According to the property price register at the end of August, the number of property sales for both Galway city and county is showing a dramatic increase year on year. The register gives the exact selling price of properties and so is the most accurate record of actual sales that have taken place.
Some property reports use asking prices as their source, others use prices which properties were 'for sale' at; neither of these give accurate information which can be relied on. As the property price register is only completed when sales are finalised, it could be argued that it lags real time selling prices by a few months. However, it is still the only definitive register for actual property sales.
In the past year, there has been a very significant increase of almost 50% in the number of properties sold in the January to July period in Galway city and county, from 732 properties in 2013 to 1,085 properties in 2014. This has continued a trend apparent over the last number of years, where the number of properties sold has increased considerably year on year. Less than 450 properties were sold in the same period in 2011, showing a dramatic increase of 140% in the three year period 2011 to 2014. Indeed 100 more properties were sold in the first seven months of this year than in all of 2011. This trend of increased sales is clear in most areas of the city and county.
In County Galway, almost €90m worth of property sales took place in the January to July 2014 period compared to just under €60m for the same period in 2013.
The number of properties sold in County Galway increased by over 40% in the first seven months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.
Excluding Galway city, 452 properties sold in all of county Galway last year, and this increased to over 640 property sales in 2014. The average selling price in the January to July 2013 period was just under €130k compared to an average of €133k for the same period in 2014.
For the period January to July 2014, a total of 71 properties sold in Ballinasloe, at an average price of just under €72k. This was an increase on the 41 sales from the same period in 2013, which showed an average price of just over €66k. 52 of the 71 properties sold so far this year were sold for under €100k compared with 33 of the 41 sold in the same period in 2013.
There is no doubt that average prices are rising slowly in the Ballinasloe area, and the number of properties sold increased by over 73% for the January to July 2014 period compared to the same period in 2013.
John Dolan, of John Dolan Auctioneers, sees the evidence of the increased activity on the ground:
'Similar to the county trend, Ballinasloe has indeed seen a lot of sales activity over the last 9 months with particularly strong demand over the last 6 weeks, to the extent that our stock of houses for sale are running at critically low levels.
From the highest peak in 2007 to the lowest trough early last year the Ballinasloe market fell a whopping 66 %'. John notices some prices have increased between 5 & 10 % year on year. 'So there is quite a bit more to go for the market to increase to even a 30% loss.'
'Demand is very strong from first time buyers and supplies are running scarce. Monthly repayments on a €90,000 mortgage are equivalent to monthly rental levels in Ballinasloe so it makes sense for first time buyers to make that purchase. Investors are also starting to reappear in the local market and why wouldn’t they? With some 3 & 4 bed semi detached houses in the likes of Esker Hills (opposite the hospital ) making between €50,000-€60,000 and producing rents of between €500-€550 per month representing a 10% return. Certainly nothing close to the earnings your money would achieve on deposit as well as the prospect of more future capital growth.
As the property price register shows there have been a lot of sale transactions. However some of that which appears on the property price register list appears to be those which were transferred to a property fund, or sale of a loan book and would not be a true reflection of market value', John adds.
'Ballinasloe itself has a lot to offer prospective buyers to the market. A large town with one of the largest Tesco stores west of the Shannon, an Aldi, Lidl, the very fine Shearwater Hotel, the Kingfisher leisure club as well as a diverse range of other shops, pubs and facilities. Portiuncla hospital is a large employer for the town with one of the best maternity facilities in the country. Access to the town is easy, being on the main railway line between Dublin and Galway. There are two access junctions onto the main M6 motorway to Dublin & Galway. Indeed Galway city is just 30 minutes away; Athlone 15 minutes and Dublin an hour and a half away, all by either road or rail.
The future for the market is that there will be continued capital growth but nothing as rapid as in the last property boom cycle. A lack of supply will pose a big problem for the market. Also some who purchased in the top end of the last property boom will still be in negative equity and unless banks are willing to engage with these people or allow them to carry their negative equity with them, then they will be unable to move, thus narrowing the supply'.
