What's your name and what position do you hold?
Angela Keegan, Managing Director, MyHome.ie
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I am responsible for ensuring that MyHome performs at its optimal level. We attract 1.5 million unique visitors a month and work with over 1,000 estate agents across Ireland, and it’s my job to ensure we are delivering for them all.
What is your professional background?
I have been the Managing Director of MyHome.ie, the country’s leading property website, since 2010. Since joining the company in 2005 from telecoms operator EsatBT, I have steered the business through the recession and strengthened its role as a key player in the Irish property market.
We could see significant changes in the design and construction of buildings post-pandemic. What do you anticipate will be priorities for owners and tenants?
We have seen a significant change in the way people define what a home is. Our latest consumer sentiment survey indicated that 46% of prospective homebuyers would look to ensure their future home had an office. The importance of having a garden or an outdoor space is also apparent. People are demanding more from their homes and never has home meant as much as it does now to them due to the pandemic.
Has the volatility sparked by the pandemic led to an acceleration of already existing real estate trends?
Covid-19 has exacerbated the divide between supply and demand – we have been playing catch-up in terms of supply for some time now. The pandemic has delayed the construction of new homes and has also delayed people making decisions to trade up. First-time buyers are chomping at the bit to get on the ladder, but unfortunately the supply just isn’t there.
Will certain traditional property strategies require a rethink? Which, if any, real estate sectors run the risk of becoming obsolete?
We need to think of home as being sustainable in the light of the pandemic. With more home-working on the horizon, it stands to reason that office space will change in the future. However, there will be an opportunity for country towns and local communities to thrive again.
How do you think Covid19 will affect the market going into 2021? What lasting impact do you see on the real estate sector?
In early 2021 I believe we will see a continuation of 2020 – our supply and demand imbalance will not go away quickly. It’s important to note that the economic reality of Covid-19 has not yet hit the property-buying public. Above all else we must deal with the virus first, then we can assess the full impact of Covid on the property market and the economy as a whole.
Angela Keegan is speaking at The Business Post’s 2020 Property Summit. For full details and bookings visit www.propertysummit.ie