We talk to five aspiring buyers about the difficulties posed by rising prices and fierce competition as they search for a place to call home
It’s a New Year for better or for worse, and for those looking to buy a home in 2022, amid still rising prices, Covid 19 restrictions and shortages of stock in most locations, there are big challenges ahead.
“Everyone is waiting for a bang to happen and for prices to drop, but I think they’re going to continue rising,” says Simon Conerney of Conerney Estate Agents. “The market is still going crazy and purchasers are chewing each other up in bidding wars.”
He says houses are sometimes selling for 15 or 20 per cent more than their asking prices at the moment.
“This is mostly due a lack of supply and also affected by the fact people saved money and held off buying during Covid. In addition, there were fewer new houses being built during lockdown and people were forced to buy second hand properties.
“The price of labour and materials such as steel and timber has also risen in the last year. All of this is now affecting the cost of houses. The worry is of course the possibility of a global recession. But for the most part with the little availability of stock, I can only see prices continuing to rise.”
Despite the challenges, there are still hopefuls out there about to embark on the home hunting challenge at the start of the year. We spoke to five parties hoping to brave the storm and make that big move in 2022.
IT Project Manager Simon Monk (42) and his wife Dearbhla (41) are searching for a three-bedroom house in Dublin 16. They have a €350,000 budget.
“Location is our main concern and we’re almost at the point that we’d take anything in the area.
“I’m from Ballyboden, Rathfarnham. My family live here and my 11-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter are in school in the area. Also our little girl Nessa (who would be 7) is buried in Kilmashogue Cemetery. It’s very important to us that we live nearby so we can visit her.
“Nessa sadly passed away on December 28, 2014. She was just three months old and had been born with an extremely rare heart defect.
“We’ve been living with my parents in Moyville, Rathfarnham since last March. Whie I’m grateful for their generosity, I’m not sure how long that situation can be sustained. We moved in with them after we sold our house in Saggart. We were hoping to buy a house closer to Nessa. But so far that hasn’t worked out.
“Ideally we’d need three bedrooms. We’d consider a new build or an old house. We’re just desperate to stay in the area.
“We’ve looked at lots of houses in recent months. But unfortunately we’ve been short €20,000 or €30,000 every time and the banks are just not able to make exceptions at the moment.
“I’ve put notes through the doors of empty or rundown houses in the hope that the owners would sell them to us directly. We even considered buying a plot of land and building on it ourselves but that failed to work out too.
“At this point we’re becoming quite disillusioned. What we’re going to have to do in the New Year is decide whether to buy outside of the area or hold on.
“The ideal scenario would that somebody reads this article and gets in touch with a house for sale in our price range. It would mean the world to us. My phone number is 085 8018150.”
Social care worker Jane Lowe (35) and her partner Conor Butler (33), who works in a car tyre business, are looking for a three-bedroom house in Dublin. They have a €350,000 budget.
“We got mortgage approval at the beginning of last year, but Covid made searching for a house very difficult. You could only view houses virtually, online.
“Unfortunately our mortgage approval has now run out but we plan to reapply this year and start our house search again.
“Conor and I have been together for the last two years. We dated casually at first as we were planning on going travelling separately. I was going to Australia and he was planning a solo trip of South America. We’d joked about meeting up in Colombia. But then we did it!
“We ended up spending three months travelling through Columbia and became very close. Conor went into the Amazon jungle at one point for five days on his own.
"There was no access to the internet there. I remember he phoned me when he came out. I said, ‘Conor something really weird is happening. The whole world is shutting down’.
“Within two days the whole country had come to a standstill and the Irish embassy was working to get us out of there as quickly as possible. We returned to Ireland and have been together ever since.
"We’re hoping to start a family soon and we both want to buy a house.
“Ideally we’re looking for a new build, with four bedrooms on the southside of Dublin. We’re both from Terenure, but there’s no way we can afford a house in the area. The prices are extortionate.
“It’s terrible that we are in our 30s and we’re not on the property ladder. I think the government should be doing more. It would make you consider moving abroad.”
Darren Farrell (47) is looking for a three-bedroom house in a rural location. His budget is €300,000-€450,000.
