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Properties in city go ‘sale agreed’ at twice the speed of the rest of the country


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Properties in city go ‘sale agreed’ at twice the speed of the rest of the country Properties in city go ‘sale agreed’ at twice the speed of the rest of the country

Properties in Galway City are selling at a far faster rate than elsewhere in the country — at a time when the median price of a house here has breached the €300,000 mark.

The average time for a property to advance to the ‘sale agreed’ stage in Galway City is now less than two and a half months, according to the latest Property Price Report.

That is half the time it takes in the rest of the county — more than five months — and well below the national average time of 15 weeks, figures for the first three months of this year show. Only Westmeath and some areas of Dublin had shorter selling times recorded.

Meanwhile, house prices remained steady during the first quarter of 2024, but are up by 3.4% compared with the same time last year, increasing to a median price for all homes of €300,000. The median asking price for a house in the county and city combined rose by 3.5% to €295,000, an increase of €10,000 compared with this time last year.

The report uses median prices, which are calculated by taking the ‘middle’ value of all houses, rather than an average, which can be skewed by exceptionally high or low prices.

It shows that in Galway city and county combined, the biggest price increases were for 3-bed semi-detached houses, which rose by 9.3% over the past year to €280,000, an increase of €23,750 compared to this time in 2023. Of that increase, €5,000 came since the start of this year.

The asking price for a 4-bed semi-detached house in Galway rose by €10,000 over the quarter to €305,000, while the price of a two-bed apartment was up by 2.1%, to €240,000.

There were 599 properties for sale in Galway at the end of Q1 2024 – a decrease of 16% over the quarter.

The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at Bank of Ireland, said that the message from this quarter’s report was that the housing market nationally was heating up again.

“MyHome asking prices rose by a solid 2% in the first quarter, with the annual inflation rate accelerating to 6.5%, its fastest pace in 18 months,” he said.

“We can see that demand is particularly intense from transactional activity. The number of homebuyers (first-time-buyers and movers) rose to 44,100 in 2023, up 1.4% on 2022 and accounting for 71% of total transactions.

“This is the highest proportion of transactions accounted for by homebuyers since 2013. In contrast, household buy-to-let purchases fell by 9% in 2023, no doubt hurt by higher interest rates,” Mr MacCoille added.

Sinn Féin TD for Galway West, Mairéad Farrell, said the  study showed a “deeply disturbing” picture of growing house price inflation across the country, with Galway facing a disproportionate share of the burden.

“In Galway, there is insufficient stock of affordable housing and a static output of privately available houses to buy or rent. These all contribute     to a growing imbalance between supply and demand for housing.

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