Waterford: Dunmore East is the hot property
Waterford city and county may have taken longer than other regions around Ireland to emerge from the recession, but the recovery is manifesting itself in earnest at the higher end of the property market.
The price of detached properties with at least 2,000 sq ft of accommodation is up 5pc to €450,000, while the price of a five-bed detached home climbed 4pc to €425,000.
Warren Palmer of Palmer Auctioneers says last year he encountered more buyers for houses costing between €600,000 and €700,000 than he had in previous years and even sold one home in the seaside village of Dunmore East for €900,000 within a month of it going on the market.
"Before 2017, there was very little property moving at that end of the market," Palmer says. "There is demand from buyers such as consultants at Waterford University Hospital. Some people are also moving up from homes in an estate to something in the countrywide with a couple of acres."
The price of holiday homes are up 10pc to an average €220,000 with a dearth of stock in Dunmore East prompting buyers to engage in competitive bidding for existing property.
"There were cash buyers from Dublin and the UK or Irish people moving home from abroad," Palmer says. "We also saw a lot of people from Australia, Belgium and Germany retiring to Dunmore East."
At the lower end of the market, demand has been aided by jobs created through retail, commercial and municipal development, including the refurbishment and extension of the City Square Shopping Centre; a new canopy-style roof on the Apple Market to make it adaptable for public events and festivals; the opening of the West Pharma plant, and the Waterford-to-Dungarvan cycle Greenway. Demand will also increase in the years ahead when the €450m redevelopment of the North Quays is under way - the latter is thought to lead to some 3,000 jobs in construction, retail and tourism. The North Quays - which has been designated a special development zone - comprises 17 acres of waterfront land onto the River Suir.
"First-time buyers working in retail or factories around Waterford city are spending up to €230,000 on three- and four-bed semis," Palmer says. "Most homes are going for between €5,000 and €10,000 over the asking price because of the shortage of stock. We could have three or four bidders for each home."