Louth: Demand is high but stock remains low in Louth
Housing stock levels are low in Co Louth and demand is high, which means prices have been rising steadily with an average increase of values of 8pc in the last year.
Cheaper properties at the low end of the market (such as apartments) saw a much bigger jump with two-beds going up over 30pc, from €110,000 to €145,000.
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The county currently has about 16 new home developments, but needs more building to meet the demand that's out there.
"There are currently about 10 new home developments in Dundalk and Ardee, and six to come on in Drogheda this year, but it's still not enough," says Brian Carroll of Sherry FitzGerald Carroll. "Demand is definitely there. We're predicting that about 18,000 housing units will be built in 2019, but it needs to be up at about 35,000 to meet demand due to population in the county."
Drogheda is the busiest town for sales and commands the highest prices because of its proximity to Dublin, with first-time buyers being the most active in the market there.
Towns like Dundalk, Ardee and Termonfeckin are close behind in terms of demand because of high employment around Dundalk.
Mr Carroll believes that there is currently a positive impact from Brexit in Dundalk as more companies move in search of an Irish base.
Wuxi Biologics is building a facility there and will bring 450 jobs to the area. Pharma company Wasdell has invested €30m in a factory in Dundalk and Almac is on track to employ more than 100 people in its new plant in the town as part of its global expansion strategy.
This is on top of big companies like National Pen and Paypal which are already big employers in the town. Many western Europeans have moved to Ireland to work for these companies and have decided to settle in Louth and buy a home, according to Mr Carroll.
The seaside village of Blackrock, just outside Dundalk, has its own micro market where good family homes are always in demand with professionals living in the area. It tends to command the highest prices. A detached 2,000sq ft house in the rest of the county would average about €360,000, whereas a detached house with sea views at Chapel Pass in Blackrock sold for €731,150 last year.
Termonfeckin is another area where buyers are prepared to spend big for the right family home - for example, a Georgian-style, four-bed family home sold there last year for €540,000.
However, there is still some nervousness about Brexit and what lies ahead.
Mr Carroll believes this will impact the property market in the coming year and predicts an average rise of 5pc in property values around Louth.