Thursday, October 26, 2006

Growing Population Filling New Houses

A new report was released yesterday from AIB on the current state of the property market. The report expects a slowdown in the rate of price increases and sees a soft landing ahead. The chart below shows up some interesting data for the Longford region. It shows the ratio of house completions to population. Despite all the building in the county the ratio is declining as the population increases to fill up new houses. Fears of overbuilding in Longford due to tax incentives appear to be unfounded and the trend in the chart is very positive for the local market.

Friday, October 13, 2006

New Prison Service Building Under Way

The new Prison Service HQ is well on the way. It is located just outside Longford town near the N4 and is due to open in the first quarter of 2007. About 160 civil servants will be relocating to Longford.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Medical Centre for Longford

Gemini Irish Healthcare Services has applied for planning permission for a medical clinic and sheltered housing scheme on lands next to Ardnacassagh House in Co Longford.

The three-storey clinic, on land which is currently zoned residential/commercial, would include three operating theatres, 24 recovery rooms, 13 diagnostic suites and a postoperative convalescent care wing with 40 long-term bedrooms.

The application also includes a pharmacy and retail medical centre and a beauty salon.

The residential development would consist of 43 single-storey terraced houses for ‘‘semi-independent living’’, including 12 two-bedroom houses. There will also be a community centre and landscaping to include children’s playgrounds and water features.

Separately, Patrick Mollaghan Homes has applied for planning permission for a residential development of 126 detached, semi-detached and terraced houses on adjoining land.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Ardagh Local Area Plan Adopted

The Ardagh draft local area plan for 2006-2012 has been adopted and is now available for viewing at the Longford County Council website. The plan calls for protection of Ardagh's heritage area and any future development will take place outside the immediate village.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

House Completions Show Strong Growth

House completions in County Longford are up 36% for the first seven months of the year. In 2006, 665 house were completed compared to 487 for the same period last year. New planning notices are up 58% to 609 from 386 last year. Demand remains strong with a large number of buyers coming in from the greater Dublin area.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

10% growth in Longford Population in Four Years

The population of County Longford has taken a major jump since 2002. Figures released today from the CSO show that 34,361 people are currently living in the county. This is an increase of 3,393 over the 2002 figures. The strong growth will come as no surprise to locals who see the demand for housing and retail throughout the county. Longford town grew to 7,612, an increase of 11.4%. The fastest growing town in the county is Edgeworthstown with a huge increase of 40% making it one of the fastest growing towns in the country. Most of the increase comes from net migration rather than an increase in births. Given the amount of construction throughout the county, the increase will be even more dramatic in the next four years. The figures are still well short of the 1926 figure of 39,847 but we should hit it by 2010. Full details are available at the CSO website.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Courthouse Restoration Complete

Longford Courthouse is ready to open following a long renovation project. The courthouse was built in 1791 and replaced an older one in the Market Square. Official opening will be by the Minister for Justice in August.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Shopping Centre For Richmond St.

A major shopping centre scheme is in the pipeline for Longford town where CFO Construction is seeking permission to transform the old disused creamery buildings/agricultural sheds at Richmond St, Longford into a new retail magnet.

The proposed three storey complex will have a gross floor area of 16,433 sq m gross on a site of just under five acres. The proposed new centre will include a 5,563 sq m anchor (3000 sq m convenience and 2563 sq m comparison) plus 14 retail units.

There will be an enclosed mall area alongside a first floor foodhall, restaurant, medical clinic, creche and 419 car parking spaces. A link road between Connaught Road and Little Water Street is part of the plan.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ten Year Returns in Longford of 216%

A new report from Permanent TSB/ESRI shows Longford house prices have increased 271% since 1996. The average price in 1996 was €67,986 and to day is €214,527. Prices nationwide have increased 14.9% annually in the last ten years. Despite the increase in prices, affordability of houses has remained steady since 1998 as incomes have kept pace with inflation. Another change in our area is the average increase in house sizes from 1,200 sq. ft. in 1996 to over 1,400 today. The full report is available at the Permanent website.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Shopping Centre Opens

Friday sees the official launch of Longford's newest shopping centre. Supervalu are the anchor tenant and there will be several other stores on the lower level. The site has ample parking and easy access of the N63.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Edgeworthstown bypass is opened

A 3km stretch of road bypassing Edgeworthstown in Co Longford has been opened.
The new road, which cost almost €15 million to construct, took just over one year to complete. It was opened today at 2pm by Minister of State at the Department of Environment and Local Government Pat the Cope Gallagher. The new road is expected to result in a 70% reduction in traffic passing through the town.

Friday, June 16, 2006

High Rise Hotel for Longford

An 11 storey 96-bed hotel is part of a new development which received the go ahead from An Bord Pleanala. This will be the tallest building in the county and will change the local skyline dramatically. The new Gateway Business Park comprising of offices, retail warehouse units, hotel, Gateway Pavillion (including restaurant/cafe, terraced townhouses, 17 three bedroom duplex townhouses and 17 two bedroom groundfloor townhouses), creche and playschool, drive-thru fast food restaurant, car showrooms and service station. Parking will be available for 1200 cars. There will be access from both the Red Cow and the Ballinalee roundabout. Planning had previously been granted for the 21 acre site by both Longford County and Town Councils but objections had been raised to the planning board and permission was granted with reduced retail space. Murray O'Laoire Architects, who are redesigning Athlone town centre, did the design work.

