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CITY TRIBUNE

Govt figures show boom in Galway house sales continues

Enda Cunningham

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Seamount, Salthill: sold for €2m.

More than €275 million worth of homes were sold in Galway during the first six months of this year, according to official figures from the State Property Price Register.

While the volume of residential properties sold in the first half of the year is up on the first half of 2018, the combined value of sales has dipped slightly.

An analysis of the official figures by the Galway City Tribune shows that in the first six months of the year, there were a total of 1,187 property transactions in Galway City and county, with a combined value of almost €276.9 million.

The volume of sales is up 6% on the 1,116 recorded in the first half of 2018, but the combined value is down around 1% from €279.8m.

For comparison, in 2010 when the Price Register came into effect, there were 427 transactions, with a combined value of €13.9m in the first half of the year – that means that in nine years, the number of transactions has almost trebled (178%), while the value of sales has jumped by 184%.

The biggest property transaction in the first half of this year was 12 Racecourse Hill in Clifden, listed at more than €3.2m, suggesting it was a portfolio of a number of the two and three-bed houses in the estate. A portfolio of 14 homes in the estate sold in 2015 for €750,000.

The next major sale was registered at An Móinéar in Renmore at more than €3.2m – this is a new development of 20 homes behind the Garda HQ which is being run by the housing agency Clúid and would not represent the full open market value of the properties.

In Salthill, a development of eight apartments on Quincentennial Drive, Marine View, sold for €2.2m.

Close to Blackrock in Salthill, 4 Seamount sold for €2m. The large five-bed detached property overlooks Salthill Promenade and had been put on the market with a guide price of €1.45m.

At Cúirt na hAbhainn near the Liosban Retail Park in the city, a portfolio of 13 apartments sold for €1.645m, while 17 Caiseal Riada in Clarenbridge sold for €1.09m.

The cheapest property sale recorded in Galway in the first half of this year was at Tonroe, Oranmore, for €6,000.

The Property Price Register figures show that since 2010, the volume of sales being recorded in Galway – and their total value – decreased, before embarking on a significant upward trend.

In the first half of 2010, there were 427 sales registered in Galway, with a total value of more than €97.4m. The comparative figures the following year were down; the volume of sales was 8374 (down 12%), while the value was €164m (down 16%).

In 2012, the value of sales was down almost 18% to €67,274,569, despite an increase in volume of sales of almost 13% to 422.

A ‘health warning’ comes with the figures in that the Property Price Register is compiled from data which is filed, for Stamp Duty purposes, with the Revenue Commissioners, and there can be delays before a transaction appears on the register. There may also be errors in details being filed during the ‘stamping’ process.

CITY TRIBUNE

Hundreds of snapper Pat’s Galway photos set to be showcased

Denise McNamara

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Well-known face: amateur photographer Pat Cantwell

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Pictures of everyday Galway faces and places – captured by an amateur photographer as part of a hobby – are to be featured on new hoarding to be erected around the Bonham Quay building site.

Pat Cantwell’s photos of Galway people, scenery and buildings have garnered over 8,000 followers on his Facebook page, ‘Galway Faces & Places’.

He has now been approached by the developers of Bonham Quay to use 500 images as part of a hoarding around the massive €105 million development creating office space, retail and restaurant units.

Pat has advised members of the public whose photos he has taken to let him know if they are unwilling to be featured in the ‘people wall’.

“I have literally taken thousands of pictures of Galway people – it could be as many as 14,000 people – and I tell them it’s for my website and get their permission,” he explains.

“But it would be madness to try and get 500 signatures for this. Since I told people about it on the website, I’ve had 400 positive affirmations and only one man declined to be involved and that’s fair enough. It will be a random selection of people – as many well-known people as I can get.”

Pat, a native of Raleigh Row who now lives in Mervue, was a salesman in O’Connors TV & Video outlet for 25 years before moving to O’Shaughnessy’s Audiovision and Peter Murphy Electrical prior to his retirement.

It was following an unfortunate accident while on holiday in Australia to visit his son who lived in Perth that his passion for photography really took hold.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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CITY TRIBUNE

At least 240 Galway City Airbnbs flouting planning rules

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – At least 240 short-stay apartments and houses in Galway City are operating without planning permission, according to local authority estimates.

However, former mayor Niall McNelis has said he believes the real figure is “far higher”, while Green Party councillor Pauline O’Reilly said Airbnb is “destroying our city”.

Under legislation introduced last July, the owners of some Airbnb-type rental properties must apply for planning permission – where they fall within certain criteria – because the city is classed as a Rent Pressure Zone.

For any property which is a second or subsequent home (not the owner’s home) which is used for short-term letting, a ‘change of use’ planning application is required “for the purpose of residential short-term letting/B&B”.

Since the law was passed, Galway City Council has received just three change of use planning applications for short-term lets.

The Council’s own estimate is that there are 1,200 properties in the city that come under the short-term letting umbrella. It estimates that only 720 of these are ‘active’, and of those some 480 are exempt from the new legislation.

That means, according to the Council’s own estimate, that 240 properties in the city are operating without planning permission in breach of the legislation.
This is a preview only. To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Four-fold increase in homeless children

Stephen Corrigan

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Emergency 'Cold Weather Response' accommodation for being provided by COPE Galway and the City Council at Seamus Quirke Road.

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway City councillors gave their backing to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy this week, despite being told that the numbers of families and children homeless in the region had sky-rocketed by more than 300% in three years.

At a meeting of the local authority on Monday evening, the Draft Region Homelessness Action Plan 2020-2022 was presented to councillors, in which it was revealed that in terms of homelessness, the West is worst – since 2016, the region had the highest increase in the country.

Three years ago, some 130 adults were accessing homeless services through emergency accommodation. In August of this year, that figure had risen to 351.

The number of homeless families stood at 17 in 2016; this year, that figure was at 83 by the end of September.

Some 200 children were homeless at the end of August 2019, a 344% increase on the 47 who were without a home in 2016.

The report notes that 30 people were sleeping rough in Galway City in October, while there were 251 homeless adults in the city by the end of the third quarter – 146 males; 76 families; and 185 dependents.

A series of actions are set out by the plan, with homelessness prevention at the top of the list. This comprises of ensuring early intervention for high-risk categories, including: prison discharges; young people exiting care; hospital discharges; people exiting direct provision; and victims of domestic violence.

The Mayor and Cllr Ollie Crowe (FF) both described the new Housing Task Force established in Galway – which does not include any elected representatives – as a farce, with the Mayor hitting out at the arrogance of the Minister for Housing in saying that things were improving.

“You’ve a situation where you’ve kids going to school and their news of the day is that they’ve moved to a new B&B – and they’re being laughed at in class,” blasted the Mayor.
This is a preview only. For extensive coverage of the issue, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.

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