John Drennan: Buyers venture out into the commuter belt
Portlaoise has seen a big increase in viewers from Dublin and Kildare
Some may believe that our national property story begins and ends with Dublin. The commuter counties that necklace the capital provide us with an equally important measure of the health or otherwise of the country's housing market.
And while the image of property ownership beyond Dublin, particularly after the recent and iconic Meath East by-election, is one of distressed mortgages and ghost estates, the emerging reality in commuter towns such as Portlaoise is more optimistic.
While it should be said that property prices in the town are nowhere near the dizzying heights they soared to at the height of the boom, where even two-bedroom apartments commanded prices in the region of €250,000, the owner of Hume Auctioneers, John Dunne, says he has seen a revival in the market.