With the ending of the capital gains tax exemption on December 31st this year, demand from investors may cool off slightly but the big problem is the lack of supply around and this will more than likely increase prices going forward into the future', John concluded.
John Dolan Auctioneers would be delighted to hear from buyers or sellers in the Ballinasloe area and further afield. John can be contacted in either the Ballinasloe office on 0909644933 or Galway office on 0868206690
For the period January to July 2014, a total of 15 properties sold in Headford, at an average price of just over €120k. This was an increase on the 11 sales from the same period in 2013, which showed an average price of just under €99k.
Average prices are rising in the Headford area, and the number of properties sold increased by over 36% for the January to July 2014 period compared to the same period in 2013.
According to Gerry Mullin, of Gerry Mullin Auctioneer,
"Property sales in Headford for 2014 have shown a steady increase and demand is strong. Prices are steadily climbing with an especially strong demand for properties up to €170,000.00. Headford's close proximaty to Galway city, and all the facilities in Headford itself, offer an ideal attraction for those seeking a family home", according to Gerry.
Currently his problem is finding a supply of properties to meet the demand for price ranges up to €170,000.00.
'Investment demand is also strong in Headford. Currently there is a very dramatic shortage of rental properties in Headford town, and the surrounding area, with a waiting list for rental accommodation. There is still good demand for properties in the surrounding areas of Caherlistrane, Shrule, Glencorrib, Corrandulla and Corofin. Many of the existing 'for sale' properties in these areas are now sale agreed, but not yet closed. 2014 has seen an increase in demand and sales from last year. Headford is a popular and thriving town with boys and girls primary schools, a secondary school, rugby, soccer and GAA clubs, a full range of restaurants and a hotel together with modern shopping facilities', added Gerry. Anyone looking to buy or sell in the Headford area should contact Gerry at 093 36755.
The figures for Loughrea in the January to July period show an increase from 29 sales to 41, with an average price of €99.5k in 2014 compared to just under €115k in 2013. This is an increase of 40% in the number of properties sold.
Generally higher value properties were sold in 2013 compared to 2014.
Of the 41 properties sold in Loughrea in the January to July 2014 period, 23 were sold for less than €100k; of the 29 properties sold in 2013 in the same period, only 12 were sold for less than €100k.
Kenneth Keary of Keary Auctioneering and Insurances has seen an increase in activity:
'After a sluggish start to the year the market really started to pick up from spring onwards. Viewings are up and there seems to be genuine confidence in the market again. Purchasers are reporting that mortgage finance is easier to access and with less conditions or restrictions. This is the first time since the end of the property boom that I have seen multiple bids on properties. We are now selling more property than we are taking in. This supply shortage means some potential purchasers are going to be disappointed. Hopefully the upturn in the market will encourage more people, especially those with investment properties, to put their houses with us for sale. The majority of the properties we have sold this year have been to owner occupiers, but there are also a lot of enquires from investors looking for an investment property at the right price', according to Kenneth.
'As an estate agent in a provincial town we have always had a steady supply of land for sale and now is no exception. We currently have a number of holdings for sale varying in size from 10-60 acres.
So if you're thinking of buying or selling why not call into Loughrea's longest established auctioneering and insurance firm.
At Main St., Loughrea since 1981' Ken concluded.
Full details of all properties sold in the Ballinasloe, Headford & Loughrea areas this year can be downloaded here: Ballinasloe, Headford & Loughrea Report
The analysis of property prices by Advertiser.ie is based on the Residential Property Price Register produced by the Property Services Regulatory Authority.
It contains details on the sale of all residential properties in Galway.
The register provides information on the price, and address of all properties purchased during the period as declared to the Revenue Commissioners .
In the case of new properties, the prices on the register are shown exclusive of Vat at 13.5%.
The register does not contain information on specific details of sold properties which would allow for true like-for-like comparisons such as house size, site size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, condition of house, if work is required etc.
Next Week: Kinvara, Barna, Moycullen & Tuam: How is the property market in these county towns really performing?
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