Louth: First-time buyers busy at new Louth developments
Following a very buoyant 2014, Brian Carroll of Sherry FitzGerald Carroll in Dundalk believes that the market in Louth has been considerably affected by the new Central Bank lending restrictions whereby purchasers need to come up with a 20pc deposit for properties over €220,000.
"The market took over six months to adjust and we subsequently noticed a change of pace in the middle of 2015, with buyers re-emerging and quite a lot of activity ensued in all sectors of the market," says Carroll.
"The second half of the year continued to show a high level of viewings, offers and sales, albeit from a limited pool of people chasing a very restricted supply." This resulted in prices rising by a very strong 9pc and the local agent predicting a 7pc increase in prices for 2016.
The strongest interest, according to Carroll was in the €125,000-€175,000 price bracket, with three-bed semis selling for over 15pc of their guide prices.
First-time buyers are the strongest market in Louth, which Carroll attributes to the high employment rates from large-scale employers like PayPal, eBay and National Pen. Dundalk IT also brings in a number of students who contribute to the strong rental market. At present, the breakdown of owner-occupier to investors in Louth is at 74pc versus 18pc.
Unlike other counties, Louth has seen some new developments over the past 12 months and nearly 35pc of sales for Sherry FitzGerald Carroll in 2015 were for new homes. "We currently have three active building sites with a high volume of sales carried out throughout the year," says Carroll.
"Two developments in Dundalk, Carlinn Hall and Marlmount, have proven to be very successful with buyers in terms of house style, layout and price."
It's predicted that the market in Louth will continue to grow this year at a rate of about 7pc.