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    The most popular seaside towns of 2022

    In Ireland, you’re never too far from the sea and when the sun shines, people typically flock to these places.

    For some, being beside the water is an absolute must and, as a result, coastal towns are always in demand.

    We’re lucky to have several popular seaside towns in Ireland but these were the most popular in the year just gone…

    Kenmare is a town in the south of Co Kerry. It is located at the heard of Kenmare Bay where the Roughty River flows into the sea at the junction of the Iveragh Peninsula and the Beara Peninsula. It is also located near the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Mangerton Mountain and Caha Mountains and is a popular hillwalking destination. Nearby towns and villages are Tuosist, Ardgroom, Glengarriff, Kilgarvan, Killarney, Templenoe and Sneem. Local amenities include a selection of primary and secondary schools, community hospital, churches, library, the Carnegie Arts Centre, restaurants, pubs, hotels and B&Bs. There are daily bus-services in summer to Killarney 20km away and in the off-season, the bus runs Monday-Friday. There is also a daily service to/from Cork in the summer months on the N71 via Bantry and Clonakilty. The nearest airport is Kerry Airport, which is 50 km away. A wider range of services is available from Cork Airport, which is 90 km away. There is a daily direct service to/from Cork Airport in the summer months on the N71 via Bantry and Clonakilty. There is also a GAA club, basketball club and soccer club in the area.

    Tramore, or more specifically its Irish name Trá Mhór, literally translates to ‘big beach’ in Irish making this Co Waterford town the ultimate seaside destination in the south east of the country. Initially just a popular tourist destination, in more recent times it has become a satellite town of Waterford City, which is just 13km to the north. The town is popular for surfing and other water sports due to its large, sheltered bay while there are a large selection of hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops to enjoy, as well as stunning walks and Tramore Racecourse.

    Kinsale is a port and fishing town in Co Cork. Located 25km south of Cork City on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale, it sits at the mouth of the River Bandon and is a popular tourist destination. Leisure activites in the area include yachting, sea angling and golf. The town also has several art galleries and a school of English. The town is compact with a quaint air of antiquity in the narrow streets. There is a large yachting marina close to the town centre. The town is known for its pubs and restaurants, and holds an annual “Gourmet Festival”. There is both Church of Ireland and Catholic churches in the town while Bus Éireann provides regular routes to Cork City. Kinsale and Bandon are also linked by public transport with a bus service provided by East Cork Rural Transport. As well as a yacht club, GAA club, badminton club and rugby club, the Saile Sports and Leisure Centre boasts all-weather pitches, a tennis court, basketball court, community garden and more. Kinsale hosts an annual jazz festival, which takes place during the last weekend of October. There is also a number of schools in the area.

    Dungarvan is a coastal and harbour town in the heart of Waterford. It is situated at the mouth of the Colligan River, which divides the town into two parishes: Dungarvan to the west and Abbeyside to the east. The harbour offers one potential route to Dungarvan but it is also on the N25 and is well served by bus with links to Cork, Waterford and Rosslare Europort. The area offers a large variety of shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels, schools and sporting amenities while the Waterford Greenway walk is undoubtedly one of its major highlights with its 46km route running from Dungarvan to Waterford along the old railway line.

    Westport in Co Mayo is located at the sout-east corner of Clew Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland. Known as a major tourist destination it has won both the Tidy Towns competition and Best Place to Live in Ireland competition in the past. It is designated as a heritage town and incorporates the Carrow Beg River into its design. The pilgrimage mountain of Croagh Patrick, known locally as “the Reek”, lies some 10 km west of the town near the villages of Murrisk and Lecanvey. The mountain forms the backdrop to the town. Westport hosts a large number of festivals throughout the year and boasts a number of the top pubs, restaurants and hotels in the region. It has two secondary schools and five primary schools, as well as a College of Further Education. The N5 national primary route connects the town to Castlebar while it is also accessible via rail. Ireland West Airport in Knock is also just 60km away. The town also boasts a large number of sporting facilities including an angling centre and one of Ireland’s top golf courses. More

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    The most popular home features of 2022

    While the primary function of sites like is to search for a new place to buy or rent, many visitors simply come to browse.

    Our advanced search allows you to put in key features that might be important to you. This can range from the simplest of requests such as parking, having a garden or a home office but quite often these searches go a little more in-depth.

    Indeed, furniture, gardens, kitchens and garages were amongst the most popular keyword searches on the site this year.

    Throughout 2022 we’ve noticed that more and more are searching for specific items as they look for inspiration for their homes. This can range from sofa beds, to coffee tables, outdoor furniture to TV stands.

    We always try to look at the aspirational element on and throughout the year we’ve featured weekly blogs that highlights properties on sale at that time with some unique features.

