Mark Lawlor Auctioneer in his new office in Cootehill.

Supply a major issue in local property market

There are approximately 240 properties on the market on in Cavan.

A local auctioneer, Mark Lawlor Auctioneers, has predicted that such homes are being sold for “well over” the asking price due to market demand.

“A lot of those I’d imagine have active offers on them and multiple bidders, so the final offer tends to be well over the asking in a lot of cases,” Mr Lawlor told The Anglo-Celt.’s latest quarterly report suggested that overall prices in the first quarter of 2024 are up 5.8% on the same period last year.

“This is a trend we’ve definitely seen in the Cavan market if not stronger,” said the local auctioneer.

In business for 22 years in Belturbet and having recently opened a new branch in Cootehill, the auctioneer said the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant has seen a shift in the market towards properties in need of renovation.

“The availability of the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is still appealing to people and there is quite strong demand for these properties,” he said.

“There is no doubt that people are ready to take on these projects and put their own stamp on a property.”

Between July 18, 2022 and December 31, 2023, there were 210 applications for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, according to Cavan County Council.

However, Mr Lawlor said there has been an “unintended consequence” of the grant.

He finds that he cost of building and carrying out such works has increased “substantially” over the last few years.

That said, Mr Lawlor believes there are still a lot of older derelict houses across the country that should be taking advantage of the grant.

“There are currently 800 empty homes in Cavan that will qualify for the grant,” he revealed.

“If these could be renovated and brought to the market it would obviously help ease the pressure on the current supply strains of both the rental and the sales market.”

Despite renovations that will “take time” Mark hopes that the availability of the grant will “hopefully ease the pressure on the housing market going forward”, along with the current increase in new housing developments.

Demand for 'turnkey' properties

Mr Lawlor also revealed that there has been increased demand among buyers that are looking for homes that are already renovated and in turnkey condition.

“Some of our recent 'sale agreed' properties have been agreed 15% or 20% above the asking price,” he said, adding that it “represents the desire for these homes and the shift in buyer mentality".

“They would rather use their budget to get property in turnkey condition with a good Building Energy Rating, than take on the property that might need structural work, this has certainly been the case with a lot of our first-time buyers,” the auctioneer said.

“These types of properties are selling really well when presented well on the open market,” added Mr Lawlor.


The auctioneer also finds the rental market “really strong", underpinned by the "obvious lack of supply".

He said there is a demand for all types of rental properties from apartments to houses both detached and semi-detached.

“We have a database of pre approved clients for these rentals, but supply has been and remains to be the biggest issue,” he remarked.

Wherever people are on their housing journey, Mark Lawlor Auctioneers pride themselves in their family-based approach, giving advice, solutions, and options to anybody looking to buy, rent or sell all types of property. For a free market appraisal, you can call Mark on 0876682666 or 0879277705.