herald

Sunday 19 November 2017

Soaring house prices are forcing young Dubs to quit capital and head to Meath

Paddy and Maria Kelly. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Paddy and Maria Kelly. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The lack of affordable homes in Dublin is forcing families out of the capital, according to a new study.

The study, based on the Property Price Register, shows the number of sales nationally has increased by 8.4pc in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year.

However, the rise in sales and values in the commuter belt is described as the "standout feature" in this study.

Value

According to Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie, the website that carried out the study, this indicates the lack of supply of affordable houses is "pushing buyers out of Dublin".

"We can see the number of sales in Meath is up 43pc while the value of transactions is up 47pc. In Wicklow, sales are up 21pc while values are up 25pc.

"The downside of this trend and something which has been highlighted in recent reports is the increase in commuting times for people working in Dublin," she said.

Dubliner Kelly Fitzsimons and her partner Mark McConnell said they would move from Swords tomorrow if it was possible.

The couple and their seven-year-old daughter were viewing showhomes in Cois na Mara, Bettystown, Meath, yesterday.

A four-bed house in the estate was priced at €280,000, while a three-bedroom home cost €257,500.

"We're living in Swords and are paying €1,600 for rent and are finding it impossible to save for a house or apartment," said Mr McConnell.

Mark McConnell with his partner Kelly Fitzsimons and her daughter Ella May Melia (7). Photo: Steve Humphreys
Mark McConnell with his partner Kelly Fitzsimons and her daughter Ella May Melia (7). Photo: Steve Humphreys

"Rents are rising all the time in the capital and even the slightest increases could cripple families.

"Two-bedroom apartments in Swords are going for €200,000 at the moment, which is ridiculous compared to the type of accommodation you can get outside Dublin."

Ms Fitzsimons said she wants to do nothing else but settle down once and for all.

"We could try and save for the next eight years to buy a place in Swords, but we really just need somewhere to settle down with our daughter.

"The commute isn't the worst. I sit in traffic for 45 minutes each morning to get to Blanch each day so another 40 minutes on top won't make much difference," she said.

Dubliners Paddy and Maria Kelly recently put down a deposit on one of the three-bedroom homes in Cois na Mara after a six-month search.

Expensive

"We've been renting in Malahide for the past five years and although we would love to buy a house there it is just too expensive," he said.

"We're both working full time and were originally looking in a couple of locations around Dublin, but it's not realistic.

"The cost difference commuting to our jobs each day won't hit us nearly as badly as trying to live in the capital. It will be a bit of a nuisance, but worth it in the long run."

Malahide local Yogesh Kashyap said he can't understand how anyone could afford a home in Dublin.

The taxi driver, his wife and two-year-old son have been renting since 2006 and feel buying a property is unrealistic.

"My son, who will be three in November, will be starting school in a few years so it makes sense to try and settle down," he added.

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