Stamp duty changes aid land sales

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

The recent reduction in stamp duty, coupled with lower expectations from sellers, is helping breath life into the land market again.

While December is usually a very quiet month for sales, more than €4m worth of land was sold in Kildare alone over the past two weeks.

Packed auction rooms, with up to 20 bidders looking for a piece of the action was a scene thought to have been consigned to history, but Newbridge-based auctioneer Paddy Jordan begs to differ.

"The change in stamp duty effectively saved one of my purchasers €60,000 in taxes last week," he said. "It's definitely made it more attractive for potential buyers to get involved."

Mr Jordan says that the decline in land values has reached a point where foreign-based buyers are again seeing value in property here.

"There was a time when getting posted back to Dublin was the worst thing that could happen for a professional because they just couldn't afford to buy a house here," he said. "But we're seeing renewed interest among ex-pats, often based in London, in a nice house here with 5-20ac to keep the pony brigade happy."

Mr Jordan said that the traditional seasonality of sales had all but evaporated.

"The days of waiting until a place is looking its best in the spring are gone. You sell when you can. People are getting nervous about having money sitting in the bank. Many would prefer to be able to look at it in a bit of land."

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