For non-Irish residents, the good news is that you don’t have to be Irish in order to buy property here. This means that foreigners shouldn’t have to face any hurdles in purchasing a home.
In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, Ireland’s real estate market appears to be doing well. However, house prices rose 8.44% between 20211 and 20211. It’s still a seller’s market because of the rising demand for property. The demand for property is outpacing the supply2, which could cause problems between buyers.
- Buy property in Ireland following Brexit
- Can I purchase a property in Ireland?
- What is the estimated cost of various properties in Ireland?
- Is it possible to buy property in Ireland without being a resident?
- Can foreign nationals own property in Ireland
- Can I reside in an Irish property?
- Can I open a business in Ireland if I own a commercial property in Ireland?
- How do I purchase property in Ireland?
- Where can I locate an Irish property solicitor
- How do I locate a property in Ireland
- How do I find the perfect property?
- What are the steps required to buy a property in foreign ownership?
- What are the legal requirements when buying property in Ireland?
- How do I obtain a bank loan/mortgage
- What tax and fees will I be responsible for?
Buy property in Ireland following Brexit
With the UK leaving the European Union, a new class of British buyers are now looking to purchase property in Ireland to live in or gain access to the EU.
EU citizens do not have the right of purchasing property in Ireland. British citizens can buy commercial and residential property as well as homes in Ireland. Because the UK and Ireland form part of the Common Travel Area, UK citizens have the right to remain in Ireland even after Brexit5.
British buyers could find Irish property more expensive after Brexit. This is due to the fact that the value the pound has against the euro has fallen around 15% (as at 2021)6 in comparison to levels pre-referendum.
Can I purchase a property in Ireland?
Ireland is a member of the European Union’s ‘Golden Visa Scheme’, which allows foreigners to obtain residency permits for property investments.
These eligibility conditions are however very strict. It isn’t as simple as purchasing a home and applying for a visa. A real estate investment trust, which is listed on the Irish stock market, requires you to invest at least EUR2million over three years.
What is the estimated cost of various properties in Ireland?
Property prices in Ireland can vary greatly depending on location, property type and whether you are buying in a bustling city like Dublin or a more rural area.
However, Ireland’s property tends to be more affordable than the UK. A city centre apartment in Ireland costs EUR3,870 (PS3,224), but in the UK, it’s EUR5,098 ($PS4,247)7.
This overview gives you an idea about how much your money can go to Ireland. It includes average prices for properties8 in Ireland’s most sought-after destinations.
Is it possible to buy property in Ireland without being a resident?
Yes, you can purchase property in Ireland as an Irish non-resident. The State does not have any restrictions regarding foreign nationals purchasing residential or commercial property. To purchase property in Ireland, you’ll need a PPS Number and to instruct an Irish property attorney (lawyer).
This is what you should know if you are an Irish non-resident who wants to purchase property in Ireland.
Can foreign nationals own property in Ireland
It is possible for foreign nationals to purchase property in Ireland even though they are not citizens of the country. This includes residential and commercial property. Irish real property is a popular option for investment, given that Ireland has the fastest growing economy within the European Union in 2020.
Can I reside in an Irish property?
It does not automatically grant you the right to live in Ireland simply because you have a property there. You will need to obtain the appropriate immigration permissions. This will depend on the passport you have. It is possible to live and work in Ireland for citizens of the UK, EU and EEA. To stay for longer than 90 days in Ireland, citizens of other countries will need a visa.
You might be interested in the Immigrant Investment Programme (IIP) if you are a non-EEA national and have substantial funds to invest into Irish real estate. If you are accepted, your family and you will be granted the right to reside permanently in Ireland.
Can I open a business in Ireland if I own a commercial property in Ireland?
Similar to the above, purchasing a commercial property in Ireland doesn’t automatically give you the right and privileges of operating a business here. Like the UK, EU, EEA, and Switzerland, you can open a business in Ireland. Other countries might require permission.
How do I purchase property in Ireland?
