Westmeath: Big increase for apartment values in Westmeath
Mullingar remains a popular option for employees of Intel in Maynooth and Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Leixlip who are being priced out of Kildare. A 45-minute commute to work seems to be a small price to pay for getting a foot on the property ladder.
Prices have reached a peak in the county, according to local agent Aidan Davitt of Sherry FitzGerald Davitt, who says the values have grown by 8pc on average over the last 12 months.
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This varies from house type to house type, with four-bed detached properties outside of town going up by 5pc, while the value of two-bed apartments rose by 20pc, from €120,000 to €145,000, over the last 12 months.
Davitt says that buyers are a lot more savvy now. "They are using their common sense on what they can afford for a house and aren't pushing further. There is a cap on the amount of money they can borrow and that's that," he observes.
New homes schemes are popular with first-time buyers who are keen to take advantage of the help-to-buy scheme, where they can get a tax rebate to help with a deposit. There are a few developments on the market in Mullingar, Collinstown and Castlepollard.
Prices of the new homes are higher than the similar types on the second-hand market, mostly due to the A-rating and higher spec. New three-bed bungalows in Clog na Léinn in Collinstown start at €295,000, while a second-hand three bed bungalow is currently selling for €220,000.
Four-bed semis in Gleann Petit, a new development in Mullingar town, are starting at €309,950, while a second-hand four-bed semi is selling for €250,000.
The most popular areas for buyers last year were Lakepoint Park and Ardmore Hills in Mullingar town.
Half the buyers on the market in Westmeath work locally, according to Davitt, while the other half are commuting to Kildare for work. There have been steady sales throughout the year, but the high end of the market is slow, and Davitt thinks this comes from the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. "It was difficult last year at the higher end of the scale, particularly with period homes and country estates. These types of properties would usually draw a bit of interest from the UK buyer, but that's not happening at the moment," says Davitt.
One of the most expensive houses to sell in Westmeath last year was Glebe House in Rathowen, a five-bed Georgian property, that sold for €580,000.
Land sales have quietened too, which could also be an affect of Brexit, with a lot of concern about the future in our agri-food market.
Davitt thinks that there won't be much change in property values in the next 12 months with a possible drop of 1-2pc in certain property types like the three-bed terrace, that is expected to be worth €175,000 this time next year, or the detached 2,000sq ft house that will be valued at €420,000 on average.