Half Year West Cork Market Update

July 11, 2019
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Welcome to our half year update on the West Cork property market. In this edition:

  • The key findings in Marian Finnegan’s half year review.
  • Our view of the market in West Cork.
  • Highlights YTD

Market Analysis

Sherry FitzGerald Chief Economist Marian Finnegan has published her latest analysis of the Irish Residential Market. To see full story, click here. Key findings are as follows:

  • The average value of Irish established homes rose by 1.3% in the year to date when Dublin is excluded. This compares to growth of 3.1% recorded in the same period in 2018.
  • 35% of vendors were selling their investment properties, while investors entering the market represented only 16% of purchasers.
  • 39% of single property transactions nationally did not have a mortgage attached.
  • Owner occupier levels remained strong in the opening half of the year, accounting for 77% of all purchasers, compared to 72% during the same period in 2018. Notably first-time buyers accounted for 51% of all owner occupiers.

The market in West Cork

Commenting on the market, agent Con O’Neill highlights the supply of quality family homes for sale remaining the key issue across West Cork. The pinch is being particular felt in Clonakilty where there are just 61 properties listed for sale on Daft in comparison to 98 in Skibbereen, 73 in Schull and 88 in Bantry. Our message to vendor’s is that if you are considering selling, now is a good time to get your property on the market.

The constraints on mortgage lending are effectively controlling price inflation, namely central bank rules limiting the majority of borrowers to 3.5 times salary along with loan-to-value restrictions. This is reflected in price inflation of 1.3% for the first 6 months of 2018 in comparison to 3.1% for the corresponding period last year.

International buyers remain in the market. In the first six months of the year, 33% of properties we sold were to international buyers. Interestingly, UK based buyers remain, despite currency pressures and Brexit on the horizon, accounting for 14% of our total closed sales for the period.

Highlights YTD

In the country homes market, there have been a number of significant sales including Eden House, Kilbrittain at €933,000, Hartt House, Castletownshend €850,000 and Brandy Hall House, Castletownbere at €537,600. Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill in conjunction with Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes and Estates partnered with Christie’s International Real Estate’s 1,200 offices in 45 countries can reach an unqualified number of proven luxury consumers — worldwide.

Confidence is returning to the commercial market in the towns and villages of West Cork. High profile retail brands are looking at Bantry, Skibbereen and Clonakilty with quality retail space the primary inhibitor. A lack of finance from banks however is dampening the demand from within West Cork for commercial and investments opportunities.

The team at Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill are proud to have sought out and successfully attracted Cornish clothing brand Seasalt who opened its first shop in Ireland and outside the UK, in Clonakilty in May. This is a major endorsement of the high street and Clonakilty as a whole. In December we successfully sold the Clonakilty Hotel for an undisclosed sum. This is another major vote of confidence for Clonakilty.

Lastly, on a personal highlight, we would like to congratulate Con on his marriage to Geraldine in June. We had a fantastic day celebrating the occasion in Doolin and wish them all the best of the future.