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Property prices in Ireland

Hello everyone,

Finding affordable housing in Ireland is number one priority for newcomers. Tell us more about the estate market in your district/city/region.

What are the most desired places to live? What are the most affordable ones? What is the average cost of a rented flat? And what is the average sale price for an appartment or a house? Could you tell us more about local real estate policies/procedures? What about property tax or residency tax in Ireland?

What about you? Where do you live now? Is it a place you would recommend?

Thank you in advance for your clarifications.

Priscilla

We live on the southeastern coast. House prices seem very high to us, but rents are about half what they'd be in New England, where we came from. I do not recommend buying too quickly as you need to know what town or area really suits you long term.

A lot of the houses are so standardized it's hard to see any benefit from buying. We're very happy renters, have about the same or better housing that we would if we bought. It's nice not to be tied down. Selling our US house a few months ago was a relief. Again, we rented that house out for the first year, to hedge our bets. At some point we realized we were ready to cut that tie.

We're older, at a point in our lives where one good stroke can really ruin your day. The housing market in this area is not so robust as to ensure we'd be able to sell quickly. Concrete walls make renovation difficult. Most places have stairs or are further out in the country than one might want should a medical crisis arise. We have a warm, dry semi-detached, far better than anything we could afford in the US. We've been lucky with landlords--both have been excellent, but we are excellent tenants. The hundreds of years of British occupation has left its mark on landlord-tenant relations, unfortunately.

Be aware a lot of the housing stock that was slapped up during the boom is pretty shoddy. We live in such an estate. The workmanship in the house doesn't bother us as tenants but is almost laughable in places. We're constantly finding cracks in the walls and ceilings, corners that aren't even close to 90 degrees, vapor barrier sheeting left untrimmed and dangling around windows and doors. We are SO glad we don't own the place. One scam that happened during the boom had to do with the composition of building materials. Those houses are now crumbling.

This sort of thing happened in the US during the building boom of the early 1980's. It's common in boom times. People start to build spec houses. There aren't enough experienced workers to hire. A feeding frenzy develops and people will buy anything, just "to get into the market," not realizing they're in a bubble. The Dublin market is heating up now, so beware.

I highly recommend renting, at least in the non-Dublin areas.

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