Two local auctioneers have said that house prices have risen substantially in Laois over the last year.
The 2014 Year in Review House Price Report released this week by property website, Daft.ie said house prices in Laois were 3% higher than at the end of last year, with the average house price now around €89,000.
However, Portarlington auctioneer, Matt Dunne, said that the capital gains exemption deadline generated more of a market towards the end of last year.
“The Capital Gains Tax exexemption brought investors back into the market, they bought anything cheap,” Mr Dunne said.
For any investor who bought before the end of 2014, if they hold on to the property for seven years they don’t pay captial gains tax.
“It was the best year we had for six years,” Mr Dunne claimed, “my house prices went up by around 10-12%. Three-bed semis are now selling for €100,000, up from €85,000.”
The Port auctioneer said the cost of commuting was putting people off buying outside Dublin.
“We sold five houses to commuters last year compared to 200 in the boom. Dublin is not moving because of the cost of commuting.”
While, John Dunne from Hume Auctioneers in Market Square, Portlaoise, said house prices were rising due to lack of supply.
“House prices have risen substantially over the last twelve months and I would expect that to continue this year, as there is a lack of supply of houses at the minute.”
Mr Dunne said he sold two good development sites before Christmas and expected these to be ready by the later end of this year, early next year.
“The problem is that you would have to be selling those houses for €180,000 to make money. The new building regulations are so strict, it has put the cost of building new houses sky high.
However, he said it was hard to call whether people would be prepared to pay a premium price for these houses.
“It is hard to call, but personally I think houses are still too cheap. Affordability is still good, but people are finding it difficult to get the finance.
“There is still a hangover from the property crash. If there were more jobs and job stability people would be prepared to pay more,” he added.