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Returning emigrants will be well placed to buy





Irish owners abroad are still in a position to cash their chips in large, as evidenced by new research from Savills, which estimates the "dividend" to be gained from moving here from the south-east of England now stands at over €500,000.

Dr John McCartney, director of research at Savills Ireland, said: "Amazingly, average house prices in Dublin were 16pc higher than those in London back in 2008.

"However, the UK property boom has led to a 68pc increase in average London prices which now stand at around £513,000. Coupled with declining values in Ireland and the strength of the pound, this means Dublin prices have fallen 61pc behind those in London.

"Consequently anyone who bought an average London property at the right time and now wants to buy back in Dublin would realise windfall gains of over €500,000 - not including taxes and fees."

Looking ahead, Savills said that the strength of the economy and the coincidence of positive financial incentives should lead to faster in-migration from the UK.

"The latest CSO estimates show that in-migration to Ireland increased by 14pc in the year to April, with more than 10,000 people coming from the UK.

"Given the incentives that are now in place, I would expect these inflows to accelerate."

However, Dr McCartney warned that returning migrants are likely to put further pressure on the Irish housing market.

"It is widely accepted that we have not been building enough new homes to meet demand for some time now, and in-migration will inevitably put further strain on the housing stock. In the medium term, it is difficult to see how this can result in anything other than continued upward pressure on prices."

McCartney also noted that the returning Irish will be well positioned to compete for properties as many will be armed with substantial amounts of cash.

How you could have turned a profit...

December 2008

  • Individual owns average Dublin property outright
  • Individual sells this property at the going rate of €371,647
  • Converts proceeds to sterling at prevailing exchange rate of €1 = £1.05 = £353,994
  • Moves to London, buys average London property at going rate of £304,421
  • Banks the change; £353,994 - £304,421 = £49,573

June 2015

  • Sells London property at going rate of £512,651
  • Adds proceeds to change from 2008 still in the bank = £512,651 + £49,573 = £562,224
  • Converts combined sum back to euro at prevailing exchange rate of £1 = €1.4 = €790,306
  • Buys average Dublin house at going rate of €278,567
  • Pockets windfall gain: €790,306 - €278,567 = €511,739

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