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Why you might just want to buy a house in Dingle

Irish seaport scenery in Dingle, Co. Kerry

13 Jun 2017

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Ask a Dingle native why they love the place and they’ll quickly say for the beauty. Locals don’t need to ‘argue’ the case for Dingle’s raw beauty and charm. Hollywood has been making the same case for decades: camera lenses love the Dingle peninsula; it’s a stand-out bit of Ireland, a postcard-pretty representative for the bang-on-trend Wild Atlantic Way.

Movie maker David Lean arrived in Dingle in 1969 to film one of Hollywood’s all-time greats, Ryan’s Daughter, and in 1991 actor couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman* arrived for the less spectacular flick Far and Away.

Cruise and Kidman rented a dormer bungalow out in Burnham, Dingle, for their movie-shoot stay and Cruise shot games of pool in Páidie Ó Se’s bar…as you do in Dingle.

Then, when 2016 rolled around, the current Irish love-fest that is Lucasfilms/Star Wars put Dingle on its map, recreating the beehive huts/clochans (or dormer bungalows?!) of the early Christian era out on the peninsula. As if that wasn’t enough, read below for all the other great reasons to buy in Dingle.

Dingle – a bustling town for buyers

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Dingle punches above its weight: even though it’s only got a population of under 2,000, it’s always been a happening place, and once people arrive and fall for it, they fall heavily. Case in point is a non-human: a dolphin called Fungie. Extraordinarily, Fungie the friendly dolphin has been attached to Dingle Bay and surrounds since 1983, years before Cruise and Kidman blew in.

“January’s the only quiet month, and that’s only after the huge celebrations for New Year’s Eve,” according to Dingle EBS’ John Diony O’Connor, who notes that all of the town’s B&Bs, hotels and other guest accommodation options are simply rocking right now, and that includes the locals tapping into AirBnB.

All the signs of a town in full-flight are evident in and around Dingle, and that goes for house sales too.

The Price Registers shows 16 house sales for Dingle up to June 2016 (the end of the year always shows a pick up) and that comes after 56 sales in 2015. There’s quite a steady graph, if you observe: 2014 had 44 sales with a Dingle address; 2013 had 34, 2012 had just 26, and 2011 was a low, with just 14 sales of properties.

Dingle, if sales figures are anything to go by, is definitely on the up!

Dingle for first time buyers

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Dingle got lots of builds back in the boom for tourism, but mainly for holiday let and for second homes.

It didn’t really ‘do’ starter three-bed semis for locals.

If you want to buy a semi you can get one from €100,000 upwards, according to websites like Daft.ie, but at this level there’s only very isolated examples. Dingle does seem to have quite a high percentage of ‘POA’ (price on application listings) so you really need to befriend local estate agents to get a feel for what’s available at a FTB level.

Move out of the town, say back towards Lispole, and you’ll get a bungalow in a small scheme which was developed for holiday use for about €100,000. An uncompleted Dingle house development, Gortanora, was bought at an Allsop auction in 2015 for €2.9 million (or €63,000 per unit) and is expected to relaunch on completion some time in 2017, at unspecified prices.

A sum of over €200,000 will get quite a selection…if you are canny. The Price Register shows only four out of 16 sales for 2016 to date are over €200k, and one of those at €540,000 was for a guesthouse.

Similarly the top Dingle sale of 2015 was a guesthouse, at €655,000: in that year, of the 56 recorded sales, at least 20 sales with Dingle addresses were for €200k or more. A spot just across the bay, Burnham, is quite probably home to Dingle’s most popular upper-end homes, and is within a walk of the town.

Choice of available homes to buy is low, though, and EBS’s John Diony O’Connor says “I’ve never seen stock so low, demand so high or rents so strong.” Right now, in peak post-Star Wars time, a three or four bed home could rent for as much as €1,200 per week, so many owners are slow to sell, and happy to take such large rents.

Is Dingle right for you?

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The sheer beauty of the area is captivating, but be sure you’re buying with your eyes open and not just with your heart, or a ‘holiday romance’ infatuation.
The town might be busy ten or eleven months of the year, but what will keep you busy, or entertained? Major sources of employment are tourism, naturally, and agriculture-related. Fishing was a staple for decades, but now Dingle’s harbour is down to about half a dozen local trawlers, reckons John Diony.

And, if you are smitten with romantic notions and fancy building a dream life and home here, do check with planners first. The area’s rightly tightly controlled, and according to John (wearing his estate agency hat) “I don’t think I’ve sold a site in the past six or seven years.”

Beauty aside, if you’re looking for a family home by the sea, you’ll likely find one – but expect competition. There’s a reason Hollywood (and the locals) keep coming back!

Want to buy in Dingle?

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Get the ball rolling with our First Time Buyer and Next Time Buyer guides.

If you'd like to talk through your mortgage options, book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with John Diony O'Connor or one of the team in EBS Dingle. You can also use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for the latest home inspiration, news and great competitions.

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John Diony O’Connor, trading as EBS Dingle, is a tied mortgage agent acting solely on behalf of EBS d.a.c. EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

If we mention celebrities, we're not saying they love us. They secretly might, but it doesn't mean they endorse us!

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

Prices taken from Daft.ie, Myhome.ie and the Property Price Register accessed June 2016.

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