Mayo auctioneers are reporting a surge in sales and inquiries from people looking to relocate to the West.
The remote working trend is seeing more couples and families seizing the opportunity to escape from Dublin and other cities and make the move to Mayo.
“Around 10% to 15% of our queries in recent months have been from people who have moved back or who are considering moving back. They can now work remotely and are looking to buy. That’s been over the last three to four months,” said Liam Brady of Ballina-based Property Partners Garrett Loftus.
The auctioneering firm has sold four homes in the last 12 weeks to people who have decided to leave cities. Young couples looking for more space, greater bang for their buck, and a different standard of living are attracted to the prospect of upping sticks and settling in the west of Ireland.
“A lot of the people we see would be young couples who have been working in Dublin and they now have the chance to work from home because they have jobs where they can do that. I know another couple who are selling their house in Dublin and they will be able to by a far more substantial house down here than they would be able to get in Dublin,” said Mr Brady.
He said those looking to move to Ballina have links with the area and are anxious to return.
“They are looking in the town and in a three to four-mile radius around the town. There is definitely a trend that wasn’t here prior to Covid-19. People want to move back for a better standard of living and more space.
“We don’t know how long this pandemic is going to be with us and that is influencing people’s decisions. They want space and don’t want to be cooped up in apartments,” said Mr Brady.
The trend is already having an impact on property prices in the county.
“Property prices have gone up nearly 5% in Mayo according to a recent report. There is a lot more demand. In the last six months, we have been extremely busy. We thought it would be the opposite and we would get very quiet and there would be a recession in terms of property. But any property we have is now selling in a matter of weeks and we don’t have enough property to meet demand,” said Mr Brady.
The shift is being replicated elsewhere in the county. Westport auctioneer Gerard O’Toole, from Tuohy and O’Toole, has also seen a number of sales to this new cohort in recent weeks. They are seeing a mixture of young and middleaged professionals anxious to settle in the west. However, he said it is too early to say if this is a ‘short-term’ trend or one that may continue into 2021.
Castlebar auctioneer Brian Moran is reporting a similar story in the county town. He said Brexit and Covid-19 are also seeing UK buyers taking a greater interest in a move to Mayo