First, find the property you wish to buy. Online viewing and/or contacting an agent are options if you can’t travel to Ireland. You must make an offer once you’ve found the property. A booking deposit will be required if the offer is accepted. This is advantageous as the estate agent will not place the property on the market for any length of time. The deposit is non-refundable after you sign the contracts. The next step is to contact an Irish property solicitor (lawyer), who will manage the remainder of the conveyancing process.
Find out more about our 10-Step Guide to Buying Residential Property In Ireland. You should also note that the process may be different if you are buying property at auction.
Where can I locate an Irish property solicitor
Check the website of the Law Society of Ireland to find a lawyer. A listing on the website will indicate that the firm or solicitor is licensed to practice law. Conveyancing refers to the legal process of buying or selling property. This is a highly specialized area of law. Make sure you check with your chosen firm for a conveyancing solicitor – we have one here at Mullins & Treacy Solicitors.
What happens if it is impossible for me to get to Ireland in order to sign the paperwork
If you can’t travel to Ireland to sign paperwork, you may want to grant your solicitor power-of-attorney. This allows your solicitor the right to perform the transaction for you.
Can I rent it out?
Yes, it is possible to rent out the property. Non-resident landlords will be subject to tax. You can ask your solicitor for more information.
What is a PSS number?
An Irish Personal Public Service (PPS), number is required to purchase property in Ireland. This number can be used to identify you as a taxpayer. It is the equivalent of a National Insurance number (UK), a SIN number (Canada) or a SSN (USA). You can ask your lawyer for advice.
Do I have to pay taxes on my Irish property
Stamp Duty is required to purchase the property. This is a once-off fee. A local property tax is also required. Capital Gains Tax will apply to any property other than your primary residence. There are exceptions. Commercial properties might be subject to VAT.
Non-residents may have to pay Irish Income Tax. Ireland has signed double treaties on tax with 73 other countries. If you are a citizen one of these nations, you won’t be taxed twice on the same income.
How do I locate a property in Ireland
Agents and agencies for property agents
A UK-based estate agent might be helpful if you are a resident. A professional agency or agent that understands the market will help you to find the right property for you and assist with the purchase process.
You can search for a property agent in Ireland by visiting the Property Services Regulatory Authority’s (PSRA) website. This directory contains licensed estate agents .
You can also visit the Golden Pages website, which is an Irish equivalent to the UK’s Yellow Pages. Or you can search online for agents who operate in the area that interests you.
Ireland’s property websites
You can also search for property in Ireland by yourself.
How do I find the perfect property?
9 Types of properties
Although Ireland shares many property types with the UK and Ireland, you may be surprised at the number of Georgian homes found there. There are charming 19th century workers’ cottages as well as ‘Dutch Billy” homes. These homes, which are tall, narrow, with long terraces, have a Dutch and Belgian influence. There are many homes that have been built in Ireland, even if you don’t desire a period style.
The type of property that you choose depends on your requirements, family size, budget, and the availability of housing stock in your target Irish destination.
The condition of the property
It is crucial to get a qualified surveyor to inspect the property that you are looking to purchase. The Regency home you fell in love with may have serious structural issues.
The seller and their estate agent are not legally required to disclose any problems regarding the condition of the property in Ireland, just as in the UK. You will need to appoint an independent building inspector to inspect your property. The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland registration will help you locate one.
There are three types to choose from, each offering more detail9:
- Type 1 – A quick walk-through and summary report of the property
- Type 2 – A more detailed inspection. This includes checking insulation, drains boundaries, planning and other issues.
- Type 3 – A thorough survey in which the surveyor inspects things such as central heating, accesses services hatches, and lifts floorboards.
You should also be looking out for other things
Each home for sale in Ireland must carry a Building Energy Rating (3 BER), which indicates how energy-efficient the property. This rating will impact your energy bills and is worth checking.
It is also important to determine if the property falls within a High Radon Area. Radon is a radioactive substance that forms from the decay of uranium in ground. It can cause lung cancer. You can view the Radon Hazard Map or get more information at the Environmental Protection Agency.
