It has been a turbulent year for almost every sector of the economy, yet, housing outside of Dublin has seen a lift in levels of demand and pricing. This regional boost has been particularly felt in areas that are considered suitable for less frequent commuting, including rural areas across the south east.
“When the first lockdown was announced, we didn’t know what to expect” recalls Michael, “but any concerns we had disappeared quickly as our team, while working remotely, were inundated with queries and requests for property details and videos.”
The company reports that a low level of sale-agreed transactions fell through in Spring 2020 due to the uncertainty in the market at that time or due to intending buyers experiencing a change in their circumstances, which meant they were no longer in a position to secure mortgage lending.
Following reopening of the sector after the first lockdown in March, the company saw online viewings double, while Summer 2020 transaction levels increased nearly 30% year-on-year.
“We knew that demand was strong as our team had been dealing with buyer and investor enquiries throughout the period of lockdown. The surprise was how committed these buyers were and how quickly they wanted to complete their transactions, despite the strict safety protocols around viewings.”
According to Michael, the company was well-placed to provide property sellers with a suite of technology solutions to enable remote viewings. Also, prospective buyers and investors benefited from 24/7 access to the Kinsella Estates online bidding platform.
Over the past number of years, the run up to Christmas has become quite a busy selling period for Irish estate agents but November and December proved to be slower than usual. Kinsella Estates attributes this to the ongoing pandemic, the lack of job security for many house-hunters, stalled new homes construction locally and a marked reduction in secondhand homes coming to the market.
In recent years, Gorey has become increasingly popular with Dublin commuters seeking larger homes and better value for money, particularly since the opening of the M11, however, the past year has seen significantly greater interest in more rural areas from prospective home buyers.
One major change in buyer demands has been around the availability of broadband. Previously, it might have been sufficient to confirm connectivity, now, intending buyers need to know what the broadband speeds in the area are. It is too early to tell how much of an influence this one fact has on property values. At this point, all we can confirm is that it is definitely a strong selling point for house-hunters.
The pandemic has increased everyone’s reliance on technology, and it is particularly interesting to learn of buyers who are willing to commit to buying a property that they have never set foot in. Since March of last year, Kinsella Estates has successfully completed several transactions, through the online bidding platform, with parties based outside of Ireland.
With restrictions on property viewings remaining in place until March 5th, at least, we look ahead at the market expectations for 2021:
“The show must go on” reasons Michael. “We will continue to work remotely with sellers, helping them to prepare their homes and investment properties for sale. And our team will continue to deal with buyer enquiries, sharing videos, floor plans and details of all our properties. The important message is to let local sellers know that buyers are still active. Since the New Year, despite the lockdown and ongoing restrictions, we have successfully sold or sale-agreed a good number of properties.”
Through the use of technology and property videos, the team at Kinsella Estates have successfully agreed sales on properties in Arklow, Gorey, Riverchapel and Courtown over the past four weeks. While one of these homes went to a buyer who had viewed it prior to the current restrictions, according to Michael, the rest of the intending buyers will view in-person prior to contracts being signed, as set out by the new industry guidelines.
Full property listings available through www.kinsellaestates.ie
For your FREE, no obligation, valuation in the South Wicklow and North Wexford area, call into one of our offices (located in Carnew and Gorey) and chat to any of our expert team or you can contact us online atwww.KinsellaEstates.ie. We are happy to facilitate overseas buyers and sellers via Skype or similar, outside of regular office hours. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: +353 53 94 21718