Commuter belt house prices rising

High house prices in the capital are forcing people into longer commutes to and from work, according to a study, which shows prices in commuter counties around Dublin are being driven up as a result.

Commuter belt house prices rising

Figures from the Real Estate Alliance (REA) indicate that while the average cost of the three-bed semi-detached home in Dublin has decreased or levelled off in Dublin city and county, the equivalent prices in commuter counties and the rest of the country have inched upwards.

The REA’s Average House Price Survey, which concentrates on the sale price of Ireland’s typical stock home, the three-bed semi, also reflects a fall in the number of first-time buyers between the ages of 25 and 40 in the Dublin housing market in the first quarter of this year.

Instead, new builds in the north of the county and in parts of south Dublin has resulted in an increase in cash buyers. Some 36% of buyers in that period in Dublin were cash buyers this March, compared with 29% as recently as last June. Areas such as Dun Laoghaire and Dublin 6 has seen a 10% increase in cash buyers in the market in the first quarter of the year.

The level of cash buying in commuter counties and in Cork and Galway has remained consistent over the same period but has fallen below 50% for the remainder of the country.

According to the REA, it indicates that many people in the market for a three-bed semi are now facing up to buying a property in a commuter county around Dublin — pushing up prices in those locations and also belting up for longer commutes to and from work.

The average three-bed semi-detached house nationally now costs €191,194, up 1.5% on the figure to the end of December.

In Dublin City the figure is €358,333, while the cheapest average prices are in Co Longford, at €60,000.

Michael O’Connor, REA chairman and auctioneer, said some developments in commuter counties as far away as Offaly and Laois were now being optioned by people working in Dublin, as he said many first-time buyers have been priced out of the capital in both rental and sales markets.

“Louth is the perfect example of this trend in commuter migration,” he said. “Drogheda prices remained static at €197,500 in Q1 while commuter interest caused prices to rise by €10,000 to €135,000 in Dundalk, which is 35km further away from Dublin, but over €60,000 cheaper on average.

“Although supply is extremely limited, suitable properties are now being bought in these areas by buyers who are prepared to travel over an hour to work in the capital.”

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