AFTER almost seven years of a static property market in Limerick, 2014 has seen a ‘marked increase’ upward.
A property report has shown a 45% increase in sales on the period from January-September of this year, compared to the same period in 2010, while local experts have confirmed a “substantial increase in activity and in prices” in Limerick.
The report, from ValueMyProperty.ie, said 889 properties have been sold in the first nine months of the year, with areas like Castletroy and Dooradoyle showing the highest volume of sales. It said growth was “consistent and steady”.
Gordon Kearney of Rooneys Auctioneers said 2014 was “the year of change in the property market, both in residential and commercial”.
“Interest and enquiries that were strong throughout 2013, started turning into sales in the first quarter of this year,” he said. “We ended up having bidding competitions for a lot of those homes - and we hadn’t had that scenario for a number of years.
“Where there has been a dramatic change is in the commercial side, and that is where we are seeing the most increase in sales this year.”
Mr Kearney said the catalyst for the increase in commercial deals was the Capital Gains Tax incentive, which expires on December 31 and believes that prospective buyers will not be put off by the ending of the scheme.
“It bodes well for the market place that it is going to continue, hopefully at a steady increase, not a mad panic increase,” he said.
“I think this is going to continue - not at the same, focussed, panic levels, but demand will continue in the new year.
“The game changer on it - a lot of transactions in the commercial and investment property sector have been cash customers.
“The banks are starting to gear up for lending and that will be the game changer next year - people that have some element of cash, but not enough to complete (a transaction) all of a sudden will be able to get funding from lending institutions and they will be more forceful in the market place.”
Tom Crosse of GVM Auctioneers said that “in the last three months or so that we have noticed a substantial increase in activity and in prices” in Limerick.
“There has been a marked increase in activity, particularly since September,” he said.
“I am probably seeing a ten percent jump in a quarter and I am not exaggerating that. That is what is happening on the ground. Some of this is driven a little bit by the expiration of CGT benefits in December. Also people are getting credit from the bank.
“The other thing that you don’t have is, there is no new development going on, so that is resulting in a scarcity of stock,” added Mr Crosse.
Mr Kearney added that he had a “list of developers and builders looking for development sites in Limerick, sites that have services and planning”.
“They feel it will take 12-18 months to get planning in order, get services and site reactivated and they believe that the market for new homes will be in place at that stage. They are now looking to acquire those sites.”