A pandemic-fuelled surge in demand for Irish holiday homes has pushed up the price of many properties in coastal areas – with some rural retreats selling for more than twice the price fetched during the last recession.
Properties are being snapped up in tourist hotspots such as Lahinch and Doonbeg in Co Clare; Connemara in Co Galway; Kenmare in Co Kerry; and West Cork – with a marked increase in the percentage of sales to Irish buyers of second homes.
Given the surge in holiday home prices in many areas, it may be wiser to wait a few years to buy your second home – until prices ease off a bit. However, if you have your heart set on buying a holiday home in a particular area and you can afford to do so and feel the price and time are right, do your homework.
Decide how far you want your holiday home to be from your existing home. “Are you looking for something that’s a five- to six-hour drive away – or shorter?,” said Karen Mulvaney, property expert and managing director of Karen Mulvaney Property. “You may want to be close to Dublin or you may want to feel like you’re miles outside Dublin and away from everything.”
Decide what you want from your home. “Is it for retirement, is it for family?,” said Mulvaney. “If it’s for family, think about the age of your kids – if they’re older, will they want to come and stay in your holiday home? What do you need out of the property: do you need proximity to restaurants and amenities or are you happy to drive there?”
Don’t overlook maintenance and running costs as these will add up. “If you are beside the sea, will your property have to be repainted every year or two?,” said Mulvaney. “Remember that you will have to pay running costs on your property – even if you’re not in it.”