    As we wrap up the year, we’ve decided to look back on six features we’ve ran throughout the year featuring popular keywords. More

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    The High Cost of Buying a Home was the Biggest Challenge facing Ireland’s First-Time Buyers in 2020

    Bank of Ireland’s First-Time buyer survey identified the main challenges and impact of Covid-19 for First-time buyers.
    Main Findings
    52% of first-time buyers say the high cost of buying a home was the biggest challenge they faced in 2020
    48% of first-time buyers have said Covid-19 has delayed their plans to buy a home
    €550 was the average saved per month by first-time buyers in 2020
    55% of first-time buyers will depend on financial help from family or friends to buy their first home.
    According to Bank of Ireland’s 2020 first-time buyer survey over half (52%) of first-time buyers said the high cost of buying a home is the biggest challenge they faced in 2020. Lack of supply in desired areas and the ability to save for a deposit are also seen as significant challenges for first-time buyers.
    No 2020 survey would be complete without analysing the impact of Covid-19. The survey revealed Covid-19 had a major impact on first-time buyers with 48% saying it had delayed their plans to buy a home, while 23% said it had accelerated their plans. Covid-19 also made first-time buyers re-think the type of property they want to buy as well as the areas they want to buy in. 22% of first-time buyers said they were reconsidering the type of property they wanted to buy and 21% said they are rethinking the location.
    The average first-time buyer in 2020 saved €550 a month, the highest since Bank of Ireland started the survey in 2016. Although saving more than in previous years, over half of first-time buyers (55%) said they would still depend on financial help from family or friends to buy their first home.
    *Research was conducted by RED C between November 2nd and 3rd 2020 with 204 people aged 25-45 who are ‘planning to buy or build their first home in the next few years’
    Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank trading as Bank of Ireland Mortgages is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland More

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    Residential property prices up by 2.2% in year to December

    Residential property prices for houses and apartments increased by 2.2% nationally in the year to December, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.
    This compares to an increase of 0.2% in the year to November and an increase of 0.3% in the twelve months to December 2019.
    In Dublin, residential property prices saw an increase of 1.2% in the year to December, while property prices outside Dublin were 3.1% higher.
    In Dublin, house prices increased by 0.2% and apartment prices increased by 5.1%. The highest house price growth in Dublin was in South Dublin at 3.2%, while Dublin City saw a decline of 1.8%.
    Outside Dublin, house prices were up by 3.1% and apartment prices up by 4.0%. The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the South East at 5.3% – at the other end of the scale, the Mid-West saw a 1.9% decline.
    Overall, the national index is 16.1% lower than its highest level in 2007. Dublin residential property prices are 21.8% lower than their February 2007 peak, while residential property prices in the Rest of Ireland are 18.1% lower than their May 2007 peak.
    Property prices nationally have increased by 87% from their trough in early 2013. Dublin residential property prices have risen 93.6% from their February 2012 low, whilst residential property prices in the Rest of Ireland are 88.4% higher than at the trough, which was in May 2013. More

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    Couple earning average wage cannot afford cheapest new apartments in Dublin

    A couple earning average wages still cannot afford even the cheapest new apartments in Dublin, according to a new report from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.
    The Real Cost of New Apartment Delivery Report also found most types of apartments are not economically viable for developers to build for sale.
    The society’s report found that the situation has improved since its previous study in 2017, with development costs decreasing for two categories of apartments and economic viability also improving.
    It stated this was the result of the relaxation of building regulations brought in by ministerial guidelines in 2018, particularly the reduction in car parking spaces and the removal of a requirement that apartments have dual aspect or natural light in two directions.
    However, it found that the cheapest two-bed apartment available, which would be a low-spec build in a low-rise suburban development, had a sales price of €375,000.
    This would require a deposit of €37,500 and the buyer to have an annual income of at least €96,000.
    A couple on average incomes would be earning just €88,000 between them.
    The President of the SCSI said supports are needed and that the new Shared Equity Scheme should give apartment buyers a longer payback period because of the higher costs.
    Micheál Mahon also said it takes up to 18 months to get a 100-unit scheme to planning and judicial reviews are causing further delay.
    “Delays by utility companies, especially Irish Water, are also proving extremely costly and need to be addressed. As this report shows, apartment construction is a costly business,” he said.
    The report set out four-category apartment types consisting of low-rise suburban, which is three storeys high; medium-rise suburban (three to six storeys); medium urban (five to eight storeys) and high-rise urban (nine to 15 storeys).
    Each category had a range depending on whether the development was high-spec or low-spec.
    It calculated that the all-in cost of delivering medium-rise two-bedroom apartments in Dublin ranged from €411,000 for a low-spec unit in the suburbs to €581,000 for a high-spec one in the city.
    A profit margin of 15% is then added to see which categories are economically viable for developers to build for homebuyers.
    It found that low and medium-rise suburban are viable if they are low-spec, according to current market prices. This is an improvement since 2017 when only low-rise suburban fell into that category.
    ‘The Real Costs of New Apartment Delivery 2020’ report also found that the actual cost of building a medium-rise apartment makes up 47% of the overall costs.
    Other so-called “soft costs”, such as VAT, levies, and fees, make up 42%, with site costs amounting to 11%.
    The overall development costs for medium-rise developments have gone down by up to 9% while most categories increased.
    Chair of the SCSI working group Paul Mitchell said Build To Rent developments are more economically viable as there are fewer restrictions relating to the apartment mix, car parking and size.
    He said they are also more attractive to pension funds, which can take a longer-term view of the asset.
    Mr Mitchell added: “It is not surprising therefore that 76% of the units analysed are for rental rather than sale.”
    Meanwhile, another report found that Covid-19 had caused a 21% decline in property transactions across the country in the 12 months to November last.
    The GeoView Residential Buildings Report View found that in Dublin, the area with the highest number of property transactions was Dublin 15, which includes Blanchardstown and Clonsilla.
    The postcode with the lowest average residential property price was €230,233 in Dublin 10, which includes Ballyfermot, while the highest was €771,542 in Dublin 6, which includes Ranelagh. More

