Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Covid-19 lockdown has convinced many city-dwellers to look west where they can work remotely and have a connection to nature in areas such as Ballina, says Nuala Feeney. Picture: John O’Grady

A Ballina-based estate agent is predicting a big increase in demand for housing locally and in Mayo and Sligo in the coming months.

A surge in the practice of remote working following the Covid-19 lockdown together with the county’s excellent quality of life and highly affordable property prices will make places like Ballina more desirable than ever for home-buyers, according to Nuala Feeney of Sherry Fitzgerald Feeney West auctioneers.

Ms Feeney says inquiries from remote workers seeking to relocate from cities like Dublin had been slowly increasing anyway in recent years but will likely surge in the coming months as more and more companies adopt more flexible working arrangements for their employees.

The auctioneer told the Western People that experiencing the Covid-19 lockdown in a city-based apartment that may not even have a garden has convinced lots of potential property buyers of the need for a more spacious home where they can remote work and have a connection to nature.

The location and affordability of properties in Mayo and Sligo make the counties highly appealing.

Many of those inquiring about buying properties locally already have family connections in the area and are attracted by the prospect of being closer to home and by the availability of great schools and childcare for their families as well as the great quality of life.

Ms Feeney and her team were able to operate virtually during the lockdown and sold a number of properties.

“We were quite busy with inquiries and people bidding on properties,” she said. “But supply is short and we would like more houses to sell because we have the buyers but not enough houses.”

The growing interest she is experiencing prompted her to write to homeowners last week offering the services of her team to anyone with plans to buy or sell.

“For some people with families, big city life may have lost its logic and we have a growing number of inquiries through the Sherry Fitzgerald network from people looking to join us, living in Mayo or Sligo,” she wrote.

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