Anecdotal evidence that Covid lockdowns and working from home have changed housing demand and residential property values in city suburbs and rural towns is borne out by Q3 figures from RE/MAX Ireland published this week.

The independent real estate group published its latest average list prices for the counties and suburbs where it operates, revealing price hikes varying from a 2.3% increase in Dublin’s hip Stoneybatter Dublin 7 neighbourhood, to a massive 17.5% year on year change in County Waterford list prices.

Average list prices nationally increased by 9.1% over the same time last year, with the average list price for homes nationwide in Quarter 3 2021 put at €287,704.

Business Boost

RE/MAX agents have seen a considerable boost with a growth in demand from those relocating from cities in the past eighteen months, Paul Gartlan, Regional Director of RE/MAX Ireland, commented, especially as the group has a strong regional presence, he says.

Demand for property has shifted slightly from city-center apartment living to two and three-bedroom houses in the larger suburban and rural towns”.

Gardens and garages are also a ‘big ask’ the estate agency boss says, as people relocating express delight at being able to afford to live in an actual house, with space around it, rather than a small flat or townhouse, Gartlan adds.

The availability of sheds or garages are high on the list of home-owners demands, usually to convert to a home office, gym or workshop”..

Regions Revival

Dramatic price improvements are being recorded in larger towns in coastal counties, it seems, as many recently turned their long-term plan to escape to the country into a short-term reality.

Amber Young, RE/MAX Ireland Head of Operations and Q3 market report author, says; “confidence in improving broadband, employer assurances around hybrid working, and the attraction of greater indoor and outdoor space link directly to the pandemic and the lifestyle lockdowns forced on people in the last year”.

In Leinster, outside Dublin, housing supply was down 41% for the area (excl. Dublin) when comparing last September’s figures to those from September 2020. Transactions were up 38% for the region in the six months to July 2021, versus the same period last year.

Leinster overall, including Dublin, saw an 11.4% increase in prices YOY, although the major price growth was outside of Dublin in the surrounding commuter counties.