Houses for Sale Mayo
Local Area Guide
One of the best-kept investment secrets in Ireland has to be the property market in Mayo. Though house prices have been rising steadily, partly in thanks to the county’s strengthening jobs market, any home here is still less than half the price you’d pay for a similar property in Dublin.
The fact that Co. Mayo is a place of stunning beauty and surprisingly diverse landscapes also make property purchases here a smart choice for buyers looking to invest in summer rentals.
Though, unsurprisingly, most of the recent sales have been families and individuals swapping a life of congested streets, long commutes, and the ever-increasing cost of living in the city for the healthy lifestyle, open landscapes, and easy living that Mayo has to offer.
So if you’re looking to invest, relocate, or take a step up on the property ladder, read on for the lowdown on why embracing the “green above the red” might just be the best move you’ll ever make.
Though it’s Ireland’s third largest county, with less than 135,000 residents it’s only the 15th largest in terms of population. For many people moving or relocating to Mayo, this sense of space is half the draw.
Boasting the longest coastline of any county in Ireland, the area’s craggy shores and sandy bluffs are offset by great expanses of verdant valleys, island-studded lakes, and rolling fertile farmland.
However, that’s not to say the county lacks a lively hub: Castlebar is the largest town in Mayo, with a population of close to 11,000. The administrative seat for the county and a bustling market town, it’s less than 30 minutes away from two further busy towns and culture centres – Ballina and Westport.
The upgraded N5 national primary road means you can drive to Dublin Airport in less than three hours. Though the fact that Mayo boasts its own international airport means you probably won’t need to.
Ireland West Airport at Knock links with more than 25 UK and European destinations including London, Liverpool, Bristol, Barcelona, Faro, Cologne and Milan.
Where to Live
Castlebar, Ballina and Westport are three main towns that in recent decades have developed strong economic infrastructures, including providing a base for some of the world’s top biotech and pharma companies. It’s no wonder, then, that their populations have boomed in the last couple of decades.
In Castlebar, the large Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) campus, the presence of Mayo General Hospital, and the fortune 500 American healthcare company, Baxter Healthcare, are primary reasons newcomers are making the county town their home - though the cultural richness of Castlebar helps too. The impressive Country Life section of the National Museum of Ireland is situated here, while remnants of the town’s 11th century foundation also abound.
Relocators craving healthy outdoor living can consider buying property in picturesque towns of Newport or Ballinrobe.
Newport nestles along the shore of Clew Bay and is one of the start and finishing points of the Great Western Greenway, the longest off-road cycling/walking route in the country, which stretches from Westport to Achill Island. The Black Oak River flows through the centre of the town too, making it a much-loved destination for anglers.
Ballinrobe, which also boasts 60,000 acres of brown trout fishing between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask, as well as ample fishing on the town’s river Robe, is another angler’s paradise, though it’s also known as an ideal centre from which to enjoy walking and cycling tours throughout the unspoilt countryside of South Mayo.
House hunters who want to wake up to the crash of waves along Mayo’s sandy shores would do well to check out the properties for sale in Enniscrone, Mulranny, and, of course, the jewel off the Mayo coast, Achill Island.
The largest island in the country, Achill is accessible from the mainland by bridge. Boasting beautiful sandy beaches, sea cliffs and a host of sea-related activities from windsurfing, sailing, abseiling, diving, it’s a great choice for families and all who want a true experience of coastal living.
Sports and Culture
However, Mayo is not just a centre for water-sports on sea and river. Passion and pride in Irish football and hurling run strong here, and the Mayo GAA senior team have reached the finals of the All-Ireland Final on several occasions. You’ll see the Mayo colours of green and red fluttering from windows, doorways, and cars across the county!
Other popular sports include rugby, basketball, and athletics, while the wild and stunning scenery makes horse-riding, hiking, and walking additional popular pleasures.
Of course, like so many places in Ireland, Mayo is also known for its friendly welcome and festive spirit, and several major events take place here every year.
The Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival and the Achill Seafood Festival have both established themselves as two of Mayo's best festival weekends, while Fleadh Cheoil, the preeminent Irish music festival run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ), has often been held in the county.
Mayo also has a vibrant arts community with amateur drama groups, pantomime groups, choral societies, and dancing schools. Both the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, and the Ballina Arts Centre have year-round programmes of local and touring events.
Of course, it’s no surprise that Mayo is a county rich in culture as it has long been an area revered in literature and other arts. John Ford’s 1951 masterpiece, The Quiet Man, featuring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, was filmed in the village of Cong. While The Playboy of the Western World, and the Lady Gregory/WB Yeats collaboration Cathleen Ni Houlihan, are both set in Mayo.
A possible reason cited for the county’s regular appearance in Ireland’s rich literature is because Mayo was one of the most badly affected areas during the Great Famine.
With so much on offer in County Mayo, it still surprises many that the price of homes remains relatively low when compared to the rest of the country. But the truth is Mayo is within the 10 cheapest places to buy property in Ireland. A three-bedroom, family home in Castlebar typically comes with a price tag of less than €180,000, while smaller homes can be found throughout the county for under €100,000.
First-time buyers intending to build or buy a new or second-hand home may qualify for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Scheme which allows borrowing of up to 90% of the market value of the property.
Property hunters looking for a smaller holiday home will have their pick of bargains in Mayo too.
Whether searching for a cosy cottage in the gorgeous green fields and hills of the countryside or a dwelling along the beach-laden coastline, prices for property and land can go as low as €50,000.
Second homeowners will be expected to have 20% of the asking price, while non-residents hoping to find a holiday hideaway or investment property, will need a deposit of at least 35% and possibly proof of the first 6 months of mortgage payments.