Ireland has recently witnessed an upsurge in the number of investors buying holiday homes in some of the country’s most scenic areas. With stars like Jeremy Irons and Daniel Day-Lewis popping up in the quaint villages of West Cork, prices in many of these areas are at a premium. Kerry and West Cork, in particular, and the south coast in general, known as the Irish Riviera are attracting a steady flow of Britons and American’s. The majority of the British buyers are investing in a property to use as a holiday home with the intention of retiring to it in the future.
The south coast of Ireland tends to have a milder climate than the rest of Ireland, experiencing warm summers and milder winters brought in by the Gulf Stream current that flows past its shoreline. The climate, coupled with the breath-taking scenery and strong sense of heritage and culture, has made Cork an attractive location not only for Britons searching for a rural retirement idyll but also for the French and Dutch who have long been attracted to county.
The Irish too, taking advantage of improved roads, domestic flights offered by Aer Aran, and generous tax incentives are beginning to search closer to home for holiday home investments. With prices as low as EUR110.000 for a two bed roomed chalet on Dingle Peninsula, investing in a holiday home in Ireland, need not break the bank. Generally, chalet style homes will be cheaper to buy than stand alone properties on their own land.
Most people want to buy a traditional style home with views of the sea or unspoilt countryside. A typical three-bedroom property with sea views could cost anything upwards of EUR480,000, while a property with spectacular country views could have a price tag in excess of EUR280,000. The difficulty and one of the factors contributing to the high property prices in Ireland’s most scenic locations, is the shortage of properties that come on the market. It seems that when people buy in Ireland’s most scenic locations, they don’t want to move!
With many of the people buying holiday homes in Ireland having roots in the country, they tend not to get too involved in renting out the property. For those who want to invest in a holiday home to let when not in use, the letting potential of properties located in areas such as West Cork, Kerry, Connemara or quaint port towns such as Killibegs, is good. A four bed roomed house with good sea views could expect to take in EUR1000 per week in the summer season.
Quite often, buyers find holiday homes too small and see extending the property or building a new home as the best option. It is worth bearing in mind the difficulties that may be encountered taking this route. Strict planning regulations make it almost impossible for foreign investors or indeed Irish nationals from outside the county, to build a property on purchased land. Planning regulations favour locals building new homes in the area. It may be more difficult too for foreign buyers to obtain planning
permission to significantly alter or renovate an existing property, though once a property is owned, it is easier to secure planning.
With the demand for second homes remaining steady, there is no sign of prices slowing down. Last year property prices in West Cork rose between 8-9%. The situation is similar for many of the other tourist hotspots. Rental incomes aside, anybody making a smart investment in some of Ireland most desirable scenic locations can expect to see significant return on investment over the coming years.