When Lief and I decided to relocate from the United States to Ireland nearly two decades ago, we were early...Read more
On this page you will find complete information on property and real estate in Ireland, including; how, where, and what to buy, whether it is better to rent or buy, the purchasing process, and the costs and taxes that you will want to consider. But first, let’s start with a brief history of Ireland’s property market over the last decade and where it sits today.
Since the 2008/2009 recession, many property markets have struggled to get back on their feet, and Ireland is no exception. A few years ago, the Ireland real estate would not have been considered a buyer’s market but that has changed. The Emerald Isle has recovered its housing market faster than most regions, thus providing ripe opportunities for foreigners looking for property investments. With its lush green lands, cultural heritage, good education system, and infrastructure, the region offers more than just a casual appeal. Learning a few fundamentals on the Ireland property market is helpful when considering an investment there, and our job is to make it available.
Ireland does not have restrictions for foreigner property buyers, whether it’s for personal or investment purposes. The economy in Ireland is slowly but steadily stabilizing which by default has spread to the property market. Employment levels are high, meaning people have money to spend and you should have no problem finding a suitable renter. There are many good deals to be found in the market, as people are still saving up for home purchases. Since the property tax introduction in 2013, values have remained consistent across different parts of the country, and across local neighborhoods. Less than a decade ago, prices for real estate in Ireland had risen to insane values, which made it impossible to buy. However, in today’s market asking prices offer a bit of relief, and there is also room for negotiation.
An important point to remember while looking for real estate options in Ireland is that there are no Multiple Listing Services. Because of this, it can be taxing to find out what a particular property sold for or gauge the value of homes in a specific neighborhood. There is a way around that, though. The property prices register, introduced in 2011, provides records of sales that potential buyers can use. All you need to do is input the county of interest and the date range to get a list of all local sales. The information also includes the actual selling price for each transaction. As a buyer, this kind of information will provide a blueprint to guide you through the selection process.
However, it still helps to get the lay of the land before putting money anywhere.
Since the Irish real estate is just coming up from tough times, many property owners are just offloading their assets. These are the individuals who invested in the boom and got saddled with their investments because of the failing market. This phenomenon presents a good opportunity to buy Ireland real estate. Whether to buy or rent will depend on the type of investment you need. For instance, if you are on five-year job contract, you may consider buying instead of paying rent every month. A person who is in Ireland for a year or two may prefer renting.
The cost of buying varies from county to county, and the property type matters as well. For example, a 2-bedroom country cottage in Killarney, Kerry is €145,000. It is in a quiet neighborhood complete with that countryside feel and surroundings. On the other hand, a semi-detached home in 24 Riverside Estate, Knock with has an asking price of €89,000.
Over 700,000 inhabitants live in rental Irish real estate. One cause of this is that the Irish Central Bank introduced more regulations on mortgages, meaning potential buyers have a challenging time qualifying for loans. As of 2015, the rental prices have gone up with the monthly average in Cork City being €889, €1,573 in south county Dublin, and €617 in Kerry.
Whether you are buying or renting, the type of property and its location will matter a great deal. Again, your requirements will dictate the real estate in Ireland that would be most suitable. If you are getting a family holiday rental, then maybe a four-bedroom bungalow or cottage is your property of choice. For a young professional moving to Ireland for work, a two-bedroom apartment may be ideal. If you are looking to become a landlord, it would be ideal to start checking out commercial buildings.
When it comes to locations, Ireland offers a fair amount of alternatives. Dublin offers the typical bustle of a capital city while Galway and Cork have become almost as popular. With the easy access to public services and infrastructure in these locations, expect high prices for Irish real estate. If you want rural surroundings and quiet, then counties such as Maynooth, Navan, and Leitrim are ideal. Most of the people who live in these regions moved for the savings. Although there are costs for getting homes in towns, the standard of living and the prices of property more than makes up for them.
Renting a property in Ireland is not unlike other parts of Europe and buying is not that much different either. Typically, you begin by finding an Ireland property that suits your fancy. Research the location and neighborhoods and find out about the value of homes for sale in a particular region. You have a better negotiation edge when you have data to back it up. The expertise of a solicitor is always a plus due to the legal element of such transactions.
Getting a survey of the property you intend to get is highly recommended to avoid problems later on. Once satisfied, you can make an offer, and if accepted, a Deed of Conveyance comes next. Note that an offer does not legally obligate you to buy and it should contain clear terms such as you are also buying the furniture. Your solicitor should analyze the deed, and if it’s valid, send it back for approval. The buyer and seller can the draw up a contract after agreeing to its terms. There is a 10% deposit paid at this point that is non-refundable. It may take 6-8 week for the conveyancing process.
Many expenses are associated with buying a property, and you need to know who is responsible for them. For an Ireland property purchase, the buyer handles the stamp duty, which is between 1-2% of the market value. The VAT is a standard 12%. There are also registration fees to consider, and these will depend on the nature of the title. The fees for the solicitor will vary from one to the next one. You may have to pay a fixed charge or a percentage of the property price.
Years ago, my mother knew a lady named Janet who bought a small piece of land on the southwestern coast of Ireland, in Kerry. On this land, Janet built two houses, one for her personal use and one to rent out. Each summer, Janet took a trip to Kerry to check on her rental property and to meet with her rental manager. During the visit, she stayed in one of the two houses she'd built, her second home in Ireland....Read more