AS THE year comes to an end one Limerick auctioneer says he is looking forward to 2014 with “cautious optimism”.
Tom Crosse, GVM group property director, expects to see around a five per cent rise in property prices next year in Limerick city, and more movement in rural areas.
Reflecting on 2013, Mr Crosse says there is evidence to confirm that prices have bottomed out. The national media have covered the increases in parts of Dublin extensively and Mr Crosse says traditionally when Dublin either slows down or improves the same happens down the country.
“There is more of a delayed reaction. Demand is being driven by the fact that for the past four or five years buyers have sat on their hands. They have been renting and many may now want to start families or having started families want to move from renting into a family home.
“Already in Limerick there are signs of green shoots emerging. There is evidence to suggest that transaction levels have certainly increased and in choice areas we are noticing multiple bidders emerging on good family homes on well located properties well serviced with schools, shopping centres etc,” said Mr Crosse, who lists off O’Connell Avenue, NCR, Monaleen, Ennis Road, Ballinacurra, South Circular Road.
“Those areas are attracting huge interest again,” he adds. Activity on their website and number of viewings has “gone way up”.
“Generally 2013 is a marked improvement for everyone in the auctioneering business and we are looking forward to 2014 with a certain amount of cautious optimism,” said Mr Crosse. The apartment and high density housing that was build during the boom is “still sluggish but excellent value for any prospecting puchasers at around €120,000/€130,000.
“That kind of money for a nice family home is affordable for a lot of people,” said Mr Crosse, who expects to more movement in rural areas as well in 2014.
“It has now reached the stage where property can be bought and mortgages serviced at pretty much the same level as rents are at the moment,” he said.
Like all auctioneering firms GVM have scaled back staff but Mr Crosse hopes to hire new recruits in 2014 “to carry some of the work load which is building up thankfully”.
“This year has seen a return to some form of normality. We are looking at recruiting in the near future, which again is a confidence sign in the market,” said Mr Crosse.
Turning to the retail sector, he says it is tough going in Limerick city.
“There is need for inner city regeneration which I know has been looked at, flagged and pushed by many but it appears to be slow getting off the ground. We need a flagship retailer in here as soon as possible, otherwise the decline will continue.”