Remote working linked to surge in house prices outside Dublin

Paul Gartlan, regional director of RE/MAX Ireland, says the group has seen considerable growth in demand from those relocating from cities in the past 18 months.

“Demand for property has shifted slightly from city-centre apartment living to two and three-bedroom houses in the larger suburban and rural towns,” he says.

Moving outside more urban areas means people are more demanding in their requirements. Gardens and garages are a “big ask” says Gartlan, adding that people relocating express delight at being able to afford to live in a house, with space around it, rather than in a small flat or townhouse.

“The availability of sheds or garages are high on the list of homeowners’ demands, usually to convert to a home office, gym or workshop,” he says.

Urban growth

As anyone looking for a home in an urban area will attest to, a lack of supply also means that prices are also increasing in towns and cities around the country. However, as the research from RE/MAX shows, asking price growth is more muted than that experienced in more rural areas.

Dublin’s hip Stoneybatter neighbourhood, for example, reported a 2.3 per cent annual increase in asking prices, while list prices in the capital overall grew by an average of 4.9 per cent, when compared with the third quarter in 2020.

In Limerick city, asking prices rose 8.4 per cent in the year, below the national average, to stand at € 230,585 in the third quarter, while in Galway city, asking prices increased by just 3.1 per cent to an average of €316,060.

A heady cocktail of a lack of supply combined with a surge in demand is sending asking prices up outside the capital, as more people consider departing cramped cities for the bucolic bliss of the countryside.

This is the conclusion of a new report on average asking prices across the country from independent real estate group RE/MAX.

The research finds that, overall, asking prices increased 9.1 per cent nationally in the year to the end of the third quarter of 2021, putting the average list price for homes nationwide in the third quarter of this year at €287,704.

However, while asking prices are rising all over, there is a clear distinction in properties outside towns and cities and those in more rural areas, as people start to put their pandemic moving plans into action.

Amber Young, RE/MAX Ireland head of operations and author of the report, puts the shift down to “confidence in improving broadband, employer assurances around hybrid working, and the attraction of greater indoor and outdoor space link directly to the pandemic”.

Consider the example of Waterford, which recently won the Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland award. In the city, asking prices rose 6.3 per cent in the period under review; however, in Waterford county, list prices rocketed by 17.5 per cent over the year.

Co Roscommon had a similar leap in house pricing, with an average list price of €167,403 as of the third quarter, representing a 17.3 per cent annual increase.

Areas within commuting distance of Dublin (particularly if it’s for only one or two days a week) also reported strong growth. In Carlow, for example, asking prices rose by 14.4 per cent on the year to an average list price of €226,391, while Kildare reported annual growth of 11.7 per cent for an average asking price of €307,726.

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