July 6, 2020
Business Motoring Property

Lockdown leads to rise in demand for Wicklow houses with home offices: survey

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house in county Wicklow fell by 0.8% over the past three months, a new survey reveals.

However, agents in the county are reporting a larger than expected increase in enquiries since they reopened their doors after lockdown, according to the latest national survey of house prices carried out by Real Estate Alliance.

The price of the average three-bed semi in Wicklow fell by 2.4% to €283,000 in the past year, the REA Average House Price Survey found.

“Viewings are currently very strong, and purchasers have a lot of confidence in the market,” said Karl Tracey of REA Forkin in Bray, North East Wicklow, and Wicklow Town.

“Houses with home offices are highly sought after, and broadband speed has become very important for homes in rural Ireland.

“There is a surge of new home developments in the North Wicklow area which is keeping second-hand prices at a steady level, allowing for a small decrease this quarter.”

REA Forkin reported that the average three-bed semi prices fell by 4.8% to €300,000 over the last year in North East Wicklow, with a 1.9% drop this quarter.

Average prices in Bray fell by 4.3% over the past year, and 1.47% this quarter, to €335,000. Wicklow Town reported a 3.1% fall over the past 12 months to €310,000, with prices remaining static this quarter.

Time to sell increased by one week in North East Wicklow this quarter to 16 weeks, while in both Wicklow Town and Bray it remained unchanged at 15 weeks.

REA Murphy of Blessington and Baltinglass reported that house prices rose by 3% in Baltinglass over the past year to €175,000, remaining unchanged this quarter. Time to sell in the area rose from 12 weeks to 16.

Blessington prices remained at €295,000 since this time last year, and time to sell in the area increased from eight weeks to ten this quarter.

The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland’s typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an accurate picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide.

Across the country, despite fears of a downturn in the market due to lockdown, the price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house fell by just -0.15% over the past three months to €234,667, an annual decline of -0.56%.

Commenting on the figures, REA spokesperson Barry McDonald said: “Although sales slowed during the lockdown, they did happen and, despite fears, very few fell through or had to be renegotiated.”

“Changes in the world of work are having an immediate effect on the second-hand housing market with a nationwide trend emerging of buyers looking to move 15 minutes outside of their urban location where they can get more space for the same money.

“We are finding that people are looking for three things – more space, gardens and a guarantee of better broadband, where transport was previously the highest priority.

“While the current outlook is positive, and there seems to be a lot of pent-up demand, it may be Q3 before we see the effect of Covid-19 on the market and on the outcome of mortgage approvals granted before the lockdown.”

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