What's New In the World: Country Spotlight: Ireland

Ireland1—a popular vacation destination—is home to approximately 5.08 million people, with the fastest growing population in Europe. Ireland boasts hundreds of lakes, forests, wooded mountains and rolling fields, making it a popular vacation destination and a favorite place to purchase property. Once an economy centered on agriculture, recent years have seen a shift to technology industries, investment, and trade. The literacy rate in Ireland is 99% and the education system is highly rated.

What are the costs associated with buying a property in Ireland? As with any international transaction, it's essential to learn about the fees associated with buying or selling a property in that country. The table below outlines typical costs associated with buying a property in Ireland:

Transaction Costs

Stamp Duty 1% – 2% buyer pays
Legal Fees 1% - 1.5% (+23% VAT) buyer pays
Registration Fees 0.25% - 0.75% buyer pays
Real Estate Agent's Fee 1% - 3.5% (+23% VAT) buyer pays
1% - 3.5% (+23% VAT) seller pays
Costs paid by buyer 3.71% - 8.90%
Costs paid by seller 1.23% - 4.305%
ROUND-TRIP TRANSACTION COSTS 4.94% - 13.205%

Source: Global Property Guide

Inflation and Ireland2

According to chief economist at Davy, Conall MacCoille, an estimated double-digit inflation rate is likely to be fixed until at least the middle of 2022. The median asking price for properties across Ireland is €295,000. The price in Dublin is €385,000 while around the rest of the country it is €245,000. On average, properties in Ireland are being sold at 6.5% above asking price. Rents also increased by 9% in the year to February 2022.

Living in Ireland

According the latest census (gathered in 2016, published in 2018), there were 535,475 non-Irish nationals living in Ireland.  Ten nationalities accounted for 70% of the total figure. Polish nationals made up the largest group while the smallest group was German nationals.

Can Americans Easily Buy Property in Ireland?

U.S. Citizens can legally own property, and even earn rent from their property. This comes with tax implications, so it's important to explore those fully.

Can U.S. citizens move to Ireland?

U.S. citizens can travel to Ireland and stay for up to 90 days. U.S. citizens wanting to live in Ireland must either secure Irish citizenship or obtain a long-stay visa.

Where are some of the best places to live in Ireland?

Galway City is near the top of the list, known for its unique blend of a rural setting with a cosmopolitan culture. Galway is a laid back, culturally rich place to live. The average house price is €325,000.

Waterford City is a mid-sized and is a surfing and sailing hub. It's also walkable and has plenty of outdoor leisure options. The average house price is €202,150.

Cabra, Dublin 7 is a large suburb of Dublin with a strong sense of community. Owning a home with a back garden but also close to amenities make this a desirable spot. The average house price is €355,995.

Interview With Patrick Davitt, CEO of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers

How would you best describe the current status of real estate markets in Ireland at the moment?

The prices of properties are the highest they've ever been. Prior to this, the highest prices were experienced in 2006. Between 2006 and 2013, prices in Ireland fell by 57% on average with many falling by up to 80%.

What are the hurdles affecting your market?

The rental market is also at an all-time high. For both residential and commercial properties, supplies and materials are very expensive. There's a labor shortage as well, but that's not as bad as the supply and materials shortage. Where it would normally take on average about 16 weeks to build a property, we're seeing the timeframe now between 20-26 weeks. The aim in Ireland at the moment is to build 33,000 new properties per year (up from 20,000 the last year). This makes this goal tough to achieve. Inflation, supply shortages in addition to adjusting to the changes brought about by Covid-19, along with the war in Ukraine all mean this is a very complex time.

Are there benefits of purchasing a property in Ireland?

It's difficult to know which way the markets will go. At the moment, it's a seller's market. Ireland benefits from low interest rates and having fixed mortgage rates for up to 30 years. Though the interest rates are not as low as some of our European partners.

What are some things buyers need to be aware of when purchasing a property in Ireland?

Especially compared to the U.S. system of buying real estate, I encourage buyers to become familiar with the purchasing processes in Ireland. Ireland operates on a bidding system. It's also key to understand that the entire process, from finding a property, bidding, surveying, conveyance, and purchasing can all take up to 26 weeks.

Pie chart: The top nationalities in Ireland

Can you tell us about where people in Ireland are wanting to live at the moment?

Because people are able to work from anywhere, the first question people want to know when looking at properties, is how reliable the broadband is. Buyers used to first inquire about proximity to train and roads for commuting and schools. Now, the primary concern is quality of broadband. More people are moving out into the countryside and to more rural areas.

Has this shift to rural areas affected commercial real estate in the bigger cities?

This hasn't had a huge effect on offices. We have seen increased demand for commercial and industrial buildings and farmland. So, the demand for different types of real estate has diversified.

In terms of buyers from the U.S., what are the trends you see from purchasers?

Most Americans buying property in Ireland like to have some amount of land. They also tend to gravitate toward the counties along the coast. A lot of buyers either purchase from the top end of the market, or the bottom, which means they're doing a lot of refurbishments.

"Inflation, supply shortages in addition to adjusting to the changes brought about by Covid-19, along with the war in Ukraine all mean this is a very complex time."

- Patrick Davitt, CEO, Professional Auctioners and Valuers

What can we expect from Ireland in the near future?

Seller's Legal Pack for Property Buyers Bill 2021

A bill proposed by IPAV to establish a statutory procedure whereby when a Seller of a property places the property on the market, a set of legal documents (the “Seller's Legal Pack”) shall be compiled and advertised with the property and made available to potential buyers. Ensuring buyers have key information relating to the property, these documents are available for viewing prior to the property going on the market hence shortening the Conveyance time and helping to cut out Gazumping and Gazundering.3


1 The Irish Times, https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/the-best-place-to-live-in-ireland-2021-which-areas-are-the-most-affordable-1.4674192

2 Central Statistic Office, https://www.cso.ie/en/index.php

3 Gazumping is a technique where a seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer before contracts are signed and exchanged. Gazundering is where this scenario is reversed and the buyer withdraws an offer and makes a lower bid.

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