Sunday 25 September 2016

Agent view: Southern sun still shining on West Cork property

Charles McCarthy

Published 17/04/2016 | 02:30

Charles McCarthy
Charles McCarthy

The latest quarterly figures are out and they show good news for areas outside Dublin. Down in Cork, the figures for Cork county, according to Daft.ie, were a percentage increase in price of 11.6pc, year on year.

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But what are we seeing here in West Cork on the ground? First, there are a number of categories to West Cork property. In urban areas, the three-bed semi has risen in price to a greater degree than the more expensive detached residence. The main driving factor for this is the low interest being paid on bank deposits. From recent figures published, we know that there are substantial sums on deposit in banks throughout the country.

According to a survey by Irish Life, half of Irish adults have a substantial amount in savings accounts. These depositors are witnessing their capital being eroded through very low interest rates. To try and counteract this, they are purchasing property which gives a rental income and the hope of capital appreciation in the future.

In West Cork, there is also a very good ongoing demand for coastal property. The general rule of thumb is that the closer to the shorefront or river/lake front, the stronger the demand and the Wild Atlantic Way has increased this effect.

To a great extent, the buyers are coming from the Dublin area, the US, but mainly from Britain. Partly, they are Irish people returning home, usually resettling in urban areas or near where they hailed from originally. Other British and overseas buyers tend to gravitate towards the coast, mainly for reasons of location and privacy. A recent development has been the overseas demand for increased amounts of land, whether for hobby farming or for food self-sufficiency.

A number of people I know are commuting weekly to the UK and much of this is to do with Cork Airport, a very traveller-friendly place, as most users will tell you, which is a one-hour hop from London.

With the increase of employment in this area, a most welcome development is the noticeable return of young people which will have an ongoing positive effect on housing demand.

The development of the Ludgate Centre in Skibbereen is another exciting factor. Opening shortly, it will provide 1,000MB of uncontested internet connectivity, with office space that can be rented daily, weekly, monthly, or annually at very low rates. This is already attracting huge interest, especially from abroad.

What is clear is that the increase in demand for coastal property has been phenomenal and shows little sign of abating.

Charles McCarthy is the founder of Charles McCarthy estate agents in Skibbereen

Sunday Independent

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