House prices set to continue to rise
House prices in Sligo rose by 8 per cent in 2017 according to the latest House Price Report released yesterday by property website, Daft.ie.
Prices in the final three months of 2017 were 8 per cent higher than a year previously, compared to a rise of 7 per cent seen a year ago.
The average house price in Sligo is now €131,000, 25 per cent above its lowest point.
Commenting on the figures, local auctioneer Ken Draper of Sherry FitzGerald Draper said they more or less tallied with his own company's barometer and expects the growth to continue.
"We're reporting somewhere between 6.1-7.6 per cent for the Connaught region, 7.6 per cent for the border region, so very close really," he told The Sligo Champion.
"The overall trend in Sligo has been upwards in 2017. We see a continuation of that moderate growth in 2018.
"Property values are still relatively affordable in this part of the country. We see the current trend continuing.
Ken said uncertainty surrounding Brexit seemed to have been factored into the market already here.
"A weak Sterling does have a dampening effect on demand in pockets of our area. I don't see much change there," said Ken.
He pointed to the shortage of new housing developments in Sligo which was keeping supply short: "There's a shortage of supply too and very little development, particularly in the town area," he said.
"There's a brisk market here, anything that comes up goes quickly. What's striking is that less than 2 per cent of the housing stock in Sligo is transacting - in a more normal market that would be around 3 per cent. It's an overhang from the collapse of the property market but also to do with the lack of housing development in Sligo with no great new supply," he said.
"Overall, we see a continuation of the modest growth in house prices continuing," he added.
House prices nationally rose by more than €20,000 on average during 2017, according to the report. With prices stable in the final quarter of the year, this means that the average price was almost €241,000, 9.2 per cent higher than a year ago.
Compared to their lowest point in 2013, prices nationwide have risen by an average of almost 47 per cent or just over €76,500.
In Dublin, prices rose by 11.7 per cent during the year, the first year since 2014 the rate of inflation in the capital exceeds the national average.
In Cork, the change in prices during 2017 was 5.1%, while in Galway the figure was 8.1%.
In Limerick city, prices rose by 6.9% during the year, while in Waterford, the increase was 8.6%. Outside the main cities, prices rose by 7.5% during 2017.
The number of properties available to buy on the market nationwide continues to fall. There were just over 21,000 properties on the market on December 1st, 2.6% lower than the same date a year previously. The total number of properties available has now fallen year-on-year for 100 months, having been above 62,000 in late 2009.
Economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft.ie Report, Ronan Lyons said: "The overall picture of the market remains one of strong demand but very tight supply, in particular of new homes. As we enter 2018, increasing supply must become key."