Friday, June 09, 2006

AIB Predicts Growth of 12% for house prices in 2006

AIB says that house prices will rise by at least 12 per cent this year but the market is giving mixed signals about future activity. Housing starts have slowed down with less houses likely to be built this year. The bank's June housing market bulletin states that while current activity remains buoyant, registration and commencement data paint a murkier picture about the strength of activity in the opening months of 2006.

Download report.

Big Changes for Water St.

Demolition has started on Greater Water St. New apartments and retail units will replace the old buildings being torn down.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Launch of new energy efficient houses in Ballymahon

Ballymahon has gone green with a new development featuring solar panels and wood pellet boilers. Heating costs should be 40% less than oil and carbon pollution is greatly reduced. The houses are three and four bedroom detached and semi-detached. They are located just of Main St. along the banks of the river Inny. RE/MAX are the agents and the developer is Bespoke Construction from Athlone.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The popular Courtyard Restaurant is Expanding

The Courtyard has nearly doubled in size with their extension opening this week. A bakery is also in the works and should open soon.
Yes, it really is that sunny in Longford today.

Retail is on a roll in Longford Town

Two new shops opened up this week and both are franchises. The first is Tally Weijl, on main Street, a Swiss fashion shop which means "Totally Sexy" in English and is extremely popular in Europe with over one hundred stores in operation. This chain can be found in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Poland, England, Russia and France. They already have stores in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Maynooth. This very popular Swiss company offers Longford shoppers fashionable clothing at affordable prices. There will now be no excuse for Longford women on a Saturday night

Easons have opened their bookshop and newsagents on Ballymahon Street.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Edgeworthstown Continues to Expand

The Park House Hotel in Edgeworthstown has announced an €8,000,000 renovation and expansion of their premises. The new hotel will have 50 rooms and new retail units, underground parking, bar, restaurant and conference rooms. The project is being undertaken by Cllr. Frank Kilbride. This is the second hotel planned for the town. Bannbrook Properties are soon to start on their five star hotel and retail complex in the centre of town. The project will have a 72 bedroom hotel, 30 apartments, five houses, 12 shops, a pub, restaurant and offices. The new hotel will also include a swimming pool and fitness centre as well as a bar and restaurant. Directors of Bannbrook are John Fergus and Fergal Sheridan.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Commercial properties remain unsold after auctions

Two properties on the main shopping streets were recently up for auction but did not reach their reserve prices and are currently in negotiations. The bookshop building was withdrawn at auction on Friday at €875,000 and O'Reillys premises are taking bids through CBRE.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

New Report Shows Continued Growth in Longford Property Prices

The new quarterly report from is out and shows some interesting statistics for Longford.

  • Longford houses are 49 % cheaper than Dublin Houses.
  • April 05 – April 06 Longford house prices are up 13.8 % and since Jan this year house prices are up 5.5 %.
  • April 2005 average house price €220,000 - Jan 06 average house price €252,000.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Longford near top of Tables for Social Housing

The Comptroller and Auditor General has released a report saying €1.6 billion was spent on rent supplement since 2000; More than 60,000 are receiving support. Longford continues to have a disproportionate number of renters on rent allowance or in local authority housing. Full details of the report are available at the Auditors website.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Carrigglass Manor Launches

Local developer Tom Kearns has launched his ambitious new development at Cullyfad. The village close to Longford town is growing fast with several new developments eithier underway or in the planning stages. The development will include: Superb 18-hole championship golf course and 3-hole golf academy, co-designed by World no.3 Retief Goosen and renowned golf course architect Jeff Howes. Brand new landmark 96 bedroom four star hotel, spa and leisure complex. Carrigglas Manor will be restored to comprise 19 five star suites. The house was designed by Daniel Robertson and completed in 1840. New homes are set around a purpose built village centre within the walls of the estate and on the edge of the championship golf course. Over 600 acres of parkland and woodland offering walks, equestrian centre and leisure activities all with the security offered by a walled estate. The first phase of houses will be launching in the Autumn.
Full details are available from the Longford County Council Website.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Positive Trends in Longford Property Prices

Longford house prices continue to increase with strong gains in 2005. Year end reports show prices nationally are up 9.3% with Longford beating the average and showing 11% increases. Most of the growth in prices came in the last few months of the year as prices increased dramatically after the summer. Westmeath prices are up 11% while Leitrim are only up 2%. Cavan is up 14% and Roscommon prices are up 12%. More details can be found at the ESRI website.
Total house completions last year were 973 which is a 7% increase over the previous years total. These numbers are small however when compared to Cavan which completed over 2100 houses in 2005. There is continued strong demand for farmland in County Longford with many local farmers looking for grazing land to let.

Monday, January 16, 2006

High Speed Broadband Comes to Longford Town

Crossan Cable are now one of the fastest internet providers in the country with over 9MB download speed available over their cable lines to their customers.