Leitrim: Owner occupiers snap up homes at lower end of Leitrim market
The low prices at the bottom end of the property market in the county of Leitrim mean that it makes sense to buy rather than rent. With two-bed apartments being valued at €95,000, monthly mortgage repayments would only be about €350, compared to rent of €600 on the same property. Owner-occupiers are now buying up 70pc of the apartments on the market in the county, that would have traditionally been snapped up by investors.
Local agent Liam Farrell of Farrell Property Group has noticed that there is no predicting what a first-time buyer is going to be interested in anymore.
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"First-time buyers are now a very broad range of people from mid-20s to 40s," notes Farrell. "They've been buying the apartments or three-bed semis, which are extremely affordable and less than rent. There are then the more mature first-timers or young professionals, who are buying in Glas na hAbhainn outside Carrick-on-Shannon for €320,000 to €350,000 for a four-bed detached home." After a busy start to 2018, Farrell said things got very quiet in the last quarter and believes Brexit played some part in this.
"All the negative discussions about Brexit were having an effect on buyers' confidence and this brought about a nervousness amongst locals and the broader Irish market," says Farrell. "Which is funny because UK buyers, who haven't been buying in Leitrim at all in the past couple of years, have started to make enquiries again in the last few months."
After an average increase of 8pc in prices last year, Farrell predicts this year will be slower. "Logically prices should move up because of lack of stock and construction," he says, "but I don't think that will be the case, I think it will be slower and steady with a modest rise of 2pc."