Sunday 17 February 2019

Cork County West: West Cork values remain largely unchanged

Indigo Rock, Gearhies, Bantry, Co Cork was sold in October for €431,500 by Sherry Fitz O'Neill
Indigo Rock, Gearhies, Bantry, Co Cork was sold in October for €431,500 by Sherry Fitz O'Neill

West Cork was always been seen as a place at the end of the world, to which you could escape and switch off. That was before the days of the remote worker who is today keen to have the scenic surrounds and an income earned locally. Thanks to the Ludgate Hub, that's now wholly possible.

Located in Skibbereen, the hub is a co-working space with a 1,000mb connection that aims to bring people together for job creation and innovation. An investment of €2m from the Government for Ludgate was announced recently to help create 500 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs in West Cork by 2020.

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Like past years, prices haven't changed much in either direction in West Cork. The only type predicted to rise this year is the three-bed semi in town - to go up €10k to €195,000 this year - with better types rising higher.

This part of West Cork has always attracted UK buyers so local agent Sean Carmody from Charles McCarthy Estate Agents is relieved that uncertainty around Brexit hasn't turned everyone off buying.

"With Brexit, we've noticed that people from the UK who were holding off are starting to come back into the market," says Carmody.

"They are saying, 'We want to move on with our lives'. If it wasn't for the sterling rate, I think we'd see a lot more people moving across because they don't want to live there anymore."

There is no such thing as a typical buyer in west Cork, so Carmody says they just take it as it comes. "There have been a number of Germans lately who've decided they want to move here," he says. "Then two weeks ago, an English couple visited Skibbereen for the first time and they decided to buy a house on the spot. You just can't predict it. A couple were over from Switzerland looking at one house, they didn't like it, looked at a second, and bought it. And then we have they buyers who think they want to move here, look at 25 houses and leave."

Tourism is strong in summer months but the local businesses like restaurants, bars and independent stores are kept busy all year round.

He reports a lot of interest in high-end properties over the last 12 months, with deals done in excess of €1m on properties along the coast.

Towns like Baltimore, Schull and Glandore were most popular with buyers last year, with Carmody claiming that there's something for everyone in his neck of the woods.

Forecasts are for no rise or fall in prices around West Cork in the coming 12 months, aside from the three bed semis in town.

Irish Independent


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