Property price rise in Cork linked to diaspora

Young Irish emigrants in the US and Australia are leading a surge in property prices in Cork, with the cost of a three-bedroom home now close to €200,000.

The price of an average three-bed semi in Cork has risen by 16.99% to the end of September this year, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

The average semi-detached home in the county is now €197,500, a rise of 9.7% over the past three months, the Real Estate Alliance Average House Index has found.

Mick O’Donoghue, of REA O’Donoghue and Clarke in Cork City, says the market is improving along with customer sentiment, with increased access to finance the catalyst.

REA Celtic Properties in Bantry reports an overall improvement in the market and have noticed an emerging market segment — the young diaspora abroad.

“We have sold properties to the Irish in Australia, Canada and the United States,” said local REA agent John O’Neill.

“These would be relatively young people who emigrated over the past 10 or 12 years and have become a consistent source of enquiries for us.”

Meanwhile, REA O’Donoghue and Clarke in Cork City have noticed a strong uplift in viewing and offers since Easter, mostly from mortgage-approved buyers.

The Real Estate Alliance Average house index concentrates on Ireland’s typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving a picture of the property market in towns and cities countrywide.

The average price of a three-bed semi is now €179,981 nationally, including Dublin, a rise of €26,925 (17.59%) on the December 2013 figure of €153,056.

“Prices are continuing to rise at a pace in Dublin, but our agents are reporting the panic buying seems have gone out of the market, with less people at viewings and houses taking a week longer on average to sell,” said REA chief Philip Farrell.

“The three-tier market that REA surveys identified is still continuing, with the commuter areas outside Dublin, and larger urban areas such as Galway and Cork, growing at twice the rate in the first nine months (21.88%) than the rest of the country at 11.47%.”

There has been a sharp rise in the amount of private homes for sale nationally, with the percentage of distressed properties on the market dropping for the first time in the life of the survey. Just 37% of properties on the market are now distressed, down from a yearly high of 45% in June.

There is further evidence the banks are financing house-buyers to a greater extent, with the amount of cash transactions dropping from an average of 66% in December 2013, to 50% in September 2014.

“We are also seeing investors being influenced by the end of December deadline for obtaining capital gains tax relief over the next seven years,” said Philip Farrell.

“We also feel the recent proposals on mortgage finance announced by the Central Bank could have a direct impact on the market from January 2015.” <


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