US home buyers

Almost one in six overseas enquiries about property in Ireland is now coming from the US. A survey of members of the Real Estate Alliance (REA), reveals US property buyers are flocking to buy homes and investment properties here in Ireland. It found enquiries from the US have increased from almost 0% to 16% last year.

The REA said this surge in interest could signal the first major return of emigrants who feel that the time is right to move back to Ireland.

John Lowe, The Money Doctor, is hopeful that this is a sign of international confidence in Ireland and not merely confirmation that the current mortgage guidelines are putting homes out of the reach of many Irish residents.

According to REA agents, 31% of overseas buyers are moving to Ireland to live and work, 29% are buying a home for their retirement, and 20% are purchasing a property as an investment. Almost one third of all overseas purchases last year were completed for less than €100,000 and a further 20% of sales fell into the €100,000 to €150,000 bracket. Some 31% were properties which sold for more than €200,000.

REA chairman Michael O’Connor said there was obvious value to be had in Ireland for US buyers. “The average house price in the US in November 2015 was $374,900 (€341,656), compared to our average house price survey national value of €188,370, so there is obvious value for American buyers in Ireland.”

“US buyer interest is particularly strong in many undervalued rural counties and scenic locations and for the first time in the bigger cities, mostly from emigrants who feel that the time is right to return,” Mr O’Connor said.

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