Monaghan: Monaghan on Brexit tenterhooks
The shadow of Brexit in the border counties has become oppressive in the last 12 months, with so much uncertainty surrounding the final outcome.
"It is always there," says Dermot Conlon of REA Gunne Property.
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"It has so much relevance to us and our economy because of our agri-food business and farming, which will be directly affected by it. The volatility of sterling is very worrying for businesses which are exporting their goods. People are extremely worried about their future, so this nervousness is definitely impacting on the property market in Monaghan."
Last year was a busy one for Conlon however, with a lull in the middle of the year which he puts down to the exceptional summer. Prices were up by an average of 7pc and builders decided to test the market.
"In Carrickmacross there were two new developments for sale," says Conlon. "These were the first developments in nearly 12 years. It has taken a long time for us to get back to this, but we're getting there. The response to the lack of supply is starting to be met so that will make it a healthier market."
New semis are being priced at about €230,000 because of the A-rating. Conlon says that first-time buyers are willing to pay this because it's such a novelty for the county to have good-quality new builds, even though second-hand semis are selling for a lot less at €185,000. Buyers are still coming from Dublin, not only for an affordable home, but also for cheaper rent. Conlon says they are saving themselves up to €700 a month on rent, which enables them to save for a deposit to eventually buy a home of their own.
There are buses leaving Carrickmacross every 15 minutes on weekday mornings, full with people heading to work in Dublin, willing to take on the hour and a half commute in the name of affordability.
Conlon expects a similar year ahead with an average rise in house values of about 7pc and with Brexit still leaving a lot of questions unanswered.