Majority of first quarter Limerick home sales were landlords fleeing the market

The REA Average House Price Index showed that the majority of Limerick house sales were landlords leaving the market.

THE MAJORITY of property sales in Limerick city in the first quarter of 2024 were from landlords leaving the market, a new survey shows.

The report also shows that average house prices in Limerick have risen again in the first three months of the year.

The REA Average House Price Index for quarter one of 2024 found that 60 per cent of home sales across Limerick City are from landlords leaving the market.

And 40 per cent of county property sales came from landlords who wanted to sell up.

The average price for a three-bedroom semi-detached house in Limerick city now stands at €295,000, up from €290,000 in the last three months, according to new figures from Real Estate Alliance (REA).

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This marks a 1.7 per cent increase so far in 2024, while prices in county Limerick also increased.

The average price for a three-bed semi in county Limerick now stands at €240,000, an increase of 1.1 per cent in the last three months.

The REA report also shows that the average time for a home to go sale agreed in the city is three weeks, while for the county, it was four weeks.

Limerick auctioneer Pat Dooley from REA Dooley said that the increase in prices can be attributed to a consistent lack of housing supply.

“We are seeing that the lack of supply continues to push up property
prices, a trend that doesn’t seem to have any quick fix,” Mr Dooley said.

Speaking to the Limerick Post, Mr Dooley said that landlords are facing a very “unfair” system and that the implementation of rent pressure zones (RPZs) have been “the nail in the coffin” for landlords.

“If you have two three-bedroom semis in the same estate and one has been let out at €700 a month, and the tenant leaves and you have to fill it up, the landlord can only look for two per cent more than the actual current rent,” Mr Dooley explained.

“If that was a first letting … it could be making more than twice that amount, it could make €1,500 or €1,600 per month, so that’s a very unfair system. And that’s a big reason, especially in the county as well. While landlords were saying they’d give another go at rental, it’s the nail in the coffin for them,” he said.

The survey also showed that the vast majority of home buyers were first-time buyers, with 75 per cent of homes purchased bought by this cohort.

25 per cent of buyers in the city and 30 percent of county buyers were from outside Limerick City or County.

Barry McDonald, spokesperson for REA said that the increase in property prices comes as Ireland deals with the lowest supply of residential property in two decades.

“There continues to be strong demand throughout the country as buyers compete for the lowest supply of residential property in two decades – despite the high level of values and interest rates,” Mr McDonald said.

“On the positive side for potential homeowners, the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant has finally kicked in, opening up a market for homes in need of improvement.”

“These were the type of property previously really hard to sell with people afraid of refurbishment costs, limiting the market to builders and developers,” the spokesman said.

“If a home is declared vacant for two years or more, and it qualifies under the scheme, buyers know they can avail of a grant for refurbishment of up to €50,000 and up to €70,000 if there is a structural issue,” he concluded.