BY EMMA CONNOLLY
BUYERS from Russia, China and the US are showing strong interest in the West Cork property market, according to a local estate agent.
However, Brexit is already having an impact with the traditionally high number of UK buyers looking for homes here noticeably down.Â
Estate agents were commenting after the latest Daft.ie Wealth Report revealed that the top five most expensive property locations in Munster are all in West Cork.Â
Daft.ie, the country's largest property website, identified Kinsale as Munster's most sought-after location, with average asking prices of â¬309,000 for a home in the gourmet town.Â
That's followed by Bandon, where houses cost an average of â¬285,000 and Durrus/Mizen Head, costing â¬242,000.Â
Crosshaven comes in fourth on the list, at â¬240,000 and houses in scenic Rosscarbery/Baltimore are in fifth place, going for an average of Â â¬230,000.
These compare to an average house price in Cork county of â¬196,000 and, in the city, â¬257,000.
Ray O'Neill of Sherry FitzGerald O'Neill in Clonakilty said he was currently in negotiations with a Russian business person, while there was also significant interest from China âat the upper level' and from Irish people who had done well abroad.Â
What was also interesting was that these were people looking for permanent bases here, and not holiday homes, he said.Â
The numbers of exceptional properties the area boasts, coupled with exceptional views and connectivity through Cork Airport, are its key selling points, Mr O'Neill added.Â
Maeve McCarthy of Charles McCarthy estate agents and auctioneers in Skibbereen said they are seeing an uplift in international clientele while US buyers are also making their presence felt at the moment âbe that due to a stronger dollar, or the Trump effect.'
However, they both agreed the market was busiest at the level up to â¬300,000, with shortage of supply in that price category.Â
Maeve said: âWest Cork has always punched above its weight in relation to property prices in comparison to some of our nearer neighbours.
âIt has always been a most sought-after destination due to its majestic coastline, interesting villages, friendly people, fantastic food, culture Â â the list and superlatives could go on and on. However, as enthused as local property owners might get at reading the Daft report, I would advise a word of caution. Brexit is having an impact on the West Cork property market and we are not seeing the volume of UK purchasers coming here that we would see traditionally. Where we are seeing property price increases reflected is in holiday homes below â¬250,000, as Irish buyers are now coming back into the market in greater numbers than previous years.'Â
However, Ray O'Neill said activity was still between 35%-40% below what it would have been during peak Celtic Tiger years in 2007.