14 Aug 2022

Data shows homebuyers turning to Offaly more and more

Data shows homebuyers turning to Offaly more and more

Data shows homebuyers turning to Offaly more and more

Irish homebuyers are increasingly looking to Offaly when purchasing homes, according to new analysis by ICS Mortgages of mortgages drawn down by their customers in the past five quarters.

The seismic impact of Covid-19, Government support for remote working - including a commitment for home and remote working to be the norm for 20% of the public sector employees - and increased affordability outside the capital, are potential explanations for this noticeable trend in owner-occupier mortgage drawdowns.

ICS Mortgages data shows that in Q1 2020, almost half of its mortgage drawdowns (46%) were for properties in Dublin, twelve months later in Q1 2021, this figure is down to one in three (33%). 

ICS Mortgages are also reporting significantly increased volumes of mortgage drawdowns across the rest of the country; with (rest of) Leinster overtaking Dublin to become the most popular location (34%) for drawdowns in the first quarter of 2021. ICS Mortgages is seeing substantial increases in drawdown activity in Ulster and Connacht, albeit from a lower base. In Munster, drawdowns are up 15% from Q4 2020 to Q1 2021.

ICS Mortgages, the only fully Irish-owned non-bank lender, predicts that the reality of employer-supported remote working has created a new dynamic in home purchasing. It offers a specialist Public Sector mortgage which takes career earnings into account by assessing income two points up from the applicant’s current pay scale. Due to significant demand for this new product, it is hosting a free webinar on Public Sector Mortgages next Wednesday, May 12, to answer any questions first-time buyers and movers and switchers in the public service may have.

According to Ray McMahon, Chief Commercial Officer at ICS Mortgages, with in-person viewings of properties due to recommence from next Monday, May 10th, the specialist lender is already experiencing a significant increase in mortgage inquiries directly and through its broker network.

“Our owner-occupier mortgage drawdowns are up significantly year-on-year right across the country, but what is most noticeable is the shift in the location of properties on which mortgages have been drawn down.

“Fundamentally, 12 months into the great remote working experiment, there is now an acceptance that having to show up to the office in the centre of Dublin – or other major urban centres – at 9am every single working day is not what the future of work looks like. A hybrid model – sometimes working in the office/sometimes working at home – seems the most likely option for most businesses and workers. Because of this, many people are now looking further afield from the office than they would previously for homes.

“This is particularly true in the Public Sector, where the Government’s commitment to 20% remote working in the recently announced National Remote Working Strategy is prompting many of Ireland’s 320,000 public sector employees to look again at their home location options”.

“We are already seeing these trends play out in our mortgage drawdowns, and we expect this to continue, potentially even accelerate, as we progress through 2021.

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