The Irish property market

With its shared language, similar conveyancing system, and abundance of British high street stores, Ireland offers a home away from home for buyers from the UK. In fact, Brits account for up to 40% of all property-related transactions in certain parts of the country.

Since extra taxes were applied to second homes in Britain, it’s likely that even more people will be looking across the Irish Sea for their dream property.

The Irish property market crashed in 2010 but has seen a significant recovery over the past 3 years, with average prices increasing 49.1% since the lows of 2013.

Even so, nationwide prices remain 32.1% lower than their 2007 peak. Indeed, in many areas prices remain significantly below build cost levels, meaning you can still snap up a bargain property. This explains why, according to the Irish National Statistics Institute (CSO), sales of Irish homes to international purchasers are increasing rapidly, with a growing number of buyers flocking to Ireland to find great value.

Estate agents in Ireland are predicting more price increases in 2017, largely as a result of the shortage of new properties entering the market. This is expected to further fuel demand, particularly in urban centres such as Cork, Dublin and Galway. Thankfully, the supply problem is not as acute in traditional tourist locations, such as Kerry or Wexford, or increasingly popular tourist destinations such as Leitrim and Longford in the Lakeland’s district.

The simple answer to the question ‘where are people buying property in Ireland?’ is ‘everywhere’. Presently the most popular locations are the sunny south east (Wexford and Waterford), Wild Atlantic Way (Cork, Kerry, Galway) and the Lakelands region (Leitrim, Longford and Cavan). Typically, UK buyers are semi-retired couples with a view of relocating to Ireland, or professional families seeking holiday homes for getaways.

As for Brexit? The general opinion is that it is unlikely to influence Brits buying in Ireland. Despite the fall in value of the pound against the euro, property in Ireland still represents excellent value for money when compared to similar locations in the UK.

Choosing a location

Many Brits seeking a new life or a bolthole in Ireland opt for property in picturesque seaside locations such as Cork, Kerry and Wexford, as well as places like Leitrim (located in the heart of Ireland’s Lakeland district). Prices here are significantly cheaper than in the traditional tourist locations.

You probably already have an area in mind, but if you’re torn between options there are a number of things to consider:

  • Am I hoping to earn rental income from the property?
  • Are there shops and important amenities within easy travelling distance?
  • How easy is it to get to the region from the UK; is there an airport nearby, or strong transport links?
  • Can you fly there from your local airport back in the UK, or will you have to travel further afield?
  • What is there to do in the local area and are these attractions and activities open all year round, or on a seasonal basis?

The importance you give to each of these points will vary depending on whether you’re looking for a holiday home or a permanent residence. While second home owners may be more interested in choosing somewhere easy to get to, those looking to move abroad permanently may be less deterred by a longer journey.

Similarly, ease of access to places like supermarkets may not bother second home owners so much; if the stores are far away you can simply stock up on the journey. Permanent residents are likely to think differently as you’d soon tire of a long round trip to pick up your groceries.

Continue to section 2: Buying a property in Ireland

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