BUYERS might not be sleeping in queues of cars to snap properties like they were in the boom years, but Limerick auctioneers say there is a level of interest not seen in years for houses in a NAMA scheme in the county.
Homes at Castlerock, Castleconnell and Churchfields, Clonlara became the first in the local area to be included in NAMA’s residential mortgage 80:20 deferred payment scheme.
Since the launch over two weeks ago the respective auctioneers – GVM and Sherry Fitzgerald O’Malley – have sold over half the houses with total sales closing in on €2 million.
In the NAMA initiative 80 per cent of the agreed price is paid now with the remaining 20 per cent due in five years. How much, if any, of that 20 per cent is due, will be calculated by an independent assessment of the property then.
Tom Crosse, GVM, auctioneer for Churchfields, said there was a traffic jam in the estate last Sunday due to the level of interest. Of the 13 four-bed semi-detached houses in the scheme six have been sold. Mr Crosse described it as a “bargain of a lifetime”.
“They once cost almost €300,000 – now they are for sale for €150,000, which in the NAMA scheme is an up-front price of €120,000.
“From a buyer’s perspective they are getting the peace of mind in the unlikely event of prices dropping a further 20 per cent. They are cushioned completely against that scenario.
“We’ve a million worth of sales since we launched. On Sunday we had over 70 people at the show house. There were cars parked everywhere.
“It is a lot of young couples sitting on the fence, who have been renting, that are now deciding to get off the fence. We hope to complete more sales in the coming weeks,” said Mr Crosse.
Diarmuid Madigan, Sherry Fitzgerald O’Malley, has also sold six houses but in Castlerock, Castleconnell.
They had eight three bed townhouses and semi-detached from €95,000, and two four bed semi-detached from €125,000. So in the NAMA scheme they are up-front prices of €76,000 and €100,000.
In the peak of the boom it is understood that the three beds were valued around €220,00 and the four beds, €300,000.
Mr Madigan says there is a “good buzz”.
“While it is still a million miles off where it was years ago it is the first indication of the level of interest you would expect for a good product correctly priced.
“Over the last four years we’ve had products correctly priced that the market should respond to and didn’t. This is the first indication that the market is beginning to recognise value,” said Mr Madigan.
One couple who recognised the value are Ronan McDonogh, Dooradoyle and his fiancee, Grainne Naughton. They have bought a four bed semi-detached in Castlerock on the scheme.
“We went back for a second viewing last Friday and as we were there a few other people showed up asking about the same house we were looking at so we went straight in with an offer. You offer whatever they are looking for and they say ‘done’. There’s no bidding war.
“It is fantastic value. I know one or two people living there so I asked them, ‘What is the catch? This is too good to be true.’ But there doesn’t appear to be one. There is a good community buzz about Castleconnell,” said Ronan, 31.
They hope to move in early in the New Year, which is perfect timing as the young couple are getting married in March.