Leading Galway auctioneering firm DNG Maxwell Heaslip & Leonard has launched a major drive for properties to list in order to meet the increasing demand in the Galway property market.
Recent sales results with the city based agency have seen a remarkable increase in demand with sales turnover for the first quarter of 2013 up 22 per cent on the same period last year. The sizeable increase in turnover can be accredited to a number of factors including favourable house prices and more readily available finance, but director James Heaslip MIPAV MCEI believes there is a real “supply and demand” issue at present.
“Since the beginning of the year we have had problems trying to provide properties for the growing numbers of buyers out there at the moment,” Mr Heaslip said. “Up until recently, first time buyers had been the driving force in the market, but we are now seeing a steady return to the market of those looking to trade up and buyer bigger homes. It’s also apparent that the investor is well and truly back in the market and they are taking advantage of the excellent value and attractive rental yields available at present.
“We are seeing it in Dublin already,” he added. “House prices are on the increase and although the price increases aren’t anywhere near the levels of the last property boom, they are still going up. The telling signs here are all the same as Dublin, and indications are that Galway will follow suit as it has traditionally done since the early 1990s.”
Some experts are predicting a levelling (and in some cases even an increase) of house prices in Galway, and the team in DNG Maxwell Heaslip & Leonard are getting results which back this speculation up.
“Last week for example, we agreed sales on three semidetached homes on the outskirts of the city and in each one we ended up achieving significantly higher prices than expected,” Mr Heaslip said. “In one particular case in Knocknacarra, we achieved a price that was 16 per cent higher than the guided AMV, and while the property in question was of the highest quality, this result is indicative of current price trends across the city.”
While auctions continue to produce excellent sales figures, the real gauge of the market can be found on private treaty sales, and the Francis Street based firm is now in a position where it urgently requires stock to meet the demands of the many buyers on its books right now.
“Maybe it’s a lot to do with the fact that we are now part of the largest auctioneering group in the country that our bank of buyers is increasing week on week, but our team are under massive pressure to list properties,” Mr Heaslip continued. “While house prices have now fallen to levels not seen since the late 1990s and are now much more affordable, the fact that there hasn’t been any new houses built in the past six years is now causing a clear shortage of homes available to an under supplied market.”
James Heaslip believes that the lack of available rental properties is also a factor which must be taken into consideration. “As letting agents, we have over 400 properties which we manage for our clients, and at present we have a 98.5 per cent occupancy rate, and it has been this for the past 12 months. Rents are creeping back up, due to the lack of availability, and the indications are that many renters feel it makes more sense to now buy rather than rent.”
It would also appear that the banks are beginning to loosen their purse strings again and there are now more buyers ready to go with finance in place than there has been for quite some time. “As I mentioned it’s a culmination of a number of factors, and to add to it, the banks are starting to lend again,” Mr Heaslip said. “If you combine all these factors, the result is going to be inevitable. There are not enough houses to meet the demand.”
As a result of its much publicised recent merger with the DNG group, the team in DNG Maxwell Heaslip & Leonard have an obvious advantage over competitors, with their ability to bring a national market to their doorstep. Having said that, their drive to list properties is purely to satisfy the needs and demand for the local market in Galway.
To talk to one of the residential sales team call DNG Maxwell Heaslip & Leonard at 091 565261.