Wicklow North: Taking stock in north Wicklow
The property market in north Wicklow has been a healthy one over the last 12 months because supply is plentiful and there is no panic amongst buyers. This has brought about a steady rise in property values of an average of 5pc.
Gordon Lennox of Sherry FitzGerald thinks this is a huge positive for the buyer. "The one salient feature in the past year would be stock. For years we were chasing stock. The big difference in 2018 was that there was a healthier supply. In my opinion, it's a very good time to buy because there is choice and you're not being rushed headlong into a decision," says Lennox.
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The new homes market in north Wicklow has been ahead of the game for the past few years, with new developments coming on quicker than in other parts of the country.
Now buyers can choose from developments like Marina Village and Waverly in Greystones, or Glenheron in Delgany, all of which have between 100 to 200 units in them. Even for buyers who are willing to go further for a more affordable starter home, there is Ternlee in Kilcoole and Wicklow Hills in Newtownmountkennedy.
Demand is certainly there for these new builds, with Lennox stating that they've sold out everything that has been released to date. The developers now want them sold in tranches of 20 or so instead of flooding the market in one go. There have been queues for some, but other developers have asked the agent to go visit the sites regularly to make sure people are given a queuing number instead of sleeping in their cars overnight.
Not all properties are flowing through without problems though. The higher end of the market is stalling slightly because of the banks. "We found that most lenders had used up all their exemptions by summer. What they should do is allocate them quarter by quarter so there's something left in the bank by October. Effectively from June/July, most people we spoke to who were trading up were told they had great earnings, etc, but to come back and talk to the banks in November and they might get draw down in January. It's very frustrating for those who want to trade up and have the means to do so."
The average price of a four-bed detached in north Wicklow is now at €650,000. This reduces steadily the further south you go with four-bed detached homes going for about €460,000 in Newtownmountkennedy.
The prediction for the next 12 months is a modest increase of 3pc across most house types with loan thresholds increasing their effect. In terms of Brexit, Lennox noticed an initial bounce in north Wicklow when ex-pats didn't want to live in an increasingly divided society and give their children a foothold in Europe, both educationally and socially.
Lately though with the uncertainty surrounding the deal itself and the poor exchange rate, potential buyers are taking themselves out of the market until the situation has been clarified.