Longford: Center Parcs likely to open doors for workers in Longford
This year is going to be a big year for Longford with the opening of the Center Parcs holiday resort. The €233m development is expected to bring over 1,000 jobs to the area when it opens in the summer.
Local agent Fintan McGill of Sherry FitzGerald McGill says that there has definitely been an increased interest in property in Longford because of it, particularly in Ballymahon.
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Developers are looking at sites around Ballymahon because they know there will be a demand for homes for staff beside the resort.
New homes are badly needed in Longford, with McGill saying that lack of stock was the big issue for the county last year.
The lack of properties pushed prices up by 16pc on average, with two-bed apartments seeing a whopping 40pc rise in values from €50,000 to €70,000. At the other end of the spectrum, three-bed bungalows outside town saw values rise by 3pc, bringing prices from €140,000 last year to €145,000 this year.
First-time buyers have been the most active in the market in the past 12 months, with the help to buy scheme working in their favour - ensuring they can get their deposit for mortgage approval with the tax rebate.
Eastern Europeans who work locally and have been busy saving for a deposit are also keen to take advantage of the low prices in the county and are happy to take on a house that needs some work.
Longford town has been the busiest part of the county in terms of sales, with demand high for a four-bed detached house near to the town and its facilities.
Employment has been low in the county and transport links are poor, so McGill is hopeful that the new resort will see this turn around and give a much-needed boost to Longford.
Property values aren't expected to rise as severely next year, with a more modest increase of 7pc predicted. Apartments and cottages at the lower end of the market will probably go higher to between 16-20pc.