‘Roscommon benefits from the silver lining of remote working’

The housing market proved to be particularly resilient with County Roscommon benefitting from a small silver lining of Covid-19 with many remote workers anxious to relocate to rural counties.

That’s according to Padraig Burke of Sherry FitzGerald P. Burke, who is looking ahead to a Covid-free future and the arrival of a much-awaited vaccine in 2021 which he believes will lead to increased consumer confidence.

“There is no doubt that 2020 was a very difficult and challenging year for people, both on a personal and business level, but it is remarkable that the housing market proved to be resilient in terms of both demand and house prices and we are looking forward to finishing strongly in the last quarter.

“We also have to take positivity from the fact that a Covid vaccine is on the horizon in 2021 and this will lead to increased consumer confidence and a brighter future for us all,” said Mr. Burke.

Sherry FitzGerald has clocked up over 17,000 property transactions so far this year with over 8,000 homes sold nationally which is no mean feat in the year of a worldwide pandemic. Figures show that over a quarter of all offers were registered on the popular My Sherry Fitz app with 20,500 buyers now registered on the app. Indeed, ‘My Sherry Fitz’ has proved particularly popular during lockdowns this year as it was possible to host virtual viewings for many property transactions.

  1. Burke is a man with his finger on the property pulse as the veteran auctioneer has witnessed many slumps and hikes in the market over the course of his career but even he could never have foreseen the year of 2020.

“The first lockdown slowed everything down and many people found themselves out of work and on PUP payments which in turn held up their mortgage applications but once things began to open up again in June, there was a lift in demand for property and we are hoping to finish quite strongly in the last quarter.

“Indeed the Daft.ie House Price Report shows that while house prices fell by 2% nationwide in the second quarter of the year, in the third quarter, prices rose by an average of 4.8% in just three months which was remarkable,” said Mr. Burke.

There are several interesting factors at play for this remarkable resilience in the property market according to Padraig.

“People who were lucky enough to remain working found themselves with an increase in household savings which had an impact on property prices. Buyer intent also remained strong, as Covid seemed to reinforce the importance of home ownership and the market held steady.

“Remote working also allowed many young couples and families to relocate out of urban areas like Dublin as they were able to say goodbye to huge rents and childcare costs and the option of owning a home in rural Ireland was now a reality for them.

“County Roscommon also has one of the lowest average property values in the country with the average property value in Castlerea just €96,000 for example.

“Co. Roscommon really is such an attractive place to live and work and so many young families were delighted to have the chance to relocate back here. Broadband is improving all the time and high-speed broadband should be a reality here by the middle of next year so the property market in Roscommon benefitted from these silver linings of Covid,” explained P. Burke.

Padraig is joined in the business by his wife Bernie and the couple paid tribute to their hard-working staff Nicola Beirne and David Flynn, whose commitment and effort had helped to ensure that the business managed to hold steady through the difficult year of 2020.

“We will finish strongly in the last quarter and I am looking forward to a Covid-free 2021 and the arrival of the vaccine which will bring a better and brighter future for us all,” concluded P. Burke.