Life more than just a beach in Wexford

Househunters drawn by new infrastructure, variety of housing – and all those beaches

Wexford town

Wexford town

 

With its ever-improving infrastructure, wide variety of housing stock, broad stretches of sandy beach front and a relaxed pace of life, Co Wexford in the sunny southeast has plenty to offer those in search of a new home.

“The county council is investing in tourism, upgrading the quays in Wexford town, building new hotels to increase bed numbers, and planning an office park aimed at the financial sector to draw new big-name employers,” says Tony Larkin, deputy chief executive of Wexford County Council. BNY Mellon, Zurich, Danone and Done Deal all have headquarters in the county.

A new upgrade to the M11, which currently ends north of Gorey, will extend it south to about 11km from Wexford town. The Enniscorthy bypass, scheduled for completion early next year, is expected to shave 15-20 minutes off the journey time from Dublin, while an upgrade to sewage works in the town will ease capacity constraints. Flood-protection works and a refurbishment of the town centre are also planned, Larkin says.  

The N25 New Ross bypass scheme will cut drive times to Cork and Limerick and the new River Barrow bridge crossing will, at 900m, be the longest bridge in Ireland, and connect Pink Point in Co Kilkenny and Strokestown in Co Wexford.

At the moment Co Wexford accounts for just five per cent of the available stock within the Republic on property portal MyHome.ie. According to the Property Price Register, 100 properties sold in the past 12 months with an average price of about €172,000. The cheapest sale listed was €10,000, while the most expensive property was sold in Courtown for €490,000.

The market is good and improving all the time, says Adrian Haythornthwaite of SherryFitzGerald Haythornthwaite. According to his data crunching from open market sales on the Property Price Register there’s been a value rise of 11 per cent between 2015 and 2016, with a similar rise in the 12 months to 2017.

“There is terrific value for money here,” Colum Murphy of Kehoe & Associates says. Geographically those buying north of Gorey can reasonably commute to Dublin. In Wexford town, where Murphy’s agency is based, househunters are moving to live here on a permanent basis.

“The business here is local,” says John Kearney of Kearney & Co, who says that while prices seem to be firming up there was still growth of about 10 per cent in the last year in Wexford town and its environs. A three-bed semi that last year sold for €165,000 is now asking between €180,000 and €200,000.

The cap on mortgages is putting a brake on prices and this means developers are not rushing to finish new phases of developments. Kearney notes that while there is planning permission coming on stream for new homes – 1,000 units are planned within the Gorey area for example – turn-key new properties are in short supply. The council is buying up new homes stock, the thinking being that it is quicker to buy than build, Kearney says.

Not all prices are on the rise though, and the market is sluggish at the upper end. Forest Lodge, in Barntown, is a property that first came to market in 2006 asking €825,000; it is now back on the market through Kearney & Co seeking €425,000. Borleagh Manor came to the market in 2014 seeking €4.75 million through agent Colliers and has since reduced its price to €3.4 million. 

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