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    Estate agents struggling to meet demand for property, survey finds

    Estate agents say they are struggling to meet demand for property at present, especially from first-time buyers.
    A survey of 800 agents, carried out by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, found that over two thirds predicted property price increases in the year ahead with 24% expecting prices to remain the same and 8% anticipating reductions.
    The average price increase in 2021 would be of the order of 4%, the report concludes, with lack of supply acting as the main driver of prices.
    Property prices in Dublin are expected to see average increases of 3%, while Connacht-Ulster – which has some of the lowest prices – will see an increase of 6%.
    An increase of 4% is predicted for Leinster while prices are forecast to increase by 5% in Munster.
    The report’s findings underline the scale of the supply challenges facing the market.
    While three quarters of agents reported sales instructions increasing or remaining the same in the third quarter, by the final three months of the year the figure had dropped to just over half with the remainder reporting a falloff in instructions.
    Several agents said the slowdown was ultimately due to lack of supply with potential vendors deferring selling due to the lack of alternative options.
    The Covid-19 pandemic largely dictated the market in 2020 and it looks like that trend will continue in 2021.
    “The transition to working from home has led to a reordering of priorities and is driving interest in larger properties in regional locations with good broadband and lots of amenities as well as holiday homes in secondary locations,” TJ Cronin, Vice President of the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland, said.
    “The trend away from urban areas is also reflected in the survey’s price projections,” Mr Cronin stated.
    “While Covid-19 has badly affected certain sectors, it has enabled prospective buyers who work in areas which haven’t been hugely impacted, such as pharma, tech, financial and the public sector, to increase their savings.
    “We’ve also seen a big inflow of Irish people returning from abroad, to Dublin in particular, and this has underpinned prices at the upper end of the market. In a situation where you have very limited supply – 83% of agents report having low levels of stock available in Q4 – the fear of missing out on a property will very often trump the fear of paying over the odds,” he added.
    According to an analysis by consultants EY, the construction sector will not return to 2019 levels of completions until 2024 at the earliest.
    It is estimated that in excess of 21,000 housing units were completed here in that year with the figure expected to have dipped below the 20,000 mark once again 2020.
    A newly instituted closure of building sites in recent weeks will likely impact supply in 2021.
    The Central Bank, among others, estimates that up to 35,000 units need to be completed every year in Ireland to keep up with demand.
    The SCSI concludes that housing supply and demand equilibrium may not be achieved until after 2030.
    By that stage, it predicts the sector would need to be building in excess of 60,000 units per year, over three times the current output and almost double the official estimates. More

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    Guidelines for property viewings updated due to rising level of Covid-19 cases

    Updated guidelines regarding property viewings have come into effect from today.
    The Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA), the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV) and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) have updated their ‘Property Services Providers Guidance to implementing Plan for Living with Covid-19‘ document which was released last year.
    The document was originally published last October to guide agents on how to operate under the various levels of the Government’s Living with Covid strategy.
    Given the rising number of Covid-19 cases over the Christmas and New Year period, new restrictions have come into effect today which will be reviewed on January 31st.
    The biggest change is that there will now be no in-person viewings of properties unless you’re already at the sale agreed stage with contracts signed.
    A statement from the PSRA said: “Due to the increasing and deeply concerning daily COVID-19 case numbers in Ireland over the very recent period, Government has requested that further tightening of restrictions in delivery of property services be addressed and implemented.
    “Accordingly, IPAV, PSRA and SCSI have reviewed and updated the Property Services Providers Guidance to Implementing a Plan for Living with Covid-19.
    “The revised Guidance document is updated to reflect the further tightening of restrictions in the provision of property services effective from 13 January 2021, which will be reviewed on 31 January 2021.
    “It is critical that you read and fully understand the new section ‘Level 5 Restrictions effective on 13 January 2021 for review on 31 January 2021’ in the document.
    “In order for property service providers, customers and the public remain safe and well, you are requested to comply with these new revised guidelines during the provision of all property services.”
    The guidance can be read in full here. More

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    Top 10 most viewed properties on in 2020

    It has been a year like no other for the Irish property market with Covid-19 having an impact on our lives even down to how we view property. While the pandemic has had an impact on sales and stock, traffic to has flourished with many people dreaming of that dream home. That was a…
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