From London to Hong Kong, wealthy Irish expats are returning home in record numbers to snag homes in the Irish market.
Ay Palmer-Smith, head of Knight Frank New Homes in Ireland, said 20 per cent of sales of prime new build homes arranged by his Dublin company in 2020 were bought by Irish expats and a similar figure is forecast for last year.
“In particular, we are seeing very high demand for luxury apartment developments,” he said. “In 2021 we saw quite a large concentration of Irish expats from the US and now we are seeing expats from the Middle East and Hong Kong.”
Pre-sales to affluent expats have been secured in Dublin’s most desirable new build developments including 55 Lad Lane in Dublin 2, The Pinnacle in Mount Merrion and The Collection on Shrewsbury Road, where prices start at €3m.
Speaking of the second-hand home market, Mr Palmer-Smith said: “Landlords are exiting which makes it very attractive to Irish people looking to move home in the next few years knowing they have a good investment in the meantime.”
Dave Curry, director of Nova Mortgages, said his expat clients “have the buying power”.
“They have substantial deposits – on average 30-40 per cent of the value of the house, more if they’ve sold properties in cities like London where prices are higher,” he said.
“For example, a new client had €800,000 and was looking for a relatively small mortgage compared to their income and purchase price. He finally settled on a house on the coast for 1.1 million euros.”
Mr Curry said the influx of expats is part of a “perfect storm” that is pushing up prices in Dublin’s more affluent areas.
“There is no doubt that they compete with second-hand buyers in the Irish market, but people here are already competing with those who work in the leading legal and technology firms in Ireland, where the salaries are very high – like in the best law firms, accounting firms and multinationals.
“These employees benefit from significant bonuses and restricted stock units, giving them shares in the companies to redeem in three years’ time, and that again gives them a significant boost.”
Financial adviser and mortgage broker Michael Dowling has also seen a “significant increase” in inquiries from Irish expats in recent years.
“They’re definitely talking about higher-end homes,” he said. “The most common cohort is between €750,000 and €1.5 million. Most come home from London and the rest are scattered across the UAE, where there are low tax incentives.
“About 50 percent have their mortgage approved and are still buying the property abroad with plans to come back in the next year or so.”
Mr Dowling said he’s also noticed “a big increase” in people taking advantage of the Special Assignee Relief Program, which offers tax breaks to make it more attractive for high-flying executives at multinational companies to work here.
https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/property-mortgages/returning-irish-have-cash-to-splash-in-the-housing-market-41650729.html Returning Irish have money to splash around in the housing market