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€4 billion worth of property sold in Galway in a decade



This five-bed property in Lioscarraig on Threadneedle Road in Salthill sold for €1.45m.

More than €4 billion worth of homes were sold in Galway City and County over the past decade, according to the State’s official Property Price Register.

From January 2010 to December 2019, a total of 20,524 residential property transactions were registered here.

Last year alone, almost €620 million worth of homes were sold – the Property Price Register shows there was a slow-down in market activity in 2019 compared to the previous year, which saw the value of combined sales drop 3% and the volume of transactions drop more than 2%.

An analysis of official figures by the Galway City Tribune shows that up in 2019, there were a total of 2,593 property transactions in Galway City and County.

For comparison, in 2010 when the Price Register came into effect, there were 948 transactions, with a combined value of €211m – that means that in a decade, the number of transactions increased by almost 173%, while the value of sales almost trebled (up 192%).

In 2019, the total combined value of residential property sales was €619,929,382, down from €640,024,363 in 2018.

A ‘health warning’ comes with the figures in that the Property Price Register is compiled from data which is filed, for Stamp Duty purposes, with the Revenue Commissioners, and there can be delays before a transaction appears on the register.

Therefore, sales which were ‘closed’ in 2019, may not actually appear on the Register until 2020, while some late additions may be added to the 2019 Register.

The biggest single property sale of the year was a trophy Celtic Tiger home, Clarin House in Clarinbridge, at €2.2 million.

The luxury five-bed house was built in 2005 for €3m and previously failed to sell in 2012 at a price tag of €2.3m.

The 7,400 square foot house is set on 7.5 acres and boasts its own tennis court and floodlit football pitch, sports room, cinema room, bar, stables, paddock and outdoor sunken hot tub

Clarin House was also jointly the most expensive residential property sold in the last decade. Tulira Castle in Ardrahan was sold for the same price of €2.2m (the sale of land was purchased separately in that deal).

Close to Blackrock in Salthill, 4 Seamount sold for €2m. The large 1970s five-bed detached property stands on a quarter-of-an-acre and overlooks Salthill Promenade.

Seamount, Salthill: one of the biggest sales recorded on the Property Price Register in Galway last year at €2m.

Nearby, Number 13 Lioscarrig on Threadneedle Road is a five-bed detached home on around two-thirds of an acre. It sold for €1.45m.

In Clifden, the Old Rectory, which was built by town founder John Darcy in 1856, sold for €1.08m.

In total, there were 15 sales which exceeded the €1m mark – six of which were multi-unit residential sales.

The biggest property transaction in 2019 was 12 Racecourse Hill in Clifden, listed at more than €3.2m, suggesting it was a portfolio of a number of the two and three-bed houses in the estate. A portfolio of 14 homes in the estate sold in 2015 for €750,000.

A property at An Móinéar, Murrough, Renmore, in the city is listed as having sold at €3.2m – however, this is a new development of 20 homes behind the Garda HQ which is being run by the housing agency Clúid and would not represent the full open market value of the properties.

Numbers 1-6 Radharc na Gréine on the Monivea Road sold for €2.38m, while numbers 7-14 sold for €2.4m. These are also part of a social housing development.

In Salthill, a development of eight apartments, Marine View, on Quincentennial Drive, sold for €2.2m. Plans have already been lodged with Galway City Council for the demolition of the two apartment blocks and their replacement with 19 apartments specifically for short-term letting.

The cheapest property sale recorded in Galway in the first half of this year was at Tonroe, Oranmore, for €6,000.

The Property Price Register figures show that since 2010, the volume of sales being recorded in Galway – and their total value – decreased, before embarking on a significant upward trend.

In 2010, there were 948 sales registered in Galway, with a total value of almost €211.7m.

The comparative figures the following year were varied; the volume of sales was 956 (up less than 1%), while the value was €186.9m (down 11.7%).

In 2012, the value of sales was up around 4% to €194.3m and there was a 22.5% increase in the volume of sales from 956 to 1,171.

There was a subsequent massive jump in total values and volumes the following year – up 35% to 1,585 and up 27% to €248m.

Between 2013 and 2014, the volume of sales was up 53% from 1,585 to 2,428, while the total value was up 52% to €377.9m.

In 2015, there were 2,830 transactions with a total value of €477m, while in 2017, there were 2,783 transactions with a total value of €587m.

From 2017 to 2018, the volume of sales dropped from 2,783 to 2,654 (-4.6%), while the combined sales values increased by 9% from €587m to €640m.


Galway ‘masterplan’ needed to tackle housing and transport crises



From the Galway City Tribune – An impassioned plea for a ‘masterplan’ that would guide Galway City into the future has been made in the Dáil. Galway West TD Catherine Connolly stated this week that there needed to be an all-inclusive approach with “vision and leadership” in order to build a sustainable city.

Deputy Connolly spoke at length at the crisis surrounding traffic and housing in Galway city and said that not all of the blame could be laid at the door of the local authority.

She said that her preference would be the provision of light rail as the main form of public transport, but that this would have to be driven by the government.

