Galway County: Tuam revival spearheads big rise in Co Galway values
The opening in September of the M17/M18 motorway between Tuam and Gort, which shaved at least 20 minutes from journey times between the towns and eased traffic bottlenecks in Claregalway and Clarinbridge, have enticed house-buyers in Galway city to move afield to rural towns in search of value.
The property market in Tuam, now just a 30-minute drive from Galway city, has been the primary beneficiary of the influx of new commuters. They are increasingly drawn to the town because of relatively cheaper house prices, amenities such as a leisure centre and a growing number of shops, and cheaper parking, according to Tuam-based agent Martin Tyrrell.
"Housing-wise, you get great value in Tuam compared to Galway city," he says, citing how an average €95,000 could buy a four-bed semi outside the city, while €85,000 would buy a three-bed semi.
A resurgence in the local economy, which has boosted employment rates, is also driving demand for properties in Tuam and its hinterland, Tyrrell said.
Valeo Vision Systems now employs some 1,100 workers at its car components-making plant, while JFC Manufacturing, an international supplier of polyethylene products to the agricultural sector set up by local man John Concannon, employs 250 people.
"In the last 12 months, Tuam has experienced a new air of progress and confidence, due to the new motorway and employment," Tyrrell says.
"Tuam has turned a corner. Both its hotels are booked out solidly and are planning extensions and I've never seen as many shoppers in Tuam as I did in 2017.
"People are coming from 30 or 40 miles away to shop in Tuam because you can get parking for €2 a day - in Galway, you wouldn't get an hour's parking for that."
As a result of this revival in economic prosperity and a dearth of housing supply, prices for a four-bed semi-detached property in a Co Galway town have jumped an average 38pc to €165,000, one of the biggest gains in 2017 across the entire country.
Headford and Corofin, which are 20km and 12km from Tuam, respectively, have also seen property prices climb, Tyrrell says.
Other house types have also experienced gains. Tyrrell sold a two-bed semi in Tuam for a record €150,000 in 2017, while large detached houses in the countryside saw prices jump by a third to an average €280,000 last year.
The agent expects confidence in the Co Galway to continue to improve through 2018, albeit with prices rising at a slower pace. However, buyers will still be able to pick up a three-bed terraced home or a two-bed cottage for less than €100,000, Tyrrell estimates.