Brexit bind as uncertainty leads to land purchase delay
Buyers from at home and abroad are delaying land purchases due to the uncertainty surrounding the UK's departure from the EU
The twists and turns of the Brexit saga are having tangible effects on the land market here. Callum Bain of Colliers International property agents has seen the pattern of business change weekly as the story unfolds.
The phone lines became extremely busy as the prospect of a no-deal Brexit began to loom large. Individuals of "high-net worth" in the UK began to make contact with agents like Colliers, seeking sizeable farms in Ireland.
"During January and the first two weeks of February, we were very busy with enquiries from the UK," says Mr Bain.
"But since Theresa May announced the next series of votes will include a vote to prevent a no-deal scenario, many of the prospective buyers have put their offers on hold - at least until after March 12 to 14 when those votes are due to happen."
Bain doesn't expect much to change until the March 29 deadline has passed.
He refers to two cases that he says illustrate clearly what is going on.
"One buyer was hoping to acquire a farming property in Ireland to keep a foot in the UK and in the EU, while another was moving lock, stock and barrel to Ireland and bringing all his livestock," he says.
Ireland is the preferred option for many of these property buyers as the legalities of buying land on the continent can be quite different to those that pertain here and in the UK.