House prices differ wildly in Mayo with the average value of €153,000 for a three-bed semi across the whole county. An average price for the same property in Castlebar would be around €170,000 or €136,000 in Ballina.
Values overall are down 1pc in the county, with Castlebar agent Patrick Durcan blaming Brexit for the slowdown.
"I think once the Brexit uncertainty lifts, things will really kick off in the market because we have a lot of UK buyers who are ready to go once things settle down," says Durcan. "Values are well down this year because of Brexit we find. People are lining stuff up but are afraid to take the jump with the rate of sterling."
The most active buyers around Castlebar last year were first-time buyers, with Durcan noticing a few investors coming back into the market. There has been no building around the town in years, unless you count builders coming back to finish abandoned sites, but commercially things are picking up with less empty units on the main street. Durcan said the only holiday homes they sold this year were around Achill, with all interest coming from Dublin buyers.
|3-BED SEMI IN TOWN||€152,000||€153,000||€173,000|
|3-bed Semi Out Of Town||€129,000||€126,000||€147,000|
|4-BED SEMI IN TOWN||€177,000||€175,000||€185,000|
|3-bed Bungalow In Town||€189,000||€189,000||€189,000|
|3-bed Bungalow Outside Town||€184,000||€160,000||€172,000|
|4-bed Bungalow In Town||€196,000||€203,000||€213,000|
|4-bed Bungalow Outside Town||€200,000||€190,000||€213,000|
|Detached 2000+ Sq Ft||€270,000||€281,000||€291,000|
Over in Ballina, however, the holiday home market was more buoyant. Agent Karl Fox from Fox and Gallagher said that this end of the market was quite active last year, with 30pc of the sales coming from the UK, 50pc coming from Dublin and the rest coming from other Irish buyers.
The local economy is good around Ballina with companies like Ballina Beverages and Hollister, and Allergan Pharmaceuticals in Westport providing employment in the area. Banks are happy to lend to these employees as they know they have a solid income.
The small village near Castlebar is close to popular Westport, but more affordable
Fox was selling houses from a new development in Crossmolina last year and all but one have been sold. He believes there's an appetite out there for new builds. Locals are buying into areas like Foxford and Crossmolina for schools and facilities, but larger more rural properties aren't attracting young families.
Those seeking a holiday home in the county are looking to the old favourites like Westport and Louisburgh. Westport commands the highest prices in the county with properties like Rosbeg, a large detached home overlooking Clew Bay selling for €912,500 last year, making it the most expensive house in the county in 2018.
Both agents agree that sales should be stronger this year, bringing prices back up by 8pc, with the lower-end properties like apartments and ex-council houses going up by between 19-35pc.