“I’m currently living in my mother’s house in Ballybrack. She passed away a year and a half ago. I was caring her at time and I’m the only one left. My father died 10 years ago and my sister, who was five years older than me, is dead too.
“I’ve been thinking about selling the family home for a while. It’s a terraced corporation house in Ballybrack, Co Dublin. My parents bought it in 1974 for €7,000. It’s worth a lot more now of course.
“There’s a lifetime of memories associated with the house. Sadly none of my family made it out of here, so selling it will mean a fresh start.
“I’ve had a number of different jobs over the years. I worked as a compliance officer for 25 years. I gave that up to care for my mother.
"Recently, I took a job as a groundsman in Wayside Celtic Football Club in Kilternan. I wanted to work outside in nature and I love it.
"“I find myself increasingly drawn to living in a more rural setting, outside of Dublin. Although I haven’t decided where exactly yet, I’m considering Wexford, Cork, Kerry and Sligo.
“Ideally, I’d like a two or three bedroom house on three-quarters of an acre, in a picturesque setting. I’d like somewhere in the countryside, but not too far from a town or village.
“I’d like to be able to put a caravan in the garden for visitors. A big shed or garage would be a bonus too.
“I can see myself walking my dog Star, surrounded by greenery, perhaps in a forest or near mountains.”
Human Resources director Fiona Casserly (33) is looking for a three/four bedroom house in south County Dublin to buy with her partner Alan Kershaw, a cabinet maker. They have a €450,000 budget.
“I grew up in Drumcondra and have lived there most of my life. I bought a house five minutes down the road from my parents a few years ago. My two brothers live close by, as do many of my friends.
“To be honest, I never planned on leaving the northside, but I have to cross the Liffey now. I’ve met a man who lives on the southside.
“His name is Alan and we met on Tinder two years ago. We went on a few dates and the relationship naturally progressed. We’re getting married in September.
“Ideally we’d like to buy a house before then. At the moment we’re commuting back and forth across the city and it’s time-consuming.”
“Alan has a 6-year-old daughter, Aoife, who’s in school in Tallaght so we want to be near to her. We’re considering Tallaght, Saggart and Rathcoole.
"We’ve looked at a couple of houses but nowhere has been quite right yet. We’d like a three or four bedroom house with enough space for an office. We’d also need a bedroom for Aoife when she visits.
"Our wish list includes a big garden, two living spaces, an open-plan kitchen/living space, two bathrooms and a utility room. We’d prefer a new house.
“My last house was an old building which had to be renovated. It took a lot of time and effort, but I was in the privileged position of being able to live with my parents.
“It’s going to be hard moving to the southside, but it’s a small sacrifice for the hopefully very happy life we’re going to have together.”
Celsa Mendez (45) is looking for an apartment in the Castleknock area of Dublin. She has a €350,000-€400,000 budget.
“I’m from Galicia in the north of Spain but I’ve been living here for four and a half years. I love Ireland. I like that it’s green and it rains a lot. It reminds me of home.
“Before I came here I lived in a few different locations in the UK. Now I feel settled for the first time in many years.
“I’m currently renting and sharing a flat with another girl in Castleknock. I pay €750 per month, as well as bills. It’s a lot.
"I feel like I’m throwing my money away as I’ve nothing to show for it. In Spain, I would most likely pay €100 to €200 for the same apartment.
“My aim in the New Year is to buy my own place. My mortgage has been approved. I found it was easy to get as I have a good salary and some savings. I work as a Senior Customer Success Manager in a cloud computing company.
“Ideally, I’d like to stay in the Castleknock/Blanchardstown area. It has everything I need: shops, a cinema, gyms, a medical centre etc. I feel the area is safe. Also many of my friends live close by.
"I would like an apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, as I plan to have my family in Spain come to visit.
“I’ve been looking for the last year and so far it has been impossible to find what I want. I’ve realised you have to chase after estate agents to show you a property because there are so many buyers and so few homes for sale.
“I find that often the price of a property increases due to bidding wars. This doesn’t happen in Spain where properties are sold at fixed prices. It’s very frustrating.”