PEOPLE ARE LOOKING TO MOVE TO MAYO Catherine McConnell, Director of Services at Mayo County Council. Pic: Alison Laredo
National survey shows huge interest in Mayo property
Anton McNulty and Oisín McGovern
Houses prices in Mayo have grown at a rate of 4.2 percent – the fastest rate of growth of any county in Ireland, a new property survey has shown.
The Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average House Price Survey found that the price of the average three-bed semi-detached house in Mayo rose this quarter by 4.2 percent to €160,000, while the average time taken to sell across the county fell over the past three months from 13 weeks to nine.
The national house price study showed that the 4.2 percent price increase in Mayo far exceeded price increases in other counties with Donegal the closest with a 2.5 percent increase.
Robert McGreal of REA McGreal Burke, Castlebar and Westport, explained that the price increase indicated an appetite for moving to Mayo in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“While supply has remained relatively static, demand has increased and in particular for properties with home-office potential, such as properties with a large attic, garage or garden suitable for extension.
“Home office potential has certainly added value to some properties which prior to Covid-19 were less attractive to the family market,” Mr McGreal explained, adding that Westport is a location in ‘high demand’, alongside Castlebar, which is ‘a very resilient market’.
Quality of life
Mayo County Council’s Director of Services, Catherine McConnell described the price increases as ‘good news’ for the county as it indicated that people were looking to move to the county.
“People are looking to move to their home county. Of all the counties, Mayo had a 4.2 percent increased where most counties had zero or a 0.5 percent increase,” she told members at yesterday’s (Monday) Economic Development Strategic Policy Committee meeting.
“That tells you something about the quality of life people see in Mayo and the desire for people to move back to where they’ve come from. Our towns and villages are facing a challenge, but I think towns and villages in counties like Mayo could be those who have the greatest opportunity going forward to position themselves as a place for people to live and work.”
Ms McConnell was speaking ahead of a presentation on the draft of the County Development Plan and said that the proposed county development plan would endeavour to make the county a more attractive place for people to live and work.
Cllr Al McDonnell praised the cooperation between county councillors and the senior executive council staff in drafting the plan.
The Fianna Fáil councillor said: “I think this is my seventh county development plan and for the first time there has been meaningful dialogue between the executive and the elected members, pre-draft.”
Cllr McDonnell claimed that councillors had no input into the drafting of previous development plans which he said were influenced by ‘totally anti-rural’ national policy.
The Moorehall native added that the Covid-19 pandemic showed that it was ‘no longer desirable to herd people into concentrated urban centres’ and that the development plan should be free of ‘anti-rural bias’.
Cllr Jarlath Munnelly said it is important that the council prioritise the interconnectivity of the smaller ‘Tier 2’ and ‘Tier 3’ towns designated in the development plan.