Monday 23 April 2018

Cork County West: Brexit ripples to be felt in West Cork?

Lazy Acres, Shandrum Beg, Bantry was sold for €278,500 in October
Lazy Acres, Shandrum Beg, Bantry was sold for €278,500 in October

West Cork has always been popular with buyers from the UK, so this market was always likely to be among the Irish regions hardest hit by Brexit issues.

Unlike many other parts of Ireland -which typically get lots of returning Irish from the UK - West Cork gets the "British British" coming here to retire. And the UK influx is among the factors to keep the prices of coastal properties in particular at premium levels.

"What happens over the next few months in terms of Brexit will be very telling and it's very hard to predict what might happen, with so much uncertainty. Things could really go either way," says Maeve McCarthy.

"We have a lot of UK buyers, and they are still coming over with an interest in buying a property - but it's for the larger homes or smaller homes, and the ones in the middle are stuck."

On the flip side, McCarthy says that they now have British people who want to sell their houses in Ireland and are willing to accept a lower offer so that they can move back to the UK. They are happy enough with less money now than they would have been six months ago because this time they are gaining on the exchange rate. Also the non-Cork-based Irish buyer is now returning to to the holiday-home market in enough numbers to start making up the Brexit shortfall. "Families from Dublin and Cork cities are buying holiday homes by the sea, proving that the economy overall has definitely picked up." Also, if the dollar continues to stay strong, McCarthy expects to see more Americans coming over to buy property in West Cork because Ireland is seen as a safe place to live. Prices in West Cork have been increasing year-on-year since the recession and are up by 10pc for a second year running.

Brexit means that McCarthy doesn't think the rise will be as high in 2017 and predicts 5pc capital-value increases.

Irish Independent

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