Interest in Irish property from abroad is on the rise at present, with UK buyers in particular taking a closer look at the market here.
The strength of sterling combined with soaring property prices means that more and more investors are turning their attention to Ireland.
A recent study from UK property portal Rightmove found that 48 per cent more Britons had searched for Irish property in 2014 than the previous year.
While a 15 per cent increase in house prices here last year might have threatened to put some potential buyers off, the OECD still describes Irish property as undervalued and by as much as 60 per cent in some rural locations.
The value of sterling is also a driving factor with a €500,000 property now £26,041 cheaper than it would have been a year earlier.
Sherry FitzGerald are one estate agents certainly seeing the benefit, with a rise in enquiries from the UK ahead of their London Irish Property Show in the Millennium Gloucester Hotel on Saturday week, February 21st.
“UK buyers do see themselves in a strong position at the minute,” admitted Sherry FitzGerald Countrywide director Triona Gorman.
“There are a lot of people over there looking anywhere at the moment for good investment opportunities and they are seeing the value of Ireland at the moment.
“There are great rental returns to be had at present and even if they’re only making a short term investment they can expect to make an immediate return on their money,” she said.
While Triona admitted that they weren’t “inundated” with enquiries, she said that the profile of buyer had extended away from the traditional ex-pat looking to retire back to Ireland.
“We’ve been doing this show for over 10 years and the profile is quite different from when we started out. Now those attending are maybe a bit younger and see themselves moving back home in the long-term but who would like to buy now when they see the value and are looking for a return in between.
“We also have people with no Irish connections too,” she said.
While Savills reported strong interest last week from Australia, Monaco and Dubai in their new development at 31-33 Merrion Road, a lack of new stock coming on the market was an issue in generating more interest from abroad, however, according to David Bewley of Lisney.
“If I’m honest I can’t say I’ve noticed any pick up. The interest has been steady from the UK, Europe and surprisingly Singapore.
“There are always people looking at Irish property, whether they be ex-pats or investors but there is not enough stuff coming onto the market at the moment to fuel more interest,” he said.