Buoyant Galway property sales top €300 million last year

The residential property market in Galway made a significant recovery during 2014, with more than €300 million worth of sales in the city and county – up a massive 43% on the previous year.

Official figures from the State’s Property Price Register show that up until mid-December (the most up-to-date figures available), there were a total of 1,912 residential properties sold in Galway.

That figure is up 37% on the number of sales closed during the exact same period in 2013 (a total of 1,393). The value of the sales is up 43% from €211m to €301m.

Meanwhile, local auctioneers believe property sales levels in the county are unlikely to be affected by the Central Bank’s proposed introduction of a minimum 20% deposit from buyers.

But concerns remain about a lack of “quality stock”, which continues to drive prices upwards.

Ballinasloe-based estate agent John Dolan said that with house prices in many county towns averaging in the region of €100,000, buyers would not be too hard hit by having to raise an extra €10,000 towards the deposit.

“House prices around the county are much lower than in Galway City, so buyers would not be as hard hit. If you were buying a house for €250,000 in the city, the deposit would go from €25,000 to €50,000. That’s a huge difference and would obviously impact sales and prices,” said Mr Dolan. He said sales were “very strong” in the county during 2014 and expects a slight increase in prices in 2015.

“Prices are up 10% to 15%, and the volume of sales is up around 20%. There is a lot more activity at the moment, and around 90% of that is owner-occupiers and first-time buyers. The remainder is cash buyers looking at investment properties closer to the city.

“The majority of demand is for three- and four-bed semis in nice areas. At the higher end of the market, activity is slower, but rural properties are in demand if priced correctly,” said Mr Dolan.

He added that there is a shortage of good quality family homes on the market around the county.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – in the shops on New Year’s Eve