Affordable homes lure buyers to the Royal County

New buyers are finding they get a lot more bang for their buck in this area

 

The commutable Meath towns of Ashbourne, Navan and Dunshaughlin have been affected by the skyrocketing prices in Dublin with many house hunters in the Dublin 15 and 11 districts looking to the more affordable housing stock in the Royal County.

In 2017, 2,338 transactions were recorded in the county, a 35.9 per cent increase on 2016. The most expensive property sold this year was Galtrim House and Estate – home of the late Eileen Wren, Countess of Mount Charles – which sold for €1.92 million on an original asking price of €2.25 million. There are 787 properties listed for sale, a figure which is likely to increase in line with the number of new developments coming on stream.

Prices

Agents are upbeat about the market in the county. “The two bed mid terrace is very popular, and one-bed apartments are very sought after among first-time buyers,” says Celine Geraghty of Sherry FitzGerald Geraghty. It’s possible to pick up a two-bedroom apartment in urban areas for about €130,000, whereas rents on these properties can command €1,200 a month.

The largest segment of the market is that of new three- and four-bedroom energy efficient family homes. John Farrell of Hooke and MacDonald estimates that over 50 per cent of buyers work in Dublin adding “with improved infrastructure [the M3 motorway, a Park and Ride facility at Dunboyne, upgraded M4 and M2 roads] potential buyers who are currently living and working in the city centre view new developments as a good destination for affordable prices”.

He also notes that 75 per cent of purchasers avail of the Help to Buy scheme – the incentive to assist first-time buyers introduced by the Government last year.

Agents agree that there are some segments slower to move – “bungalows from the 1970s and 1980s always seem to be tricky if not priced well”, according to local agent Aidan O’Hora, adding that “it will be interesting to see how the towns such as Kells and Athboy fare as affordability becomes more of an issue over the next two years. I expect to see some builders dust down old plans in these towns and try to develop affordable houses in the sub-€200,000–€300,000 price bracket.”

Infrastructure

As far as infrastructure is concerned, the NX – a 24-hour Navan to Dublin express bus – has improved commute times to Dublin, and the National Development Plan outlines that the northern rail corridor which serves Gormanstown and Laytown will be upgraded to Dart service between now and 2027. And while the National Transport Authority is considering extending a rail line to Navan, O’Hora says, “it is an essential piece of infrastructure that needs to be considered sooner rather than later”.

On the employment front the €200 million Facebook data centre in Clonee and the €367 million Shire Pharmaceutical campus in Piercetown are expected to have a significant impact on the property market in Meath, and this may help to move some of the larger properties seeking more than €1 million – of which there are nine at the moment.

While commuting to Dublin city centre is still an issue, many new buyers are finding they get a lot more bang for their buck in the Royal County.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.