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Asking prices for houses in Galway just shy of Celtic Tiger peak

Prospective homebuyers are facing into another tough year in 2024 as figures show Galway properties continue to soar in price.

Figures released this week show that Galway city houses are now just shy of their Celtic Tiger peak with prices rising by four per cent year-on-year in the final three months of 2023.

Statistics published by property website show the price of an average home in the city is now €366,000 – €46,000 more than the average house nationally and just four per cent off the highest price reached in the midst of the Celtic Tiger. Only Dublin and Wicklow have higher property prices than Galway city.

Those looking to buy in the county are also facing strong headwinds in 2024, with prices eight per cent higher than they were in the final three months of 2022. The average price of a home in County Galway is now €280,000.

In a breakdown of asking prices compiled by Daft, one-bed apartments in the city were the only properties to see a fall in cost, dropping by ten per cent to an average of €138,000.

At the same time, larger properties in the city have become more premium, with a five per cent hike in asking price bringing the average five-bed detached unit to €590,000.

The ask on one-bed apartments in the county fell by a modest two per cent, while five-bed detached units soared in value by 17 per cent to €343,000.

The quarterly report showed there was a dramatic dip in supply across the region. Some 2,330 homes were put on the market in Connacht last year, down by a quarter year-on-year and the lowest total since April 2022.

Associate professor in Economics at Trinity College Dublin, Ronan Lyons, said nationally, there had been a fall in house prices in the last quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, and while there had been an overall increase in 2023, the price of housing had fallen by one and a half per cent between quarter three and quarter four last year.

This would be good news, he said, if it was a case that supply was sufficient to meet demand, but “lack of price growth when there is scarce supply – simply because it is sufficient to meet weak demand – is less welcome”.

“Housing prices are stabilising not because supply has increased to meet demand, but instead because demand has fallen to meet it. Supply of newly built homes for purchase has certainly increased but the second-hand market, which is the larger share of the market, has been working in the other direction – buffeted by changed economic conditions,” he said, noting that increased interest rates was a particular challenge.

The availability of homes for sale had fallen throughout 2023, continued Mr Lyons, after an increase in the second half of 2022.

The number of available homes is down nationally by 27 per cent year-on-year, standing at just 11,000 in December.

“With price inflation easing off, even as the number of listings is down over ten per cent, this suggests that the dramatic change in market conditions over the past 18 months is taking its toll.

“If uncertainty continues to fade, and potentially interest rates start to fall again, it may be the case that 2024 sees the second-hand market recover.

“This would likely mean a healthier housing market than for some time, with transactions up but prices largely stable,” said Mr Lyons.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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