Photo by Mark Lynch
Property prices in Galway have increased by 172 per cent from their lowest point after the financial crash.
The dream of home ownership for many is at present “not realistic”, local property experts have warned.
The average sale price of a residential property in the Galway region is now over €320,000, according to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in the latest Residential Property Price Index (RPPI).
It represents a dramatic increase from 2013, when property prices for the Galway region plummeted to just over €185,000.
Prices are even higher in the city alone, with average sale prices of €335,000 in the year up to December 2021, up from €301,000 in the previous 12 months.
The latest increases mean “buying a house is not realistic at the moment for a lot of people”, said Niall Browne of Galway-based auctioneers, O’Donnellan & Joyce.
“I do see prices getting higher and higher. It’s hard to know when the stop will be,” he said.
Average house prices in Galway County have risen to €248,401, according to the CSO figures.
“Every week, more and more people are looking to buy, and there’s just not enough being built,” said Mr Browne.
“The planning set up in Galway is an issue,” he said. “Then there’s the level of available land, and the price of that is going up, as well as the cost of living.”
“Second hand homes are selling equally as fast, and not quite equally as expensive, but it’s not far off,” said Mr Browne.
He said the ages of people looking to buy in Galway “are being pushed up”, as people are renting for longer.
“Lots of people are paying very high rent and how people can save for deposits at the same time is beyond me,” he said.
Karen Golden, CEO of Galway Simon Community, said high rents are preventing people from buying houses at these prices, which in turn is keeping them in more precarious rental accommodation.
“It’s leading to food poverty, fuel poverty, and a new one which we saw during the pandemic, was technology poverty, when children needed to use devices for school,” she said.
“I certainly see another couple of years of very tough circumstances,” she said. “[However] there is a very sincere ambition in a multi-billion euro, multi-annual plan with finance behind it to build houses under Housing for All,” said Ms Golden.
Nationally, house prices rose by over 14 per cent over the last year, according to the latest RPPI, while they’re almost 90 per cent of the prices seen at the peak of the Celtic Tiger.
Karen Golden said the costs associated with housing are leading to more people seeking the support of the Simon Community in Galway.
“There’s been a 29 per cent increase in people coming to us for help, and that’s a really significant increase,” she said.
“Behind every one of these statistics is an adult or a child who is experiencing the really hugely damaging situation of crisis homelessness,” said Ms Golden.
“We’re really concerned, in the medium to long term, about the impact that being in emergency accommodation is going to have on children, and that it will lead to other issues down the road,” she said.
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