PROPERTY prices in West Cork have risen by 5% in the last year, and are predicted to rise by up to 12pc this year.
The average price of both new and second-hand homes came in at between €180,000 and €300,000 in 2014, depending on the house type, according to local auctioneers Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill.
This is the first full-year price rise since the recession hit, signalling signs of a recovery in the local market.
The price rise is being attributed to the increased availability of finance, combined with a tight supply. But the most attractive properties, defined mostly by a good location, often resulted in multiple bids, driving up the final sale price.
Young professionals, many with up to €320,000 to spend, helped inflate the prices of three and four-bed family homes, according to the estate agent.
‘The market has been steadily improving since mid-2013,’ Ray O’Neill of Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill in Clonakilty told The Southern Star.
‘It has been gathering momentum since then, and is, of course, stronger the further east you go, as you get closer to the larger urban centres.’
But he added that even homes in the more remote parts of the county had seen a rise in recent years, particulary in the rural four-bed sector.
And there is better value for money in these areas.
Professional couples who were still in college when the recession hit, are now coming to the market with much better buying power, and are boosting the slightly larger family home market, he said.
Where previously this purchaser may have bought a three-bed semi, in many cases they are now able to afford a four-bed detached home, he observed.
The recently released figures revealed that three-bed townhouses, which are a much more common sight in the region now than pre-Celtic Tiger, rose to €165,000 on average in 2014, and are estimated to rise to €170,000 this year and €180,000 next year.
Three-bed urban semis sold for €170,000 with predictions of €180,000 (2015) and €200,000 (2016); second-hand urban four-beds made €250,000 last year, predicted to rise to between €260,000 to €275,000 this year and €290,000 next.
Bungalows on the outskirts of a town are predicted to rise from 2014’s average price of €220,000 for three-beds, to €240,000 this year and €250,000 next year.
Similar homes in a more rural setting sold for €180,000 last year and are predicted to rise to €190,000 this year and €210,000 next.
The same home with a sea view, could go from last year’s €240,000 to €260,000 this year and €280,000 in 2016.
A property type which is very common in West Cork is the ‘holiday cottage’ which sold for an average of €200,000 last year and could make €220,000 this year and €230,000 next year.
If prices rises are to continue, the supply will need to remain limited, coupled with continued access to finance for purchasers, the auctioneers said.
O’Neill will be showcasing West Cork properties at a property exhibition in London’s Millennium Gloucester Hotel in London’s Kensington on February 21.
‘West Cork property is particularly popular with the mainstream UK retirement, relocation and holiday home market,’ he said.
‘Our showcase will promote property to buyers from all over the UK and especially London to a purchaser market that includes investors who see the opportunity and value in the Irish property market, together with Irish people living in the UK who may return home in the coming years but can buy now and avail of the value, coupled with the rental return, in the intervening period.’