Kildare North: Supply high in north Kildare
North Kildare is among the busiest markets outside Dublin for new residential developments with recent schemes including Landen Park in Naas, Hayfield in Maynooth, and Millerstown in Kilcock. The increase in supply in the region, much of which caters to buyers priced out of the greater Dublin area, helped keep a lid on house prices in 2017 and is set to do so again this year.
North Kildare is one of the few areas where new homes are being supplied in plentiful amounts.
As a result of demand from first-time buyers - who account for almost half of sales - the three-bed semi is the most popular house type in north Kildare, with prices climbing 6pc, on average, to €318,000 last year, according to local agent Will Coonan of REA Coonan. Prices will likely rise by 5pc to €334,000 by the end of 2018.
Planning permission was granted for 4,650 homes in the first quarter of 2017 alone, a 50pc surge on the same period last year, Coonan points out.
"Confidence in the north Kildare market has grown since 2013, when the sales began to kick off again," he says. "And this has resulted in developers gaining the confidence to apply for planning permission, so we are seeing more units coming on stream. We are actively working with 15 developments now."
Because sale prices now exceed the cost of construction for builders, the market will now have to work on keeping prices affordable for buyers whose purchasing power is limited by Central Bank rules that restrict the loan-to-income ratio to 3.5 times the annual income commanded by buyers.
"This is good lending practice, and it will keep a lid on price increases in 2018," Coonan says. "Builders will have to keep in line with people's salaries, so the big lift we have seen since 2013 will slow."
Demand for property in north Kildare comes not just from commuters to Dublin but from buyers who work in local employment hubs like Intel, HP and Maynooth University, as well as the Shire pharmaceutical plant in south Meath.
"A huge percentage of the buyers would have a connection to the local area or to the west and south of the country," Coonan says. "So they might earn their income in Dublin but are looking to buy on the M7 or M4 corridor so they can easily travel to see relatives at the weekend in the south or west of Ireland."
The presence of Maynooth University has also attracted investors back into the market, especially families with two or three children who are buying in the expectation their offspring will one day attend the university.
Because planning permission for self-builds is hard to come by in north Kildare, buyers with an eye for a bargain are buying cottages and fixing them up, Coonan says. As a result of this demand, prices for two-bed cottages are up 11pc to €250,000 in 2017 and set to increase by a further 6pc to an average of €265,000 by the end of this year.