Offaly: Semi-detached homes in demand as investors return to market
The investor made a return to the market in Offaly in the last 12 months, which has really pushed up the prices, says agent Richard Cleary of Property Partners Richard Cleary who reports a rise of 10pc in values and similar to come in the year ahead.
"The interest rates are so paltry at the moment that if you put €100,000 into a bank you might have €1,000 at the end of the year. But if you bought a three-bed semi in Offaly for €100,000, it would have gone up to €110,000 by the end of the year, and you probably would have brought in about €8,000 in rent on top of that."
Investors weren't the only factor adding to a very busy year in Offaly. "For first-time buyers I'd say demand actually exceeded supply for the first time in a long time."
Repossessions were coming to market but didn't cause ructions. "Banks were clever and were drip-feeding repossessed properties into the market. They'd put one in at €130,000, and that might achieve €134,000, so they put the next one in at €135,000," adds Cleary.
The mortgage lending restrictions didn't affect Offaly's market much with most semi-ds still below €200,000. "Your nice little bungalow on the edge of town is now fetching up to about €200,000, so it's getting close to the 20pc deposit, but we're not quite there yet," says Cleary.
Most of the big sales in Offaly in 2015 were commercial buildings. Buildings that were once valued at around €5m, according to Cleary, are now being sold for as little as €300,000.
"Things are definitely looking up in Offaly," says Cleary. "2015 was a good year overall from February to October. I'd like to think that things will pick up in 2016. I'd certainly say that the jump in the value of semi-ds was between 10-15pc in the last 12 months. I'd say going forward, we'd be looking at about 5-10pc increases in 2016."