Seamus Browne is Managing Director of REA Seamus Browne in Roscrea and was elected to the position during the Alliance’s virtual AGM last week. REA is Ireland’s leading property group of Chartered Surveyors with over 55 branches nationwide, comprising many of the country’s longest-established auctioneers and estate agents.
According to Mr Browne, Ireland’s second lockdown has failed to dampen the soaring demand for property – as many homes on the market are moving to sale agreed within a month.
New industry protocols that require potential viewers to produce proof of funds have all but eliminated those with no intention of buying and significantly speeded up the sales process, Real Estate Alliance’s online AGM has been told.
“We have not seen demand so active at this time of year in recent history,” said Mr Browne.
“Low supply and highly motivated-buyers are driving time taken to sell under four weeks across the country.
“Normally you might not encourage vendors to come to the market in November, but there are so many mortgage approved and cash buyers out there that we feel it is a superb time to sell.
“Our agents nationwide confirm that supply, and not restrictions, is the major issue as a stream of city workers move back to their native counties, where they can work from home.
“Demand is coming primarily from first-time buyers, cash buyers moving home from overseas and those moving around Ireland.
“Some of our agents are reporting that they have twice as many properties in the sale agreed category than those actively for sale – and that there is a lack of supply of good quality, family homes.
“Confidence has returned to the market, aided by new technology such as virtual viewings and our online sales platform BidNow.ie which has enabled agents to meet this demand during the latest lockdown.
“Physical viewings are so important but virtual 3D tours are great to see if people are genuinely interested. It is a super marketing tool to reduce potential time wasters.”
REA spokesperson Barry McDonald said that despite the availability of virtual viewings, most serious buyers still want to physically inspect a property.
“I don’t think we’ve sold any properties to people who haven’t come to see it themselves,” he said.
REA have also described farm sales as buoyant, with one recent sale of 86 acres fetching €1.7million – or €20,000 per acre.