Sligo: New Sligo schemes attract strong demand
The market in Sligo has reached a point where builders are happy to test the water again. Most building up to last year had just involved developers coming in and mopping up sites that weren't completed before the crash.
A new scheme was launched in 2018 in Ballysadare, about 7km outside Sligo Town, and it soon proved that the demand is there for new homes.
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"Two batches of 12 houses were first put on the market from the scheme in Ballysadare, followed by another 10 houses, and all sold out within a few days," says local agent Shane Flanagan of DNG Flanagan Ford. "There were three-bed semis and four-bed detached. They weren't just bought by first-timers either, they are being bought by people who are trading down and wanted a smaller garden and to be close to facilities.
Flanagan says the first-time buyers are really keen to get their hand on the newer models. "They definitely place a higher credibility on ratings than their predecessors. They want homes that are finished to a high standard and don't want to have to put money into it," he says.
The year was buoyant, says Flanagan, who reports that values rose by 3pc last year. This means the average price for a four-bed detached house in town is now at €240,000 and a holiday home is at €190,000.
It's been a quiet year in terms of holiday homes, with most sales coming from locals. "The Dublin market and holiday homes aren't putting any pressure on the market at all," says Flanagan. "There are quite a few couples who have young kids who want to move back to the area, which is good for the county and smaller communities."
Brexit hasn't had any obvious impact on the market in Sligo, but Flanagan says it could still be hit further down the line.
He believes that new lending restrictions are working and helping to keep the market healthy. "Money isn't that available anymore, so the market is trading well, which speaks volumes for the next year or two ahead," says Flanagan. "It's a healthy market. In market places where money is too easily got, that's where you get the overheating, and that's not happening at the moment, which I think is very positive."
Flanagan forecasts a further rise in prices around the county in the next 12 months, with prices being pushed up by about 4pc by the lack of supply of new stock.