Country homes are now in big demand
As we enter the first quarter of 2013, we predict that there will be a strong demand for country houses, estates and land over the next 12 months.
Furthermore, with the possibility of a shortage of good quality properties on the market, as the overhang that has been there fore some time has been cleared, we predict that prices for country houses and land will increase between 5pc and 10pc in the coming year due to scarcity and demand for those types of properties.
The re-emergence of the international buyer to the Irish market in the second half of 2012 resulted in spectacular sales, resumed competition and in many cases three to four international bidders competing for the same property. This is a phenomena in the marketplace that we have not seen since the late 80s/mid 90s, as after 1995 the market was dominated by Irish buyers.
During the last two months of 2012 Knight Frank agreed sales totalling in the region of €20million and these were the best two months ever recorded by the agency in this sector.
Ireland is now seen as an attractive location for investors to purchase homes and, compared to the UK and other European markets, the low level of stamp duty with a top rate of 2pc is an added bonus.
The new property tax, whilst unwelcome to the Irish buyer who is already heavily taxed with an increasing burden over the last two years, will not deter an international buyer who is used to considerably higher annual property taxes. However, there is an argument for exemption based on income thresholds.
The key drivers are expats who wish to educate their children in Ireland, where school fees are considerably cheaper than the country in which they reside. Furthermore, the standard of education in Ireland is extremely high, is renowned worldwide and no doubt drives inward investment by the likes of Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The Gathering in 2013 will showcase Ireland, but is unlikely to translate into sales until 2014.
Knight Frank's recent sales for the last quarter include Rathkenny House on 252 acres with a €2m asking price and Tinarana House on 244 acres, price confidential.
There is likely to be a shortage of good quality properties on the market as the overhang that has been there for some time has been cleared, and therefore we predict that prices for country houses and land will increase between 5pc and 10pc in the coming year due to scarcity and demand.
Robert Ganly is head of Ireland Residential, Knight Frank Ltd