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Tapping into the Irish Housing Market for the Right Reasons

Tapping into the Irish Housing Market for the Right Reasons

Tapping into the Irish Housing Market for the Right Reasons.


One of the biggest casualties of the economic crisis that has inflicted misery - and subsequent austerity - on millions of people around the world was the housing market. One of the countries that had benefited from the good times was Ireland where, when the Celtic Tiger was roaring at its loudest, there was plenty of profit to be made in a sector of the economy that seemed, on the outside at least, to be rock solid.

Then, as we all know, the bubble burst.

Economies teetered on the brink of collapse, and many home-owners were left facing the hell of negative equity. The bottom fell out of the housing market, both in Ireland and around the world, as many governments struggled to get to grips with a harsh, new reality.


From bust to boom ?

While the UK and European housing markets are still stagnating, by and large, Ireland seems to be bucking the trend.

In a 2012 report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), it was revealed that prices in the capital had risen more than two per cent.

Aoife Brennan, head of research at estate agents Lisney, insisted the situation was even healthier than the CSO claimed, saying: "For homes in well-established parts of Dublin, demand is outstripping supply. In the majority of cases, we are seeing multiple bidding for a house."

Although the Irish market has taken the odd knock in the past few months, the overall trend is an encouraging one. Investors from all four corners of the world are starting to pay attention to property prices that are now much more realistic and attractive than at the height of the boom years.


Looking bright

So what does all this mean to the average person, looking for their dream house in the Emerald Isle?

With an impressive range of properties available to canny buyers, from houses and apartments to commercial properties, as well as an extension of NAMA's successful 80/20 initiative, which aims to protect homeowners from falling prices - it seems there couldn't be a better time to consider getting a foot on the Irish property ladder - especially as it means you'll be ahead of the competition.

Unusually, it's not just in Dublin where the market is looking increasingly buoyant - the entire country is getting in on the action. Here are just a few of the locations where amazing properties are available:

Crookhaven in Co Cork in the south

Liscannor in Co Clare, out to the west

Co Donegal in the far north

There are also gorgeous properties to be snapped up in Dublin, romantic family homes for sale in Limerick, and simply stunning executive homes up for grabs in Dundalk. Whether your taste - and wallet - runs to the bijou or the baroque, Ireland's property market has something for everyone.


Moving with the times

It's one thing to have plenty of homes and businesses available - but it's fascinating to see how both sellers and buyers are benefiting from creative and forward-thinking estate agents, who are using their websites to display their 'wares' at their very best. Glossy, high resolution photos and virtual tours of properties have replaced those stock shots of interiors and exteriors.

It's easier than ever, too, as a prospective seller, to market a property to the widest possible audience, with estate agents calling on all their expertise - as well as new technologies and social media - to turn a 'for sale' sign into one that reads 'sold'.


Buyer Beware

With so much positive news about buying a house in Ireland, it's natural to think that snapping up a choice property in Ireland would be a solid gold money-maker. But anyone mulling over the idea of taking on a mortgage specifically with a view to consolidating other debts ought to take caution - discusses this topic further in a mortgage consolidation advice article. The concept of borrowing a huge sum, especially when faced with paying back a relatively reasonable amount over a long period can seem like a sensible and somewhat tempting proposition, but it's not something the professionals recommend. It really is a case of 'short-term gain, long-term pain' for anyone giving the notion any serious thought.

A credit card may set you back a few hundred euros a month (depending on how big your bill is, of course), so the prospect of cutting that outlay down to double figures by buying a house - especially one which comes with the potential financial safety net provided by NAMA - that would pay off the debt, is indeed tantalising.

However, as the industry experts insist: a mortgage is a long-term commitment, and one that doesn't come cheap. What may seem like paying peanuts today could, in several years' time, have cost you thousands in hidden costs and charges. And there's always the risk of losing your home if you can't keep up the repayments.

The housing market in the Emerald Isle may look lush and inviting, but tread carefully. That green-looking grass may hide financial quicksand.

Eve Pearce 23 April 2013

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Monday, 15 August 2022

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