Investors cash in on cut-price Irish property

With prices still falling, Ireland is starting to look like good value – at least to expats trawling our property websites from a distance.

While  owning a property in Ireland may once have been the desire of international second homehunters and investors alike, many were scared off by the rapidly escalating prices of the boom and the subsequent property crash. Now however, a combination of falling house prices and low stamp duty rates means that estate agents around the country are reporting a renewed interest from overseas.

While the Central Bank is working on the basis of a 55 per cent slippage in house prices between 2007 and 2013, anecdotal evidence suggests that values have already fallen by roughly that figure, with sellers now frequently settling for even less than their lowest asking price. However, where once it might have been celebrities looking for the prestige of a Dalkey or Killiney address or Germans in search of scenic holiday homes, now it is the Irish expat or the UK/US buyer of distressed properties who is responsible for much of this interest.

In the Dublin residential market, Irish people living abroad who were put off from buying at home during the boom because of high prices, are now looking to make that purchase. “Some had considered coming back previously but at the height of the Celtic Tiger weren’t prepared to move for a similar, or inferior property, which could cost them twice as much, says Simon Ensor, a director with Sherry FitzGerald, who notes that this section of the market is now one of the busiest. “Of our top four sales in the last 12 months, two would have been to expats,” he says, adding that such buyers have “significant cash deposits” and are generally buying in the €2 million bracket.

The international community is surprisingly active in the residential market for a variety of reasons, according to Sherry FitzGerald managing director Michael Grehan. “Since January of this year we have had visitors to our website from 134 different countries. It says a lot for the Irish diaspora and the potential for returning migrants to buy in a depressed Irish property market .”

Source: Irish Times