Longford property market facing chronic ‘undersupply’

Longford’s property market is struggling with a chronic shortage of suitable properties to buy or rent, it was claimed this week.

This is despite the latest figures showing that Longford currently has the lowest house prices in the country.

Local auctioneer Padraic Davis said anything about the affordability of home prices locally, the buying and selling market was in poor health.

“The market is good right now with more customers getting their mortgages approved.”

Mr Davis alluded to how the country’s re-emergence after nearly two years of coronavirus restrictions has played its part in supporting the county’s property market as a whole.

“The biggest impact is undoubtedly the willingness to work from home,” he said.

“We (Longford) benefited greatly from that.”

The Drumlish native said that, but for a shortage of suitable units, Longford’s property sector would be in better shape.

A sharp rise in the cost of building materials along with the associated inflationary demands is just one of the main reasons for the lack of housing in and outside of Longford’s main urban centres.

Surveyors also warn that the full impact of the war in Ukraine has yet to be fully assessed.

Ministers would be urged to push capital spending and consider measures to support the construction sector amid growing concerns over building costs and the impact on homebuyers.

Likewise, politicians are warned to start construction work as soon as possible on major projects or face much more in the future.

Mr Davis said the rapid turnaround times when a property comes up for sale and changes hands were also indicative of the problems being felt by the county’s rental market.

“The market is very frustrating,” he added.

A quick look at properties for rent on Daft.ie on Monday showed just seven units for rent across the county.

Mr Davis said the scarcity is even pushing some couples and young renters to shake hands on homes that don’t necessarily meet their own family needs.

“Rents are historically high and some weeks there might only be two or three properties to rent,” he said.

“What happens is you see people walk into a property that maybe isn’t what they want, but they (the properties) are taken because they don’t have a lot of choice.”