Brexit hits UK property interest in Ireland as US enquiries rise

Brexit hits UK property interest in Ireland as US enquiries rise

The Brexit vote, and the subsequent fall in the value of sterling, caused a 32% drop in the amount of property enquiries from the UK over the past year, a national estate agents’ survey has found.

Almost 20% of overseas enquiries about Irish property are now coming from the United States, from a negligible base two years ago, according to the Real Estate Alliance nationwide survey.

“Property buyers from the US are increasingly securing homes and investment properties in Ireland, buoyed by a strong dollar and the lure of a resurgent economy for emigrants,” said REA chairman Eamonn Spratt.

Real Estate Alliance are offering Irish property vendors the chance to take advantage of this mini-boom by registering for the Alliance’s upcoming Irish Property Exhibition in Boston.

“The average house price in the US in November 2016 was $365,200 (€341,739), compared to our Average House Price survey national value of $216,856 (€202,926), so there is obvious value for American buyers in Ireland,” said Mr Spratt.

“Our agents report that enquiries from the UK have dipped by a third since the Brexit vote, and the attendant fall in the value of sterling against the Euro.

“But while the UK still forms 37% of our overseas business, 19.6% is coming from the US, 18% from Australia, 15% from mainland Europe and 11% from other locations – especially Canada.

“78% of our members report an increase in enquiries from overseas in the last year, with the average agent seeing a 22% rise in calls from outside Ireland.

“The biggest rises were seen in calls from Irish emigrants planning to return from Australia, which increased from 11% in 2015 to 18% in 2016.

“The resurgent economy is having a positive effect on the market with the number of overseas buyers enquiring about moving to live and work in Ireland rising by 9% over the past year.”

Overseas calls now make up 18% of all enquiries across the REA group.

REA agents report a rise in sales instructions from Europe, consisting of a mix of Irish emigrants and holiday home owners who feel that they are now out of negative equity situations.

The survey showed that 29% of overseas buyers are purchasing a home for their retirement and 16% are purchasing as an investment, down from 20% in 2015.

40% of sales to overseas purchasers are now for properties valued above €200,000 – a rise of 9% on the 2015 figure.

“While the market between €150,000 to €200,000 is static at 16%, the biggest change in the market has been the drop of 25% in sales of properties below €100,000,” said Mr Spratt.

“This reflects the decline in stocks of excess housing for under six figures in rural counties, and was mirrored in our recent average house price survey which saw huge percentage rises in counties such as Longford and Roscommon off a very low base.”

The first group to pioneer Irish sales in the US, REA are bringing thousands of properties to Boston, giving a host of US buyers the chance to browse in comfort and talk to the experts on the ground.

The exhibition takes place in the Lenox Hotel, Boston from 5:30-8pm on March 23.

“Last year we brought the first Irish property exhibition to the US and met with 425 potential buyers in New York.

“32% of the attendees were Irish families looking to return home, 19% were retirees looking to downsize, and 17% were young Irish people returning to work.

“5% of attendees were searching for a holiday home and another 3% were keen to buy a second home with ties to family in Ireland.

“A survey of attendees also found that 16% were investors while 8% were US-based people who have homes in Ireland and were looking for them to be either sold or managed.”

Real Estate Alliance (REA) is Ireland’s leading property group of Chartered Surveyors with over 55 branches nationwide, comprising many of the country’s longest-established auctioneers and estate agents.

Further details on the REA Boston Property Exhibition, and a list of local agents, can be found on www.realestatealliance.ie/Boston or send an email to register for the event at info@rea.ie.

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