Cork County West : Cash is king as UK buyers pay premiums for homes on coast
There is a general air of confidence in Cork County West at present. According to agent Charles McCarthy, buyers are happy to spend money again.
"There was a definite pick-up in the local market in West Cork in 2015. There's a lot of money in personal savings in Irish banks at the moment making little or no interest," says McCarthy. "People are looking for a better investment and property seems to be winning out. We wouldn't even consider a buyer with an offer that's subject to loan at present because we have so many cash buyers."
West Cork has always been popular with overseas buyers but McCarthy thinks this interest is stronger than ever with many Europeans starting to view Ireland as a 'safer' option compared with some parts of the continent.
The strength of sterling is also having a big impact with UK buyers looking for a holiday or retirement home in this attractive location. They are all looking for a coastal property and prepared to pay a premium for it.
Commuters from Cork Airport to London are also growing in numbers. With Heathrow two hours away, McCarthy sees more and more city bankers choosing this option. "We get a lot of people going backwards and forwards."
Supply is now starting to become a problem in the Cork Co West. Sought-after waterfront properties, the most popular category in this area, are becoming harder to source. McCarthy believes prices still aren't strong enough in West Cork for developers to return to the market. This could have a strong upwards impact on prices in the year ahead.
Looking into his crystal ball, McCarthy predicts an average 10pc increase in prices in Cork Co West for the year ahead, with inland properties performing less strongly as those on the coast.