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Auction prices for family homes were ‘way below’ sellers’ expectations



Colm O’Donnellan.

New Central Bank requirements for a 20% deposit appear to be having a significant ‘cooling’ effect on residential sales in Galway.

The rule – which does not affect first-time buyers – is one to watch, local auctioneer Colm O’Donnellan said, following a major auction at the weekend.

“There’s no question about it, now that ‘pre-approved’ mortgages have expired and the new rules are in effect, it is having an impact on the market,” he told Tribune Property.

Larger homes – for which there is generally significant demand in Galway City – sold for less than expected.

And first-time buyers were notable by their absence from the auction, which saw more than €3 million worth of residential and commercial properties sold.

However, there was a good turnout at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction on Friday from cash buyers, although they were “slow to part with their money”.

The biggest residential sale on the day was a four-bed detached property in Knocknacarra, which achieved just under the €500,000 mark.

Mr O’Donnellan said: “It was the buyers’ day, because they were getting incredible value for money. A number of the buyers there were finding that family houses – which normally there’s huge demand for – there was a number of them that went way below expectations.

“Investors were also out, but a lot slower to part with their money than they have been at previous auctions.

“We found a lot of properties being sold just above the AMVs (Advised Minimum Values).

“Some of the sellers are going to be very disappointed, but the buyers will certainly be delighted with this auction.

“The demand for quality family homes remains very high in Galway city and county due to the popularity of the location and the lack of building in recent years. We had some stunning properties in fantastic addresses achieving great prices today,” said Mr O’Donnellan.

19 lots sold at the auction, while negotiations are continuing on five more (which failed to reach their reserve price) which are expected to be completed this week.

Properties close to the city centre included a two-bed apartment at Sáilín in Wellpark close to the G Hotel, which sold for €179,000, while a three-bed terraced house within walking distance of Eyre Square at Bohermore sold for €90,000.

A three-bed end-of-terrace house in Mervue, close to GMIT, sold for €162,000.

Other properties included a four-bed detached house at Westbrook for €375,000; and in the village of Barna, a four/six bed bungalow set in beautiful mature gardens at Forramoyle West, sold for €440,000.

Connacht Tribune

New President for Local Ireland



Left to right, Bob Hughes, Executive Director, Local Ireland, Dan Linehan, Head of Irish Times Regionals and Declan McGuire, Operations Manager of the Connacht Tribune.

The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.

Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.

Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”

Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.

He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.

Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.

Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.

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Connacht Tribune

Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region



Pictured at Regional Insight Series in the Galmont Hotel are: Trevor O’Rourke, (CEO, Fibre Networks Ireland); Senan Colleran, (Head ESB Assets, Generation & Trading, ESB); Eilish O'Sullivan, (Human Resources Director, Medtronic); Danny McCoy, (CEO, Ibec); Helen Leahy, (Head of Regional Policy, Ibec); Ruairi Conroy (Diligent Corporation) and Fergal O’Brien, (Executive Director of Lobbying & Influence, Ibec). PHOTO: Michael Dillon.

The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.

At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.

Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.

“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.

“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.

Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:

  • Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
  • Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
  • Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
  • Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
  • Investment in people and skills
  • Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
  • Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth




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Connacht Tribune

Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless



Conor Quirke of BOI Payment Acceptance: move to card payments.

One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.

In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.

Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.

Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.

Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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