Monaghan: North Dubs head for Monaghan
The border county of Monaghan, which took so long to show green shoots after the property crash, has now become a draw for investors, who, in their quest for high rental yields, are competing with first-time buyers for three- and four-bed semi-detached homes.
As a result, the price of a four-bed semi in a Co Monaghan town is up 11pc to an average €200,000 last year and is forecast to climb a further 10pc to €220,000 by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, prices for a town-based three-bed semi climbed 10pc to €165,000 and are set to rise 12pc to €185,000.
Agent Dermot Conlon of REA Gunne Property in Carrickmacross says, "There are no unfinished estates in Co Monaghan, but houses that would come up for sale attract not just first-time buyers but also investors - three-bed semis in some locations can get €800 a month in rent and four-bed semis can reach €900 or €1,000 a month, which is bringing rents back to what they were at the height of the market."
Conlon has also noticed the return of the north Dublin buyer, who is priced out of rents in the capital and is willing to purchase a home in Carrickmacross or Castleblaney to reduce their monthly outgoings on accommodation.
"Because they are paying rents of €1,500 a month for a three- bed semi in Balbriggan or Swords, they are eager to move further north to achieve savings," Conlon observes. "Monaghan might be perceived as a border county but Carrickmacross is only an hour's drive from Dublin and the commuter buses that leave at 6.45am from Carrickmacross every morning are full of these people."
Indeed, Carrickmacross has the greatest potential in the county for further growth in the price of homes and rents, Conlon believes. But the town's supply is restricted by a lack of new housing and demand for starter homes is being fuelled by workers for Monaghan's vibrant food industries.
However, prices along border towns could be dampened in the future if Brexit affects long- standing Monaghan industries such as the processing of mushrooms, poultry and prepared meals, Conlon fears.
"Brexit is an unknown factor, especially in the northern end of Monaghan," he says. "It's like an overhanging cloud and people are getting a wee bit fatigued with it."