Price is key in Limerick sales
REGIONAL FOCUS: LIMERICKTransactions have been low in Limerick but there are signs now of a new confidence in the market
In 1574 a document prepared for the Spanish Ambassador described Limerick as being “stronger and more beautiful than all the other cities in Ireland”. Over the centuries the city has been rebuilt many times and some of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Ireland can be found in the areas of The Crescent and Perys Square. Yet the highest unemployment levels in the State coupled with low confidence in the property market meant that in recent years transaction levels in Limerick were low. The good news from data analysed from the Property Price Register is that 2012 saw a 12 per cent increase in transactions from 2011, with the total number rising to 817 from 719 in 2011 an 8.6 per cent increase on 2010.
It is clear from the breakdown of prices that the majority of houses sold in 2012 were in the €0-€250,000 bracket, with 714 of the total 817 falling into this category. There were 92 transactions in the €250,000 to €500,000 range and only 11 transactions above this price.
Des O’Malley of Sherry Fitzgerald O’Malley estate agents says there is a large shortage of stock in all sectors. “People are just not selling but the demand is still the same. Many people are waiting four to five years to find a family home.” He says there may come a time soon when houses will have to be built to fill the growing demand.
Gillian Dunne of DNG Cusack Dunne agrees that there is a dearth of stock especially of four- and five-bed houses in good condition. “Many of the houses coming to the market are repossessed and in need of total renovation, and while the banks have improved volumes of lending, they are only lending the exact price of the house and will not fund renovations. People just don’t have that kind of money saved to carry out renovations.”
Lisa Kearney of Rooney’s agrees. “The types of properties that are actively selling are those in turn-key condition,” she says. “We have returned to the days of the show- house-standard house attracting interest. The house needs to tick all the boxes.”
So why are people reluctant to put their homes up for sale? Angela Keegan, managing director of myhome.iecites caution, along with lack of confidence in prices. “If you look at the high number of job losses in the region, coupled with concerns about the economy in general, many people see it as too risky to put their homes up for sale. Prices have continued to decline in Limerick but thankfully from recent data the pace of decline has slowed down. It is great to see evidence of recovery in terms of the number of transactions.”