Saturday 23 June 2018

Limerick City Centre: Limerick city has little at entry level

13 Pery Square, Limerick, sold for €295,000 last September
13 Pery Square, Limerick, sold for €295,000 last September

Limerick city’s economic prospects continue to lift, driven by increased employment from multinationals like Uber and Regeneron as well as the creation of new jobs in a plethora of mid-sized home grown enterprises. Retail streets are brightening up again; new outlets, restaurants and nightclubs are opening.

Shannonside prices were tumbling just three years ago (down 10pc in the year to 2013) but after many years in the doldrums, the city’s market has experienced successive years of steady growth.

Ailbhe O’Malley, of Sherry FitzGerald O’Malley, estimates prices rose by 7pc through the last 12 months following on a much more heated 12pc the previous year. Limerick is now showing signs of benefiting from a normalised market following a few years of exuberant bounce-back inflation.When it comes to standard family homes, three-bed semis are up in value from €269,000 to €290,000 while four-bed versions have hiked high from €291,000 to €320,000. For investors, two-bed apartments are now well over the €100,000 mark, averaging about €120,000. Three-bed period terraces were among the most popular types in central streets and values surged through the last 12 months from €195,000 to €240,000. Family buyers are now back in the city centre equipped with more readily available finance and driven by location for employment and schools. The competition is strong, with three and four parties on average bidding for each family-sized home. In the early part of Limerick’s property market revival, investors were the main force, but now owner-

occupiers are outbidding them, accounting for two thirds of sales. Cash buyers however are still accounting for around half of sales.

Despite the uplift, its oldest homes, the lofty Georgians, continue to languish, protected to oblivion. “You can buy rundown Georgians for next to nothing,” says O’Malley. “With all the requirements they insist on for preservation, no one can afford to undertake the work. Sadly, as a result, they’re rotting away.”

As everywhere, supply is a big issue and aside from a few small infill schemes, Limerick city once again had no new homes to go to. And there are few in the pipeline for the city centre areas. At the upper end of the market on the North Circular Road, there was strong demand for the city’s most affluent housing, largely from families. At entry level there’s very little to find. “Apartment stock is extremely limited,” says O’Malley. “We certainly need more much more of them.” Given the continued relative shortage, she predicts more of the same for the coming year.

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