“I sat on the local council for 17 years and despaired at all of the solutions going down one road, metaphorically and literally. In 2005 we put Park & Ride into the development plan, but that has not been rolled out. A 2016 transport strategy was outdated at the time and still has not been updated.

“Due to the housing crisis in the city, a task force was set up in 2019. Not a single report or analysis has been published on the cause of the crisis,” added Deputy Connolly.

She then referred to a report from the Land Development Agency (LDA) that identified lands suitable for the provision of housing. But she said that two-thirds of these had significant problems and a large portion was in Merlin Park University Hospital which, she said, would never have housing built on it.

In response, Minister Simon Harris spoke of the continuing job investment in the city and also in higher education, which is his portfolio.

But turning his attention to traffic congestion, he accepted that there were “real issues” when it came to transport, mobility and accessibility around Galway.

“We share the view that we need a Park & Ride facility and I understand there are also Bus Connects plans.

“I also suggest that the City Council reflect on her comments. I am proud to be in a Government that is providing unparalleled levels of investment to local authorities and unparalleled opportunities for local authorities to draw down,” he said.

Then Minister Harris referred to the controversial Galway City Outer Ring Road which he said was “struck down by An Bord Pleanála”, despite a lot of energy having been put into that project.

However, Deputy Connolly picked up on this and pointed out that An Bord Pleanála did not say ‘No’ to the ring road.

“The High Court said ‘No’ to the ring road because An Bord Pleanála acknowledged it failed utterly to consider climate change and our climate change obligations.

“That tells us something about An Bord Pleanála and the management that submitted such a plan.”

In the end, Minister Harris agreed that there needed to be a masterplan for Galway City.

“I suggest it is for the local authority to come up with a vision and then work with the Government to try to fund and implement that.”

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Official opening of Galway’s new pedestrian and cycle bridge



The new Salmon Weir pedestrian and cycle bridge will be officially opened to the public next Friday, May 26.

Work on the €10 million bridge got underway in April 2022, before the main structure was hoisted into place in early December.

A lunchtime tape-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, as the first pedestrians and cyclists traverse the as-yet-unnamed bridge.

The Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, previously said the bridge, once opened, would remove existing conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and traffic “as well as facilitating the Cross-City Link public transport corridor over the existing 200-year-old bridge”.

The naming of the new bridge has been under discussion by the Council’s Civic Commemorations Committee since late last year.

One name that has been in the mix for some time is that of the first woman in Europe to graduate with an engineering degree – Alice Perry.

Ms Perry, who was from Wellpark, graduated from Queen’s College Galway (now University of Galway) in 1906. The university’s engineering building is named in her honour.

The bridge was built by Jons Civil Engineering firm in County Meath and was assembled off-site before being transported to Galway. Funding for the project was provided in full by the National Transport Authority and the European Regional Development Fund.

(Photo: Sheila Gallagher captured the city’s new pedestrian footbridge being raised on the south side of the Salmon Weir Bridge in December. It will officially open next Friday, May 26).

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Minister branded ‘a disgrace’ for reversing land rezoning in Galway City



From the Galway City Tribune – Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell was labelled a “disgrace” for overturning councillors’ decisions to rezone land in the new City Development Plan.

Minister O’Donnell (pictured) confirmed in a letter to Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath last week that he was reversing 25 material alternations made by councillors to the CDP 2023-29. He made the decision on the advice of Office of Planning Regulator (OPR).

Minister O’Donnell directed that 14 land parcels that were subject to land-use zoning changes by councillors as part of the Material Alterations to the Draft CDP should be reversed.

He directed that a further 11 land parcels in the city should become “unzoned”.

The Minister found that the CDP had not been made in a manner consistent with recommendations of the OPR, which required specific changes to the plan to ensure consistency with the national planning laws and guidelines.

At last week’s Council meeting Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) asked for clarity on the process by which councillors could rezone the lands that had been changed by the Minister’s direction.

Cllr Declan McDonnell said, “What he [Minister O’Donnell] has done is an absolute disgrace”.

And he asked: “Do we have to have another development plan meeting to deal with it?”

Both Cllrs Hoare and McDonnell wondered what would become of the lands that were rezoned or unzoned by the ministerial direction.

Mr McGrath said the Council had put forward an argument in favour of retaining the material alterations in the plan, but ultimately the Minister sided with OPR.

He said if councillors want to make alterations to the new plan, they could go through the process of making a material alteration but this was lengthy.

The Save Roscam Peninsula campaign welcomed the Minister’s decision.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, it said the direction would mean the Roscam village area on the Roscam Peninsula will be unzoned and a number of land parcels would revert back to agriculture/high amenity.

A spokesperson for the campaign said: “the material alterations made by city councillors following lobbying by developers continued the long-standing practice of councillors facilitating a developer-led plan rather than an evidence- and policy-based plan that meets the needs of the city.

“The Minister’s direction is an important step in restoring confidence in the planning system. It is clear from the City Council’s own evidence on future housing projections that there was no requirement to zone these lands for residential purposes in order to meet the needs of the targeted population increase up to 2029,” the spokesperson added.

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