02 Feb 2017
What does one of the greatest minds of the second century, an international rock star, a famous transatlantic voyage and an Olympic hero all have in common? The answer is, of course, Arklow.
Ptolemy, a famous mathematician and geographer, included Arklow port in one of his maps from the second century. Arklow’s PR was obviously pretty good if word managed to reach Ancient Rome!
Mercurial singer Van Morrison was also won over by the Wicklow town, penning his 1974 song “Streets of Arklow” after visiting for a holiday. Van the Man’s not exactly known for his boundless enthusiasm so Arklow must have made a pretty good impression.*
Rounding out the trio is Olympian Ronnie Delany, who won the 1500m gold medal in the 1955 Olympics at the tender age of 21.*
That’s a lot going for a town of about 15,000 people. As well as a celebrated history, Arklow is also a great place to live. So what do you need to know about buying in the area?
The property market in Arklow
Two thirds of people seeking mortgages from Arklow EBS are second time buyers and self builds are growing in popularity. Average asking prices in Co Wicklow have grown by 5% in the last year, according to the latest Daft Report.
“Prices have gone up,” says Charlie Travers, Manager of EBS Arklow. “There’s no doubt about it. Traditionally the closer you are to Dublin, the higher the price. Greystones is the closest to Dublin so the prices would be very high. If you come down to Wicklow Town, prices are cheaper than Greystones but dearer than Arklow. Gorey used to be cheaper than Arklow but lately it’s caught up.”
Building your own home in Arklow
The national shortage of suitable housing stock has seen more people in rural areas choosing to build their own homes. The majority of people choosing this option have been gifted a site by family.
“We’ve seen a lot of self builds,” says Charlie. “Local farmers are giving their daughters or sons a site that they can build their own house on. EBS are very good at supporting people who want to build their own house.”
Borrowers who go for the self build option can draw down funds in flexible stages so they can enjoy interest-only payments during the build. Charlie had the following advice for anyone interested in a self build: “The most important thing with self builds is to get a good architect and an accurate costing at the start so you don’t end up with a house that’s nine tenths finished.
“It’s like building anything. You need proper foundations. The foundations in this case start with a good architect. The other point is the architect must supervise the project from start to finish.”
Popular areas in Arklow
Properties on the North side of Arklow are popular as there is easy access to the motorway and Dublin. “Mountain Bay and Pines areas are two of the most popular areas in Arklow,” says Charlie. “They would be that little bit more expensive. They’re smaller estates and they’ve good quality houses.”
For first time buyers, estates like Mountain Bay and Pines are options for a couple on higher earnings but the south of the town offers options for people with lower budgets. The city is now quite accessible, making Arklow a viable option for commuters. It takes 90 minutes to get into the city centre by train and there are also regular bus services.
“The road has improved dramatically from here to Dublin so people can commute and people who are priced out of Dublin now come to Arklow,” says Charlie. “Arklow to Stillorgan is only about 55 minutes’ drive in the morning. People can commute very easily.”
Arklow for families
The attractions of this former coastal village are pretty obvious. The iconic Nineteen Arches Bridge spans the Avoca River and is the longest handmade stone bridge in Ireland. It’s just one landmark in a charming village that is a great place to bring up a family.
“You’re beside the sea, there are plenty of schools, you can commute relatively easily to Dublin, there are lots of sports clubs, a
Cannot serve request to /content/ebs/ebshome/blog/2017/01/how-to-buy-your-first-home-in-arklow.html on this server