Inishowen housing market ‘still volatile’

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A house in Muff had a reserve price of 65,000 euro but sold for 90,000 while a house in Killea, needing about 20k. of work done, sold for 65,000.

A house in Muff had a reserve price of 65,000 euro but sold for 90,000 while a house in Killea, needing about 20k. of work done, sold for 65,000.

This is the confused picture of the housing market in the peninsula, according to leading estate agent Henry McCahey, of Boyce Gallagher, who says there had been a detectable change in house sale patterns in recent times.

He told the ‘Journal’:“Housing stock in good areas is wearing thin so sales in this sector are drying up. Houses in ‘top’ areas are not coming on the market because the owners are refusing to sell for less than they think they are worth; those who can afford it are willing to wait until the market improves - no matter how long it takes.”

Mr McCahey, who is Letterkenny based, said the reality for householders in some Inishowen estates is that their houses simply will not sell under any circumstances.

He said: “All the recent publicity right across the country about houses selling for 30/40,000 euro relates to housing estates where they can’t give the houses away. A lot of these are houses in ‘ghost estates’ or half finished estates and nobody is willing to risk buying there.”

And Mr McCahey urged a bit of caution when it came to a ‘bargain’: “A lot of houses sold in what are ‘distressed sales’ are not quite the bargains they often appear to be. A lot of them need considerable amount of physical work done to finish them off, and in some cases the legal situation can be far from clear.

“It makes a great news story on occasion to say a house sold for 60 per cent less than its original value but that is often a false picture.”

Stating that he had been involved in a number of sales in Inishowen in recent times Mr. McCahey said there was ‘some movement at a low level’ in the market but added claims by the banks they were lending money to help the market were ‘simply not true’.

“Compared to the peak of the housing market they are lending only a fraction. On top of that now the red tape is horrendous.

“Only when the banks start lending will the market recover. So far there is no sign of that.”