House sales ‘paused’ in Limerick over pandemic

Rebecca Laffan

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Rebecca Laffan

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news@limerickleader.ie

House sales ‘paused’ over pandemic

UP UNTIL the Covid-19 outbreak, house prices across Limerick had been on the rise for a year, though the global pandemic has now caused a “pause button” to be pressed on property activity. 

The price of the average three-bed semi in Limerick City rose by 2.5 percent to €205,000 in the past year, up to the outbreak of coronavirus, according to a national survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance.

The price of similar homes in County Limerick rose by 3.1 percent to €165,000, the REA Average House Price Survey found.

The average time taken to sell in the city rose this quarter from four weeks to five and remained unchanged in the county at eight weeks. 

The Q1 REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi.

It gives an accurate picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide to the start of the current crisis, which has seen a sudden slowdown in activity according to REA.

Average house prices nationally returned to growth with an increase in activity in the first three months of the year up the outbreak of Covid-19.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by 0.14 percent over the past three months to €235,028, after an annual decline of 0.63 percent in 2019.

“We are suddenly in a time of uncertainty, and a pause button has been pressed on activity, but the fundamental issue of a lack of supply remains,” said REA spokesperson Barry McDonald.

“The recent State interventions are welcome in providing increasing levels of security and certainty to loan-approved buyers.

“Many of our agents are accelerating the move to virtual viewings and online selling methods as the market adapts to the Covid-19 restrictions.

“We are in a different place than in 2008, and we will benefit from the effects that the Central Bank’s lending restrictions have had on a market that has experienced conservative rather than rapid growth over the past seven years.

“There is unity in the country, the State and the banks are working together to support homeowners, and buyers will have a lot of time to make decisions in the coming weeks and months.”