CHINESE and Russian investors are flooding the Dublin housing market, dramatically cutting back on the ability of domestic buyers to find their own home.
While overseas buyers have long been known to be scooping up houses at the top end of the market in south Dublin, it has emerged that Chinese buyers especially are taking on houses and apartments at the lower ends of the sector in the capital as well.
As a knock-on effect, Irish residents who are looking to buy their home today are being forced into the middle of the housing market, forcing up prices in areas where demand is already outstripping supply.
The head of property consultancy Extra Sales, Colin Horan, who helps foreign investors source property here and elsewhere, said buyers had been attracted to Ireland initially because of our education system.
"Many of the people we are dealing with would have had little or no knowledge of the Irish property market until their son or daughter came here to study.
"Only then have they seen the chance to take advantage of low house prices and high rent returns," he said.
Chinese interest has also spiked since the visit of the now Chinese president Xi Jinping last year. In the last fortnight, Chinese buyers have bought property in the Royal Canal Park development in Dublin 15 and Collinswood in Dublin 9 – not usually seen as potential investments for foreign buyers.
At the top end, wealthy Chinese and Russians are focused on the well-known areas of south Dublin, with Sandymount, Donnybrook, Stillorgan and Rathgar proving especially popular.
An asking price of €1m is considered the minimum investors are looking for.
Meanwhile, last year's purchase of the Morrison Hotel on Ormond Quay in the centre of Dublin by Elena Baturina – Russia's richest woman – has spawned a spike in interest from Russia in the Irish market, but Dublin especially.