Where are the new Irish Property Hotspots?
The pandemic brought on by Covid-19 has changed a lot of things in our life – including where we want to live.
Read on to find out where the new Irish property hotspots are and whether one of these areas might be a right move for you.
Since the property market reopened this summer there has been a sharp increase in the number of home buyers looking to leave town.
Months under lockdown has left many urban dwellers dreaming of greener – and more spacious – pastures.
The city-based benefits of being close to your job and having an exciting choice of social and cultural activities on your doorstep are hardly a priority in an era when remote working has become the norm for many and crowded spaces are to be avoided as a social distancing necessity.
Where once the most desirable addresses were those in or close to the city, current home buyers are now looking further afield.
And it’s not just fed-up Dubliners looking to flee the city. A recent survey conducted by the Real Estate Alliance network (REA) in Ireland found that enquiries from the UK have increased by 13% on average to agents outside of Dublin in the past two months.
Certain towns and small villages in Ireland once considered too far off the beaten track have now risen to the top of home hunters wish-list.
These new Irish property hotspots offer cheaper and larger housing, lower living costs, and the chance to still have a satisfying lifestyle amid the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic.
So, where exactly are these hotspots and, if you’re currently considering moving home, could one of these areas be a right move for you?
Waterford on the sunny south-east of the country and less than a two-hour drive from Dublin is one of the more popular places to buy property right now. And local estate agencies report that in the last quarter, homes have sold two weeks faster than previous months.
The county is well-positioned for people who still need to commute to a Dublin-based office a few times a week or month, but it has all the natural beauty and wide-open spaces lots of folk are looking for right now.
Situated on the coast and in the shadow of the Comeragh Mountains, you can enjoy the great outdoors without the worry of large crowds.
And whether you’re looking for a country hideaway or city life on a smaller-scale, Waterford ticks all the right boxes.
The city has a population of nearly 60,000 and is home to various international companies including Bausch & Lomb, Hasbro, and Sunlife Financial.
The Waterford Institute of Technology is also based there, which might be a deciding factor for families with older children considering tertiary education options.
House prices in the city have remained unchanged over the last year at €215,000. But this is still a far cry from the current Dublin average of €430,000.
Outside of the city centre, some of the more popular places in Waterford include the seaside town of Tramore, the coastal harbour district of Dungarvan, and the historic village of Lismore.
Leitrim is another market which has seen a rise in interest in residential property.
In 2019, 481 houses were sold across the county. That still tops the numbers sold this year so far (227), but considering that estate agents have been unable to do property showings for the last six months, reaching sale agreed at all is a win.
The last quarter in particular boasts healthy market movement, with estate agents claiming homes are now selling within five weeks of coming on market.
This recent surge in interest is likely to do with Leitrim’s “triple threat”.
Firstly, it’s one of the cheapest counties to buy property in Ireland. An average three-bed semi-detached house in the region costs €124,000.
Secondly, the county’s rural credentials appeal to mid-pandemic property hunters. The River Shannon runs through the area, while the Iron Mountain and the stunning Lough Allen offer a healthy outdoor lifestyle to young and old re-locaters alike.
And thirdly, people who need to travel to the capital city one or two days a week can do so on the regular two-hour train journey from Carrick-on-Shannon.
Leitrim’s close neighbour, Roscommon, has also witnessed an increase in property buyers moving up from Dublin.
The recent REA/Irish Independent report claimed that hopeful homebuyers on a waiting list for houses with gardens were primarily families “moving home” or urbanites in search of a more spacious home and a better quality of life.
Like Leitrim, Roscommon has a direct train to Dublin, which takes less than two hours. Its location in the centre of the country also makes it close to other cities and large towns including college-based based Galway, Sligo and Athlone.
But easy access to the capital is not the only point in its favour. The median house price here is €140,466. That’s more than a whopping €100,000 cheaper than the national average of €256,338.
And while the population of the whole county is less than 65,000, there are some lively spots in the region to enjoy when restrictions on social meetings have been lifted.
Strokestown, Frenchpark and Boyle are three cosy towns that offer a good choice of bars, restaurants, and cafés.
West Cork has long been a popular holiday destination. But now it looks like many Irish home buyers are hoping to settle here for the long haul.
And for good reason.
Taking in the towns of Kinsale, Bandon, Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Macroom, Bantry, and the Beara Peninsula, this part of Ireland boasts rolling hills, rugged coastlines, deserted golden beaches and pretty traditional towns aplenty.
Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way, the expansive region has a lot to offer house hunters looking for a slower pace and a quality lifestyle. For this reason, it has attracted many artists and creative entrepreneurs over the years.
Median house prices run from €198,000 in Bantry to €226,000 in Clonakilty. However, people who really want a hideout in the hills or land to build their own home, should be able to find their perfect place with a lower price tag.
Local auctioneers claim there has been a lot of interest from younger couples looking to relocate from both Dublin and the UK. They put it down to people taking stock of their priorities and realising that now is the time to make that much dreamed-about change from city to country living.
That fact that the area is in proximity to Cork and two international airports in Cork City and Farranfore in Co. Kerry makes this a great base for people who want a rural lifestyle – but still within arm’s reach of city environments.
The final county on our Irish property hotspot list is Carlow. Many of Dublin’s commuter towns have seen a slowdown in house sales, but Carlow Town is not one of them.
House sales grew here in the third quarter with prices rising by €8,000 to an average of €185,000.
Of course, Carlow’s proximity to Dublin is one of the big draws for people who still work full-time in the city. It takes 40 minutes to drive from the centre of the town to City West and there are regular daily trains to Heuston.
But it’s also the small community life and the lush countryside surrounding Carlow that appeals to current house hunters.
The pace of life is considerably slower but all the services and amenities that you need from shopping outlets to proper medical care are either in the town or a short drive away in Dublin city centre.
Of course, these are not the only areas in Ireland offering a lower cost of living with a higher quality of life right now.
Check out our extensive list of properties across Ireland to find your new home today.