ALTHOUGH the attractions of Killarney can’t bring in tourists during the pandemic, they are luring back locals from home and abroad who want to return to live in proximity to its lakes, mountains, and world-famous scenery.
“Sales to returning locals usually make up around 5% but last year it was up to 15%,’’ says Michael Coghlan who experienced a surge in sales after the first lockdown.
“Buyers have been young and old - we had sales to young professionals working in Dubai and London as well as to older buyers who had been embedded in life in the UK and the US for 30 years.
He says some were motivated by political reasons and some by economic ones and others by Brexit but that most were people whose perspective had been changed by Covid."They see the quality of life as a priority and view Killarney property as being affordable relative to cities such as Dublin.’’ In the newly changed world, he says some were planning to work for international companies abroad from their homes in Killarney.
“Most have some connection with Killarney but we have also had a few sales to Dublin people moving here because of the pandemic,” says Mr Coghlan noting that there has also been strong local demand.
He sold Killarney’s highest-priced property last year, Ailing, a substantial detached property with lake and mountain views on Loreto Road to a local for almost €1.5 million. While the town is happy to welcome returning locals and ex-pats back, their arrival puts even more pressure on the scarce housing supply.
There has been little new development of any significance in the town in recent years – most new construction involves one-off houses or very small developments of large houses. It seems to have been several years since any sizable private developments have been built in the town offering houses suitable for purchase by first-time buyers.
Tadgh Gallivan of Property Partners Gallivan says he has also been seeing an influx of returning locals including some working in multinationals in Cork city as well as others coming back from Saudi Arabia.
Because of the chronic shortage of supply and the fact that no new developments are being built, he says there is always active bidding on any of the second-hand properties coming on the market and that prices are being pushed upwards. “For a three-bed semi in the town prices are between €280,000 and €340,000 depending on the area while prices for detached trade-up houses start at €450,000.” While activity has all but stopped now, the expectation is that when restrictions lift after this lockdown that there will be another surge in activity in Killarney although a shortage of supply will continue to be a significant issue.
While there are currently only a small number of new properties available for purchase in the town now, some new developments are planned.
In the summer Sherry FitzGerald Coghlan plans to launch a new development of 25 houses off Rock Road. “This will include three-bed townhouses suitable for first-time buyers priced between €265,000 and €300,000,” says Mr Coghlan. Ted Healy of DNG Healy says he has plans for an 11-house development on the Muckross Road side of Killarney which will have houses to suit first time buyers.
A contemporary detached A2-rated house with five en suite bedrooms and a wow factor is currently under construction at Poulnamuck on Mill Road, Killarney, Co Kerry.
The computer-generated image for the architecturally designed energy efficient property shows it as stylish and ultra-modern with a flat roof, a high level of glazing, and an impressive first-floor cantilever.
Ted Healy of DNG Healy has set a guide price of €680.000 for the property which he says is unique because of its distinctive contemporary design, as well as the fact that spacious detached houses near the Muckross Road are extremely hard to come by.
: Expected to catch the eye of some of the well-heeled ex-pats who have been house hunting in the area recently.
Once viewing restrictions are lifted, Bunrower Lodge on Ross Road is expected to sell quickly.
An attractive gable-fronted four-bed dormer property, it’s on the market with Sherry FitzGerald Coghlan who say it’s a beautiful family home, which despite only having been built 30 years ago, has old-worlde charm.
“Located within walking distance of the town centre and Ross Castle, it has an attractive garden and 2,000 sq ft of living space and will appeal to both upsizers and downsizers.’’ says auctioneer Michael Coghlan quoting a guide of €495,000.
Ground floor accommodation includes a kitchen diner, a sitting room and a WC as well as an office and a bedroom while the first floor has a bathroom, and three bedrooms, one en suite.
: Has charm and home office space.
Affordable modern properties are particularly scarce in Killarney, says Tadgh Gallivan of Property Partners Gallivan who expects this first-floor apartment on Woodlawn Road to be snapped up by a first-time buyer or a holiday home hunter.
Guiding at €200,000, No 1 Rossalia House is an end apartment with a small front balcony situated in a mid-2000s built development. “It’s an owner-occupied property with modern décor located within a ten-minute walk from the town centre,’’ reveals Mr Gallivan.
Offering 880 sq ft of accommodation, it has a kitchen/living space with a small balcony as well as a bathroom and two bedrooms, one en suite. The apartment block has grounds at front and rear with ample parking.
: Attractively affordable for a first-time buyer but could also be bought as a holiday apartment.
One of just a small number of new developments now under construction in Killarney, Rookery Woods at Ballycasheen is offering spacious A-rated five-bed detached houses for €495,000.
Since launching the 36 house development in 2019, selling agents REA Coyne & Culloty have sold all but five — all of which are five-bed 2,100 sq ft properties.
“Two of these houses are almost finished and the other three will be completed in four or five months,“ says auctioneer Donal Culloty noting that new houses are in short supply in Killarney and that few more are likely to come on stream this year.
: Spacious, new and highly energy efficient.