Tuesday 25 June 2019

Wexford: 'It's getting harder to find buyers in Wexford county'

Ballyhitt House, Broadway, Co Wexford was sold by Sherry Fitz Haythornthwaite for €392,500 in September
Ballyhitt House, Broadway, Co Wexford was sold by Sherry Fitz Haythornthwaite for €392,500 in September

The Dublin market always has a knock-on effect on the Wexford market, and the last 12 months have been no different. Local agents have noticed a slow down in the amount of Dubs looking for a home in Wexford.

This means that house values have risen slowly in the county with no change in some categories like the three-bed semi, but a rise of between 15 to 20pc in apartments, taking a one-bed from €100,000 last year to €120,000 this year.

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"The prices dropping and levelling out in Dublin have had a knock-on effect on the market down here," says Niall Slattery of Warren Estates.

"With things being slightly more affordable in the city, there was no reason for buyers to move down and face the commute when they could stay put in the capital. Or then there were the people who expected to sell quickly in Dublin, but the sale took longer than expected, or they didn't get the price they thought they would for the house, so plans changed," says Slattery.

Locals in towns like Gorey don't have high-paying jobs because employment mostly comes from the service or tourist industries, or trades. These people struggle to get mortgage approval, and the people who can afford a house already have one, according to Slattery, who finds it's getting harder to find buyers in the county.

"The supply is fine for the demand that's out there," he says. "But there aren't as many people looking at the town properties - the traditional easy sellers like the three-bed semis don't seem to interest as many buyers as they used to."

First-time buyers are keen to buy new homes so they can get the A-rating and avail of the help-to-buy scheme.

The holiday home market was more buoyant than the local market in Wexford last year. "In terms of holiday homes, the real good stuff is still selling well and increasing in price. The smaller, more affordable ones are quiet. People are now buying houses in Ballymoney as permanent homes, whereas this always would have been seen as a holiday village.

"Before the boom, they were probably €40,000 more expensive than a house in Gorey, whereas now they're about €40,000 cheaper, so that market has changed. This is good for the development and the town though because now it's busy all year round instead of just in the summer," says Slattery.

Rents in Gorey are at a record high, which is also impacting the local market. A new three-bed semi is renting for €1,350. Slattery states that it's the people paying these rents that are being told by the banks that they can't get a mortgage that would cost about €800 a month.

The builders are back on sites in Gorey and north of the county, but further down, it doesn't make sense because prices would not be high enough to make it viable for the developer.

Slattery predicts that prices will stay where they are over the next 12 months for many house types, while others, like apartments, should see a rise of 6pc to 8pc.

Irish Independent


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