Property market flooded by wave of returning Irish
The first wave of cash-rich emigrants who left Ireland in the post-crash turmoil are now snapping up property and land in preparation for their return home.
"We have had six sales completed to people, five of whom live in Australia and one in the US, this year," said John Earley, an auctioneer in Co Roscommon.
"They are still living over there and they have all bought land," he said.
Mr Earley said that one man who has been living in Australia for seven years had bought a farm with 70 acres, with the intention of returning home in five years.
Meanwhile, the auctioneer revealed that other clients had bought smaller parcels of land, of around 10, 20 or 30 acres, that became available in the locality which they left.
Quality will dictate the price, so it can be €5,000 to €10,000 per acre, but generally €7,000 would the the average, Mr Earley said.
"This is a market that wasn't here 12 months ago. They are in their 20s and 30s, and gone in the last five years, and we are delighted to see it," said the auctioneer from Property Partners Earley.
"We are beginning to see people returning. The value that is in the market is driving it," Mr Earley said.
It comes as the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) predicted, in its latest analysis of the economy, that rent and house prices are likely to continue to rise amid tight supply, but said another bubble in the property market was a long way off.
The independent think-tank said that the economy was recovering "quite vigorously" and the State's finances were returning to health more rapidly than expected, in what was regarded as one of its most optimistic assessments since the economic crisis began in 2008.
Michael Grehan, of Sherry FitzGerald, told the Sunday Independent: "Our website last year was accessed by over 175 countries. So it does show that those living abroad are looking at Ireland now.
"I am sure a portion of those are people who did emigrate and are now keeping an eye on the property website, and keeping an eye on property."
He added that some 15pc of its overall traffic on the website came from abroad, with the top four cities being London, New York, Sydney, and Edinburgh. A similar trend is being noted this year.
Meanwhile, David Browne, head of new home sales at Savills, pointed out that Irish people working in London are paying £1,100 (€1,325) a square foot for an out-of-town apartment, and they are looking back at Dublin, where prices look relatively inexpensive by comparison.
He also said that some who emigrated and have had children, and want to bring them up in Ireland, are coming back and renting initially, and then buying homes.
There are a lot of buyers who would have the full amount in cash, according to Mr Browne.
Meanwhile, figures from the European Commission have revealed that the number of young people aged between 15 and 24 living here, decreased by 9 per cent between 2007 and 2012.