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Limerick city: the best value place to buy?

Shannon river scenery in Limerick city, Ireland

14 Mar 2017

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The term ‘value’ is usually pretty relative. What seems like good value for a home in Manhattan might be 10 times what it is in Monaleen on this side of the Atlantic. On most metrics, however, Limerick is a very good value place to go house hunting.

While Dublin is constantly inching back up the world business tables in terms of attractiveness and activity, other cities on this smaller isle are clearly back on the rise too.

Limerick is one of these, as it’s back building, booming and bustling. Limerick has employment on the increase, global brands on its doorstep and affordable housing for those in work.

Proven affordability

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Head of Limerick Parkway EBS’ office Padraig Malone doesn’t have to search too hard to find the positives on the work front. He points to major employers like Johnson and Johnson/Vistakon, Northern Trust, Cook Ireland, Regeneron and Uber, who are all paying good wages.

New recruits in such employment can expect to enter the housing market in the next several years, forecasts Padraig.

The good news for these fortunate workers is that house affordability in Limerick is proven, relative to the national average. Median Limerick house values for 2015 were €120,000, compared to the national median of €170,000, according to the most-recent DKM/EBS ‘Housing Affordability Index’, laid out on a county-by-county basis.

If you have a good IT-equivalent job, on a good, sector-related salary, where would you rather be home-hunting? Pricey Dublin? Its outlying counties? Or affordable Limerick?

Well, ‘Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey’ highlighted Limerick city as the most affordable city out of over 365 surveyed around the world.

In comparison, Galway came at 59th, Cork was 102th, and Dublin was well down in 239th place.

Myhome shows prices of three-bed semi-ds in Limerick as averaging an affordable €139,000, up almost 5% on the last quarter of 2015.

Learning curves

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Based in the Limerick Parkway Shopping Centre, EBS’ Padraig Malone has a definite finger on the pulse of economic activity and long-awaited recovery, and the feeling locally “is very positive.”

He’s close enough to assess the benefits of the nearby presence of UL (University of Limerick) which now, more than 40 years after it was established, has an enrolment of up to 17,000 and a staff cohort of thousands more.

And the UL Sports Arena, with the privilege of an internationally-accredited 50-metre swimming pool, brings Limerick’s ‘game’ to a whole new level while the sight of Munster rugby players or a giant like Paul O’Connell simply strolling in the city or retail centres like Parkway, or the Crescent, “sprinkles a bit of star-dust on the area.”

It’s not just the rise and presence of sports facilities, or the growth of UL, which are positive for the future of Limerick’s citizens and home-buyers, continues Padraig. It’s also the quality schools like the new second level schools promised for Limerick’s growing suburbs, set to be provided in Parteen/Mungret.

Limerick for first time buyers

The simple fact is that there isn’t enough new home building around Limerick to satisfy first time buyer demand, and so while preferences might be for new homes for young buyers, many are buying older stock and doing refurbs. Padraig says his Parkway EBS office does 40% of its business with first time buyers.

The past year has seen new life come to stalled developments like the former Clohessy Homes Evanwood scheme, now acquired by a Wexford builder.

Property websites currently show three-bed, second hand sales in price region of €215/220,000. Other developments to watch out for are Ryno Developments’ Kylemore in Monaleen which had an April 2016 launch of 1,100 sq ft three-bed semis priced from €209,000.

At Mungret, a Genesis Homes development called Sli na Manach had a March 2016 release of homes in the €225/250,000 bracket.

Ros Mor, Ballyneety, had cheaper three-bed semis launch in late Spring priced at €179,000, and larger four-bed semis were at €195,000.

Supply issues

It’s a near-national refrain, and one that’s exacerbated in cities like Limerick: demand outstrips supply and rising rents are encouraging renters to look at home purchases, for security as much as for value/savings.

As of May 2016 property website Myhome had 222 Limerick city homes for sale, while for the same period, Daft had 434, and choice broadens if you look outside the city catchments.

The DKM/EBS Affordability study shows that a Limerick couple on €78,000 gross income combined, buying at the county’s median home price level, will need to spend 9.3% of their net income on an 80% loan-to-value purchase. That’s a good chunk less than the national figure of 13.8%.
See: great value!

Second hand and settled locations worth looking over include Annacotty, Raheen, Dooradoyle, Castletroy (even though it’s more than a tad student-dominated), and Adare.

Limerick for commuters

While some families trading up look to quality Shannon locations like Killaloe and Ballina, Padraig Malone says his Parkway office has inquiries coming in from outlying county areas like Cappamore, and Newport in Tipperary. There’s also inquiries from ex-pats thinking of coming home after working and saving in the UK and Australia.

Since the M7 linked Limerick to Dublin and since the Shannon tunnel opened up, Limerick house hunter’s choice and commuter belt has broadened. And, with a return to more economic prosperity, EBS Parkway is back doing mortgages for holiday/second homes, in traditional accessible locations like Kilkee and Lahinch.

Essentially, it’s all going on in Limerick right now!

Thinking of buying in Limerick?

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Get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer and Next Time Buyer guides.

If you'd like to talk through your mortgage options, book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with one of the team in EBS Limerick. You can also use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for the latest home inspiration, news and great competitions.

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Padraig Malone, trading as EBS Parkway acts solely on behalf of EBS d.a.c. EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

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