Made in Munster Property Guide: Asking prices hit heights as new builds sought in Tipperary

Made in Munster Property Guide: Asking prices hit heights as new builds sought in Tipperary
Nenagh castle, Tipperary.

A lack of new builds is undermining the potential of the housing market in Co Tipperary. However, despite this, prices are increasing and the number of properties listed for sale has increased, too. The picture varies wildly depending on which part of the county you look at, though.

According to MyHome.ie,Co Tipperary was one of just two counties in Munster where activity increased in the first half of the year. There were 770 properties sold, a 5% increase on the same period in 2018. Only Cork saw an increase of the other counties in the province.

According to the property website, the asking price of properties in Co Tipperary has also increased. In its latest Property Price Survey, it reported that prices had increased by 2.42% to an average of €169,000, their highest point since 2012.

It is, once again, a reason to be positive from the perspective of a selling agent: while it is not as sharp an increase as Co Clare or Limerick, things are moving in the right direction, unlike in Co Kerry or Co Waterford. In fact, if the trend continues as is for another year, prices in Tipperary will surpass those in Waterford.

MyHome.ie’s analysis of the market shows that the number of properties for sale in Tipperary increased by 9.7% from the end of the second quarter of 2019 to the end of the third quarter.

However, it is still 2% down on the same time last year, while it also reported that the time taken between a property being listed and being sold is in the region of four months. A study of Co Tipperary’s micro-markets by the Real Estate Alliance reveals the turbulence in different parts of the county.

Agents in different parts of the county were all reporting the same thing, though. They said that the market is flooded with trepidation ahead of Brexit. Uncertainty abounds and as a result, house owners and prospective buyers are holding off on major decisions in the housing market.

“There was a little nervousness in the market in relation to fears around Brexit this quarter, with a noticeably quiet off-peak season over the summer months,” said Eoin Dillon of Real Estate Alliance Eoin Dillon in Nenagh.

The price of a three-bed semi is still well below the build cost and there is no supply of new houses now or in the foreseeable future. It is also cheaper to pay a mortgage than to rent a house, so purchasers still consider it a good bet to buy.

There is movement in some areas, though, with Nenagh looking particularly busy. This is at least partly attributable to its location just 30 minutes from Limerick city centre, with Nenagh gradually emerging as a commuter hub for the city.

According to the RealEstate Alliance, three-bed Nenagh properties rose in price by an average of 1.1% in the last quarter and are currently on the market at €177,000. The average time taken to sell fell this quarter from six weeks to five. This has not been reflected everywhere, though.

“The market is static. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is not helping with the larger rural properties and with land transactions,” said John Stokes of Real Estate Alliance Stokes and Quirke in Clonmel.

The average price of a three-bed semi-detached house in Clonmel was unchanged this quarter and is currently at €170,000, with the time taken to reach sale agreed rising from six weeks to seven.

“The market had slowed quite quickly for the first two months of this quarter, however we saw a pickup in the final weeks,” said Seamus Browne of RealEstate Alliance Seamus Browne in Roscrea.

Average Roscrea three-bed properties rose in price by 1.88% this quarter and are on the market at €163,000. The average time taken to sell increased from eight weeks to 12.

  • 32%
  • Sales to first-time buyers in Clonmel this year to August 2019
  • 4
  • Number of new build sales in Clonmel in the year to August 2019
  • 1.88%
  • average percentage price increase for a three-bed in Roscrea, Q3 2019
  • 5
  • The average number of weeks to sell a property in Nenagh, down from six in the last quarter
  • 145
  • Sales in Thurles this year to August 2019, compared to one new build sale

“Properties are taking longer to dispose of due to the uncertainty with Brexit. People are tending towards putting off making a decision,” said James Lee of Real Estate Alliance John Lee in Newport.

The price of the average three-bed semi in Newport remained static this quarter at €175,000 with the average time to reach sale agreed rising from five weeks to eight.

The striking element of the Co Tipperary market is the issue of new builds, or the lack thereof. In Clonmel, there were 158 sales registered with the Revenue in the first eight months of the year, the most recent statistics available. Of these, just four were new builds.

This isn’t unique to Clonmel, either. In Thurles, there were 146 sales registered, just one was for a new build, while in Cashel, there hasn’t been a new build sold since March 2018. Since the beginning of 2018, just two new builds have been sold.

Despite the lack of new developments, first-time buyers are still finding some degree of success. In Clonmel, first-time buyers account for 32% of all sales. In Nenagh, they are responsible for 24% of sales, and in Thurles and Cashel, it is 21% and 27%.

There is room to improve, for sure, but without the new builds that are being so heavily sought by first-time buyers elsewhere in the country, it is possible that they won’t grow much beyond this.

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