Offaly: Growth in Offaly was 'simply not sustainable'
Local authorities and state agencies have played a part in the property market in Offaly over the last 12 months. Despite a healthy demand for houses in the county, the market is very price sensitive. Through the first half of last year, a large amount of properties were purchased by local authorities or other state agencies. Once their funding dried up, agents noticed a considerable slowdown.
This has resulted in price re-adjustments throughout the county, which had seen double-digit price inflation in the previous year.
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"The growth we experienced over the past three years was simply not sustainable," says Richard Cleary of Property Partners Cleary. "We have noticed a considerable slowdown in Tullamore house price growth, but more notable is a surge in price-readjusting on properties currently for sale. We feel that in the past three to six months there has been a lot of price readjusting with an average of 5pc to 7.5pc downwards.
"Where houses were competitively priced or asking prices were adjusted, these houses sold quickly. Prices were simply too high and agents need to take responsibility for this."
Overall, there has been an average rise in house values in the county of 1pc, with most house types going up, but some - like the detached 2,000sq ft property -going down by 15pc to €365,000.
There are no new housing developments in Offaly as developers know that it is not viable to start building again. Because of the lack of stock, rents have remained elevated and place further pressure on the market.
"The cost to a landlord of providing private rental accommodation had increased up to 25pc, due to the burden of extra taxation," says Mr Cleary. "The Government created one tax after the other, causing private landlords to leave the market in droves over the past few years, with many getting fed up with being categorised as 'greedy landlords'."
It's not all price readjustments and soaring rents though. There were some big sales at the high end of the market last year in the county, with Cloghan Castle in Banagher selling for €960,000 and Thornvale House in Moneygall going for €1m.
At the opposite end of the market are one-bed apartments with a value of €68,000 and three-bed terraced houses with an average price of €140,000.
The year ahead will bring a settling as the market finds its way after the price re-adjustments. "In my opinion, prices will remain stationary for some house types and a rise in single digit figures for others throughout the year," says Cleary.