15 Mar 2017
Limerick is one of the most affordable cities in the globe to buy a home, according to a 2016 housing affordability survey. Fancy that!
There has been an 18% rise in values the past year, due to a game of catch up after the downturn, but values are still down 42% from peak time.
There’s lots of new house hunters out there as employment in the region gathers pace, and is a game of catch up
It’s not easy buying a home in Limerick right now: the stock simply isn’t there.
but the fact is, if you’re local, clued-in, and on the hunt, what’s there to buy around the city?
There’s little to no new stock; there’s precious few new schemes coming to market and the recently built arrivals have been snapped up: so, it’s the second-hand market that’s seeing most activity.
Maureen Curtin of the EBS office in Dooradoyle (one of three EBS offices around the city) is direct in talking about the current shortage in the market: there’s lots of new home hunters out there as employment in the region gathers pace. She reckons that house-hunting demand is up 30% in the past year, especially among first-time buyers and price rises mightn’t be too far behind.
Official surveys suggest an 18% rise in values in Limerick in the past year (daft.ie, April 2016). It’s a game of catch up after the long, protracted slump and downturn, with average Limerick values still down 42% from peak time values (Myhome, 2016) and as Maureen Curtin notes “we practically lost a whole generation or a decade of buyers” in the last eight years.
Back in the mid 2000s, people aged 24-26 were actively buying, and many young buyers were on to purchasing second and investment properties. Now, mid 2016, the typical first-time buyer and mortgagee is aged 32- 34, Ms Curtain notes, and many current inquiries are coming from returnees or tentative returning emigrants to a growing economy, from the likes of Australia or the UK.
Limerick’s Raheen is going back up the employment curve as exemplified by the likes of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, adding 200 more to be employed over the next 18 months to its 2015 workforce of 300. In Limerick city centre, car-sharing app company Uber is adding 100 new employees to its base at Thomas Street and, as in Regeneron, many, or most, may be looking at property moves.
For first-time buyers, a Myhome report on first quarter (Q1 2016) prices for three-bed semi-ds showed Limerick as being the second dearest Munster county after Cork, at an affordable €139,000, and that was up 4.95% on asking price of the last quarter of 2015.
Jump up in house size a bit and add an extra bedroom and the median price of a four-bed semi in Limerick was put at €169,000, up 5.65% on the last quarter of ’15. Overall median prices for Limerick (city and county) was €120,00 for all types in 2015, up from €100,000 in 2014 – so there’s clear evidence of the recovery in values and sales agreed as a result.
The good news for home hunters in Limerick is that once you find what you are looking for, there’s value to be had in national, comparative terms. Compare the median Limerick figure of €120,000 for 2015 (for city and county) with the national median of €170,000 for reassurance: those figures come from the EBS’s own ‘Housing Affordability Index’, on a county-by county basis. For Limerick home hunters, it indicates that a couple on a combined €78,000 gross income would spend 9.3% of net income on a 80% loan-to-value purchase at the current (2015) €120,000 median price. That’s below the national figure of 13.8% of net income on a purchase around the national average of €170,000.
City averages are going to be higher than the combined city and county figure, naturally, and are likely to over €150,000 (daft.ie) now in the urban area: however, that’s compared to a city average of €250,000 back at market peak, in 2006.
FIVE AREAS TO HOME HUNT IN LIMERICK
The truisms and appreciation of property values and locations prove enduring, hard to alter and slow to evolve over the years, or even over generations.
Limerick’s top addresses include:
Limerick for First Time Buyers
Genesis Homes (it grew out of McInerneys) recent scheme Sli na Manach in Mungret has proven very popular in the past year, with lots of sale in the price range €225,000 to €250,000, but there’s no fresh stock here: the last release was in March 2016.
Just launched in late May 2016 is a new homes scheme, Cluain Ard, a 10-15 mins commute south from the city at Fedamore, with three-bed A3 rates semis priced from €149,000. Closer to the city, Kylemore at Monaleen had a limited launch in April, with 1,100 sq ft three-bed semis built by Ryno
Developments priced from €209,000, selling quickly. Cheaper options came this spring at Ros Mor, Ballyneety, with three-bed semis price from €179,000 to four-bed semis at €195,000.
Limerick for Families
While first-time buyers have sights trained on new-builds in the main, trading up options in and around the city are more inclined to span slightly older stock in settled and convenient suburbs. Overall, again, though, stock is tight and options limited. Myhome (May 2016) has just 222 city homes for sale, and Daft has 434 in the same period. However, choice broadens if you go a bit outside the city catchment (daft’s listing jumps to 1,600 option in Limerick city and county,) but at this buying stage, many families will be committed to schools, neighbourhoods and amenities.
Narrow down an online house search in the realistic price band between €150,000 and €300,000 across Limerick and Daft will give you over 500 properties, and Myhome will suggest over 270 possible purchases.
Limerick for commuters
Commuting is easy around Limerick all the more so since the Shannon tunnel fell into place and the M7 opened up swathes out toward Dublin. Adare is a chic option for the better heeled: see above’s Top Five Limerick locations.
Before you go scouting homes around Limerick, it's a good idea to get your mortgage in perspective – or at least discussed so you know where you stand and where to look.
If you'd like to talk through your mortgage options, book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with Maureen or one of the team in EBS Dooradoyle. Why not try our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow?
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