A Galway auctioneering firm has reported its busiest ever year for sales – with nearly 600 sales in 2015.
The huge increase in sales volumes has been attributed to banks beginning to lend again, while there was also a return of investors to the market.
O’Donnellan & Joyce also saw a significant 20% surge in the number of properties going for auction.
According to Colm O’Donnellan, it was his busiest year since he opened his office in 1982, although prices are around 35% below their Celtic Tiger peak.
“The reason for the increase in volume of sales is banks have returned to lending particularly to first time buyers and to home owners.
“Although prices are still about 35% below the peak of the Celtic Tiger period, the number of transactions recorded for 2015 are well in excess of anything recorded during that period.
“In addition, 2015 saw a large number of cash buyers looking to invest in property, as no returns have been offered by banks for money on deposit.
“Investors were looking to acquire prime properties with good rental income such as properties throughout Galway City as there is an extremely strong demand for residential properties for rent,” said Mr O’Donnellan.
Auction co-ordinator Anne Harding said there was a 20% increase in volume of properties going under the auction hammer.
“Our auctions now cover from Donegal to Kerry and are known as the Wild Atlantic Way auctions, and in 2015 we placed 280 properties under the hammer with an 86% success rate,” she said.
The agents held seven auctions throughout the year, which was also live streamed on the web.
“The stream attracted a large number of overseas buyers, young Irish immigrants who bought their first home. 2015 also saw an enormous disparity in values with Galway City in the dominant market with increases of approximately 19.7%.
“Outside Galway City in the rural areas, there was exceptional value on offer with many of the properties sold way below building costs,” said Mr O’Donnellan.
Among the highlights of the auction were:
- Detached Residence in Furbo sold for €485,000.
- Mid-terraced house at Presentation Road, Galway sold for €404,000
- 4-bedroom semi at Forster Court, Galway sold for €335,000
- Detached house at Beach Cottage, Ballyconneely sold for €328,000
- Detached bungalow at Lakeshore Drive, Renmore sold for €300,000
- Semi-detached property at Glenard Crescent, Salthill sold for €472,000
- Semi-detached residence at Dalton Drive, Salthill sold for €470,000
- Apartment block in Spiddal sold for €1,005,000.
“Outside Galway, exceptional value was on offer for properties in the Kilconly and Tuam areas. A two-bedroom apartment in Castlerea was sold for €20,000,” said Mr O’Donnellan.
Niall Browne, Head of Private Treaty Sales, recorded the largest sale of residential homes in Galway City, where a property in Salthill was sold for well in excess of €1.5 million. There were ten bidders interested in the property.
Among the other private treaty sales were:
- Detached residence at Kiltrogue, Cregmore sold for €315,000
- Detached house at The Parklands, Clarinbridge sold for €515,000
- Bungalow at Coolagh Road, Menlo, sold for €480,000
- 2-bed apartment at Ocean Towers, Salthill, sold for €407,500