Leitrim attracts homebuyers – and drives up rents and house prices.
As many flee cities to escape the housing crisis, the effect is pushing up prices in rural areas across the country.
In the village of Dromod, County Leitrim, landlords charge up to â¬ 1,000 per month in rent for a three-bedroom house, which would have cost an average of â¬ 650 before the pandemic.
Realtors in Mayo and Monaghan spoke of similar increases in house prices and rents. According to the Daft.ie Rental Report for the first quarter of 2021, Co. Leitrim was the cheapest place to rent in Ireland, with average prices of â¬ 655 per month.
However, Abbey Properties’ realtor Gerry McLoughlin has revealed that demand for homes in the village, which is a popular vacation spot along the Shannon, has increased. âThere isn’t much to rent in the area. If we get a property to rent, we can only really leave it online for about an hour or so because we would be inundated with calls, âMcLoughlin said. He went on to say that the area is proving popular with people moving from Dublin, which is also causing house prices to rise.
âWe had a property listed at â¬ 299,000 and we thought it was high, but it sold for â¬ 350,000. This is because a few couples who lived in Dublin were playing off against each other.
Mr McLoughlin said the rising cost of building a new home has put additional pressure on the market in Dromod and many other towns and villages in Leitrim. âWhen you take the crash 12 years ago, every small town and village had 20 to 50 additional properties and ghost estates. It took years to sell them, but we’ve more than caught up with it at this rate.
âThe demand is much higher than the supply.
This is where the problem lies when you have to pay 350,000-400,000 â¬ to build a new house – you are almost the same price as Lucan and the outskirts of Dublin.
Sligo-Leitrim TD Frank Feighan said the lack of affordable housing in the constituency was a problem as he described the number of people moving to the area as “unbelievable”. âA lot of things have happened over the past few years that have brought people to the area. Brexit, the rolling national broadband plan and COVID have accelerated all of these things, âFeighan said.
In Castleblayney, County Monaghan, rental prices have also seen a sharp increase since the start of the pandemic.
John Beattie of Beattie Real Estate said there was “simply not the stock” to meet demand in the area. âTwo years ago, â¬ 650 would have been a typical three-bed half-bed and now you will easily get â¬ 800 or â¬ 850 for the same house,â he said. âPrices are definitely going up due to the lack of stock. People want to get out of urban areas.
In Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, real estate agent Adrian Burke explained that homes sell for up to 50% more when put up for sale compared to before the pandemic. âThere is a great demand. The circle has come full circle, âhe said.
âThe rent has gone up by around 25% and the property for sale in some cases has gone up by 30, 40 or 50%. A three bedroom house in an estate earns a minimum of 150,000 â¬ whereas before you could buy it between 80,000 and 100,000 â¬.
Sinn FÃ©in housing spokesperson Eoin Ã Broin said the government must take action to address the housing shortage, adding that the housing crisis “is not just a Dublin, Cork phenomenon. or urban “.
He said a three-year ban on rent increases and investment in large volumes of affordable housing is needed to tackle the housing problem in rural Ireland. âIt has always been a statewide problem,â he said. âThe concern is that unless there is an adequate supply of the types of houses needed in all parts of the country, then we will have these prices going up.
The Housing Ministry said last night it was working to increase supply through a number of measures, including rent protection laws, the âHousing for Allâ plan which is expected to be released this month. next.
A spokesperson for the department said increasing the housing supply is a “top priority” for the government.