What are the steps required to buy a property in foreign ownership?
The steps involved in buying a home for sale in Ireland are quite similar to the UK. Here’s how you can expect to go about it.
- Discuss your finances with a mortgage advisor in order to get pre-approval for mortgage financing
- Locate a solicitor
- You can start house hunting. If you don’t live in Ireland you might need one or more viewing trips.
- Select a property you like and make an offer. If accepted, the property becomes Sale Agreed.
- Have a building inspection done
- Sign the contract to sell – This is prepared by the estate agents and solicitors and binds the parties until the transaction is completed.
- Your solicitor will perform title requisitions, and they will be drafted into a Deed of Conveyance
- Mortgage approval, Exchange Contracts and Pay All Taxes
- Take the keys and move in.
What are the legal requirements when buying property in Ireland?
In general, there are no complicated legal requirements for purchasing property in Ireland. It is important to keep these key points in mind:
- The PSRA requires all estate agents to be licensed to legally sell property within Ireland9 – many will have their license readily available for you to check.
- The law stipulates that property purchases in Ireland9 must be overseen by a Commissioner of Oaths, which is similar to a notary. We’ll be looking at their services in a minute.
- A visa is not required to legally purchase property in Ireland. Citizens of the UK or Ireland don’t even need one to reside in Ireland.
- You may lose your deposit once the contract has been signed.
How do I obtain a bank loan/mortgage
A mortgage from an Irish lender is generally easier if you already reside in Ireland or are a resident of Ireland. You may have difficulty obtaining a mortgage if you are a foreigner who is currently living abroad. Furthermore, it is unlikely that most UK banks will lend you a mortgage to buy a property here in Ireland.
There are several options. First, make sure you choose an Irish lender with a strong presence in Britain. An experienced mortgage broker can help you find the right lender.
You can also temporarily move to Ireland before you buy your property. Lenders will prefer to see evidence that you have lived in Ireland for at most six months and worked there for at the least twelve months13.
These are the most important facts to know before applying for a mortgage once you’ve found one that you are eligible for.
- The maximum amount you can borrow is 3.5x your gross income. However, first-time and second-time buyers may be eligible for exceptions.
- For first time buyers, a minimum of 10% and for all other buyers, a minimum of 20% must be provided. Investors in buy-to-let must deposit a minimum of 30%.
- A mortgage “stress test” will be performed to determine if you are eligible for a mortgage. It looks at your income, spending habits, and other factors.
- For your mortgage to be protected, you will need life insurance.
What tax and fees will I be responsible for?
Here is a quick overview about the main costs associated with buying property here in Ireland9
- Solicitor’s Fees – There’s no fixed price for legal services in Ireland. It can be either a flat fee or a portion of the purchase price. Flat fees start at EUR900 +VAT. Percentage fees are approximately 1% + TVA.
- Mortgage valuation fee – EUR150 to EUR200 if applicable
- Stamp duty – up to EUR1million, 1% of property price (2% over this threshold).
- Search fees – around EUR150
- Land Registry fees are EUR400 for properties less than EUR50,000 and EUR800 for properties more than EUR400,000+. Additionally, there is a EUR175 mortgage fee and a EUR40 charge for a certified copy title plans.
- Commissioner for Oaths/notary Fee – EUR44
Budgeting for home and life insurance is important.
This article was inspired by these sources
- Global Property Guide House Price Increase in Ireland
- Global Property Guide– Investment analysis of Irish real property market
- Citizens Information – Steps to buy a house
- Currencytransfer.com– Buying Property in Europe After Brexit
- Citizens Information – Residence rights of non-EEA Nationals
- Expatica – The value of the pound in comparison to the euro since Brexit
- Numbeo property prices comparison between Ireland, UK
- Seaspray Loans – Average Property Prices in Ireland
- Property guides – number of Brits living in Ireland
- Foreign Buyers View – The top real estate websites of Ireland
- CCPC Steps to buy property in Ireland
- Online mortgage advisor – Ireland mortgages
- Money guide Ireland – buying property in Ireland from abroad