Record year for the Irish country house market

AAMONG the enormous uncertainty caused by the Covid pandemic, 2021 has been a fairly exceptional year which has seen the high levels of activity in 2020 continue and manifest in deals made for older and recent offerings.

A pool of wealth built up by Irish entrepreneurs based here and abroad, coupled with resilient economic performance after Brexit, low financing costs and negative interest rates on deposits, coinciding with limited supply, has stimulated the market.

Last year’s review predicted an exceptional year and it did happen with at least eight properties sold during the year in the province at or above the € 2million level.

2021 should be seen as perhaps the strongest year for the domestic market since the fall of 2006 in terms of sales made and sales exceeding the 1 million euro mark.

Rocket House Castletownbere was among the West Cork flag bearers, earning € 2.5million

Country house is all the rage again, given the uncertainties of living and working in the Covid era, with buyers continuing to seek self-contained properties on their own land and with generous accommodation.

Irish nationals based here and abroad are increasingly dominant and competition for price-specific offers is approaching Celtic Tiger levels, encouraged by renewed confidence in the market as a solid investment, guaranteed by the continuing shortage of supplies. A low rate of stamp duty coupled with a relatively benign property tax continues to support the market.

Parish house Cannon's Cross Inniscarra made 1.5 million euros
Parish house Cannon’s Cross Inniscarra made 1.5 million euros

New stocks entering the market in 2021 were again scarce, and those presented at realistic levels performed well, generating a lot of interest. Journey’s End, Crookhaven, initially guided at € 850,000 is listed in the price register with a 41% improvement to € 1.20m. Parish house, Inniscarra, made more than 1.5 million euros after being launched at 1.35 million euros while Annesgrove, Aherla was launched in September at 2.5 million euros, reportedly reached 2.90 million euros in private auctions with six bidders.

Ngong, in Kilnagleary, Carrigaline, made around € 1.75 million
Ngong, in Kilnagleary, Carrigaline, made around € 1.75 million

In Kilkenny, the former home of the Smithwick family, Kilcreene Lodge, launched at € 3.25m in June and was listed on the price register four months later at € 4.25m, a premium of over 30% .

The highlight of the year was the sale of Abbey Leix Estate, Co Laois, which would sell for near its guide price of € 20million, to Limerick tech billionaire John Collison, co-founder of Stripe. .

The sale of Knockdrin Castle in County Westmeath, estimated at more than 10 million euros, has also attracted attention.

Both properties were bought by Irish tech entrepreneurs and served to highlight the strength of the super-premium market and the local buyer at this level.

Abbey Leix’s sale illustrates shifting momentum in the industry, closing in less than two years close to the initial guide price, as many of the year’s other bestsellers suffered a much longer wait and drops in price. significant prices.

A notable entry in September, to test the Kinsale market, was Raffeen, guided at 4.9 million euros, and selling quickly, before Christmas, for a price close to the guide to a foreign buyer.

Elsewhere in the province, West Cork once again took the top spot in County Cork with the Liss Ard estate, Skibbereen, sold for 3.5 million euros to US buyers.

Journeys End, Crookhaven made 50% more than its guide, sold for € 1.2 million
Journeys End, Crookhaven made 50% more than its guide, sold for € 1.2 million

Also in West Cork, sales include The Rocket House and Tally Ho, Castletownshend, for € 2.5m and € 1.4m, Rathmore, Baltimore, at € 1.7m, or € 2m with additional land, Glaissin Alainn, Ballydehob and Journey’s End, Crookhaven € 1.2 million.

Gardens at Rathmore, Baltimore, which made £ 2million in total on their land
Gardens at Rathmore, Baltimore, which made £ 2million in total on their land

Elsewhere in the county, Annesgrove (Aherla), Ileclash House (Fermoy), Walton Court (Oysterhaven) and Rathpeacon House (Blarney) have all reportedly found buyers over £ 2m while Ngong and Ravenswood House (Carrigaline) have reached 1.75 million euros. and € 1.1 million respectively with The Parochial House (Inniscarra) making more than € 1.5 million and Lissardagh House close to € 1 million.

Salterbridge House, Cappoquin made 3.25 million euros, bought by real estate veteran Stephen Vernon
Salterbridge House, Cappoquin made 3.25 million euros, bought by real estate veteran Stephen Vernon

In County Waterford, the Salterbridge Estate, Cappoquin, was acquired by developer Stephen Vernon of Green Property, close to the € 3.25m guide, while Ballyin Garden House, Lismore, also broke the € 1m mark. . Pouldrew House, Kilmeadan, entered the market at the end of the year for 1.85 million euros.

In County Limerick, Gerry McManus’ Fedamore House with 16 acres sold for over € 2.6m (possibly an inter-family transfer) while in County Tipperary there was a good activity – Tullamaine Castle Stud, Fethard sold, after being initially guided at € 4.75m while Brookhill, also close to the village, would be sold around the € 1.3m guide with Altavilla, Cahir earning € 1m.

In North Tipperary, Garrykennedy House, Portroe, is listed as making € 1.4million in the register and Riverston, Nenagh, also selling above the € 1million mark. In County Clare, Woodfield House has made more than 1.15 million euros.

2021 brought Joe Biden’s promised corporate tax offensive, and the OECD’s landmark agreement was signed in October with a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% for multinationals whose figure business exceeds 750 million euros.

Ileclash, Fermoy on the Blackwater River grossed over € 2m
Ileclash, Fermoy on the Blackwater River grossed over € 2m

According to the EU Tax Observatory, the new regime could bring the country another 12.5 billion euros in the future.

Looking ahead to 2022, given the market performance in 2020 and 2021, it is difficult to anticipate another strong performance, although activity could well weaken if a supply shortage persists.

While the economy has shown resilience in the face of the pandemic, the Omicron variant has shown how quickly things can change.

2020 had raised concerns about negative inflation, but positive inflation is now a global problem with tough decisions on the horizon for central banks as they struggle to contain inflationary pressures.

It is possible that borrowing costs will rise rapidly next year, for the first time in a 10-year period of unusually low interest rates.

Possible macroeconomic events that may come into play are the triggering of Article 16, the fallout and the risk of contagion from Chinese real estate giant Evergrande and the conflict in Eastern Europe.

  • Michael Daniels is a country property specialist based in Fermoy, Cork. 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of Michel H Daniels & Co.

Pat R. Madsen