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Waterford Property Watch Report – April 2021

Plenty of interesting reading recently about the property market and why now is not the time to buy property according to David Mc Williams.

Even the economic experts admit that they got it wrong over the last 12 months.  With record unemployment topping 20% and huge economic uncertainty with Covid they predicted that the property market would collapse.  I even remember one economist predicting a 60% fall in property prices last April.  Panic stations!

Right now reading the Daft.ie report they are saying there is a price surge of 7.6% nationally. Offaly and Kilkenny have topped the polls with price increases of 18%,

Now let’s put some meat on the bones here. These price surges that Daft refers to are in fact asking prices. That means that owners are asking more than this time last year and 2019.

When an agent values a property they are meant to provide market evidence and give comparable evidence of property sold.  Yes… sold, not on the market. Anyone can review the Property Price Register to see what prices were actually achieved for property when the sale closed.  Just google property price register and your location of choice to get the information. It’s not entirely satisfactory and as we agents would like it. Some data is missing along with key information such as house size and postcode, It is, however, the best evidence-based data we have access to right now in Ireland.

It is also important to remember that if the market overheats and a property goes sale agreed to a mortgage funded buyer they will need a bank valuation.  A bank valuer will have to provide evidence of market sales prices and if the bids are too high and the property sells substantially over the market value then the bank will not sanction the loan. This is often the reason sellers are happier to sell to a cash buyer. Cash buyers don’t have to get a bank valuation and can most often complete sales much quicker.

So what are we seeing in Liberty Blue in the market in Waterford City and County? We took a snapshot of 20 properties which we sale agreed and sold since January 1st 2021. Of twenty properties we have sale agreed and sold they achieved an average of 5% over the asking price. The average number of days these properties took to go sale agreed was 10 days from going to the market. 

So regardless of what the economists and Daft say, our first-hand experience is this is a seriously HOT market. When we say the average property listed sold or sale agreed for 5% over the guide price this is an average number.

Some properties took 5 days, some 10 days, some 16 days and one 30 days.  We feel it is very important to give a property a chance to reach as many people as possible and if you sale agree a property too quickly you just might miss out on a better offer. Also, properties that require a lot of work appeal to a smaller audience. A large proportion of buyers prefer to purchase properties that do not require a lot of work.  Many people find it hard to visualise how things could be.

So in my opinion, is now a good time to sell, yes it absolutely is. The supply of property available for sale is at an all-time low. The number of properties advertised today on daft is at an all-time low.  As of March 1st this year stock levels are down 40% on the same time last year and let’s face it last year was a complete frozen market.   

The Law of Scarcity simply states; if what we desire “appears” to be in limited supply, the perception of its value increases significantly. 

Is it a good time to buy, well every situation is different. There is always a trade-off.  If you need to move then do you rent and pay out for rent and wait and see what happens in the Waterford property market whilst eating into your savings. If you need to find a second family home because of a family breakup do you stay in a situation that is unworkable or do you move on with your life?  

So in summary the best time to buy is when you need to find a home or want to secure an investment property.  Waterford still represents excellent value. According to Daft the average price in Waterford City is €202,150 and almost €242,000 for Waterford County.  An 11.4% rise in the City in asking prices and a 6% rise in the County in asking prices.  Again asking and not sold.   

Right now, restrictions mean that as agents we are not allowed to show properties in person to buyers.  So how are we selling? At Liberty Blue, we are advertising the properties on the portals, Daft and myhome.ie and our Liberty Blue website.  We only use professional photography, and we also do 360 walkthrough tours. We do a Facebook live event for our properties which we promote on all of social media channels such as Linkedin, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.  We achieve on average 2,000 views within 24 hours and anything up to 20,000 over a period of a few weeks. People are bidding on properties via these virtual windows and once we go sale agreed and contracts are issued we are allowed to show the property to the prospective buyer.  A good agent will pre-qualify the buyer and so far we have had zero fall through in our sales this year. Honestly, did I think someone would offer close to €350,000 before ever stepping foot in the property, no I did not. Thankfully our investment in technology and social media over recent years has meant we could hit the ground running during COVID. Coming from a farming background, I totally get the phrase, “make hay while the sun shines”.

If we can help you, please do get in touch. We are always here to provide honest, straight-talking advice. 

Still need more property news and advice? then check out our latest property blogs here.

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