallow is only 20 minutes out of Cork so a lot of people who can't afford to live in the city would see the town as a good option. The fact that there's a good train and bus network into the city means that most of the sales over the last 12 months happened around here.
Singleton points out though that if buyers are looking for the larger house on an acre and value for money, they'd be willing to go out to the likes of Doneraile, Buttevant and Kanturk.
The lack of stock in north Cork should drive prices up again next year, with Singleton predicting a further increase of 4pc.