WEST Cork has seen a significant increase in UK-based house buyers as Brexit draws nearer, a new report has found.
Celtic Properties estate agent John O Neill, who has over 40 years experience in the property market, said there has been a noticeable surge in the number of individuals looking to buy in Bantry and on the Beara Peninsula.
Mr O’Neill said that around Mizen and Sheep's Head had become popular spots for relocating UK citizens who are worried about the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
“Many of our clients have been living abroad in Spain, Portugal or France, but are reluctant to return to the UK in the current political landscape.”
“The vast majority of clients we are seeing are middle-of-the-road purchasers who are worried about Brexit. I don’t think Brexit will have any real effect on big spenders.”
According to a survey carried out by the Real Estate Alliance group, sales to UK buyers have increased by 10% on average over the past year, nationally.
More than 46% of estate agents have seen an increase in enquiries from the UK over the past year and 17% of all property transactions with UK buyers are now directly related to Brexit, with 12% due to jobs moving to Ireland.
“UK buyers make up 11% of overall enquiries and 6% of sales in the Irish market, with our agents reporting an average of five sales each last year, up 10% on the previous 12 months,” said REA spokesperson Barry McDonald.
“17% of enquiries to REA agents cite Brexit as a direct reason for moving to Ireland. 23% are coming to live and work in Ireland, which is up from 16% in our comparable 2016 survey.
“Of those, 20% intend to commute to work in the UK, 34% will be working from home for UK companies and 46% will now be working in Ireland.”
The survey also shows that 27% are buying for eventual or immediate retirement, 16% are investors, 11% are looking for a change in lifestyle, and 8% are purchasing holiday homes – a market that has been hit by the fall in sterling value.
The typical UK buyer is looking for a rural property (55%) with 67% of them opting for a standalone development.