13 Jun 2017
Perhaps the strangest bit of trivia about Waterford is the claim that the first frogs in Ireland were introduced by the Franciscan Friars in the city. Apparently, they were brought in to supplement the monks’ diet when meat was banned during Lent and on Fridays.
Waterford is known as the oldest city in Ireland and it’s certainly a city that’s steeped in history. The city’s Viking Triangle still retains fortifications from the 10th century and it recently celebrated its 1,100th anniversary.
It was Ireland’s second city during the medieval period and it blazed a trail in more ways than one. The iconic Waterford landmark Reginald Tower is believed to be the first building in Ireland to use mortar. The port city later became renowned for shipbuilding in the 19th century and the famous Waterford Crystal was produced in the city for over 200 years.
Co. Waterford is also the setting for an Eastenders spin-off featuring Kat and Alfie Moon, which is due to be broadcast in 2017. If that’s not enough to sway you on the charms of Waterford, there’s also the blaa. Can’t beat a good blaa!
Property trends in Waterford
Waterford is the cheapest city in Ireland to buy, according to the latest Daft Report, with an average asking price of €134,945. The average asking price for a 3-bed house in the city is just €118,000, although increasing demand has led to an 18% year-on-year increase in asking prices.
As with other cities in Munster, it’s actually more expensive to buy properties in rural areas outside the city. The average asking price for properties in Waterford County is €183,336.
“There’s a big demand for houses, which is resulting in increasing house prices,” says Pat Dunphy, Manager of EBS Waterford. “There seems to be a high demand for 2-bed to 4-bed homes located all around Waterford City and County. Tramore and Dunmore Road would be much sought-after areas.”
First time buyers in Waterford
Waterford is great value – and for what’s on offer, this makes it a prime choice for first time buyers. Buyers don’t need to invest in apartments to get on the ladder and there’s affordable properties in the city and in the surrounding towns.
Pat advises first time buyers that they need to act quickly if they find a property that they’re interested in. Once a mortgage application is in place in principle, it’s easier to react quickly to the market.
“If you see a house you like, make an offer before someone else does,” Pat says. “Small country towns outside the city which are only a short 20 to 30 minute drive could result in better value purchases.”
Tramore, Dungarvan and Dunmore Road are popular options. The great value in the city means that many first time buyers prefer to live in the city itself than in the surrounding towns. Pat adds that many residential areas in Waterford are closer to the city centre than they would be in other cities.
Waterford for commuters
Waterford’s major employers include Bausch & Lomb, Nypro Healthcare, Genzyme, Hasbro, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Honeywell International, Sunlife Financial, Waterford Institute of Technology, and GlaxoSmithkline in Dungarven. Many choose to commute in from the outlying towns or towns that are further away like New Ross in Wexford, Kilkenny City or Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel in Tipperary. Waterford’s location makes it convenient for people looking to commute in or out of the city.
Waterford for families
Tramore is Waterford’s most popular town and it has excellent facilities for families with a quality beach nearby. There are a lot of coastal towns in the county that make excellent places to raise children.
Other family attractions include the Copper Coast Geopark and day trips to seaside towns like Dunmore East and Ardmore. Active families will also be able to cycle or walk on the upcoming Deise Greenway, a project that will turn the Waterford to Dungarven railway line into an attractive family amenity.
The city itself offers a wide selection of schools and the Waterford Institute of Technology caters for a range of third level courses in the city. Families can also choose from an extensive selection of sports clubs in the area, covering everything from GAA and athletics to soccer and water sports.
The city also has a thriving cultural scene, with local festivals including the Waterford Film Festival, the Waterford Music Fest, Spraoi’s theatre festival and the Winterval Festival.
What does Waterford have to offer?
Set in the sunny south east, Waterford is a charming city that combines the old Viking Quarter with modern design. There have been efforts to have Waterford included in the Wild Atlantic Way but it will be part of the recently launched tourism initiative, Ireland’s Ancient East. Its natural attractions include the Comeragh Mountains and the many beaches dotted around its coast.
“We’re very lucky in Waterford to have so many coastal towns which are 20 minutes from the city,” says Pat. “A lot of areas in Waterford are like that but people in the city also have easy access to beaches. It doesn’t matter which side of the city you’re on – there’s a beach close to you.”
Waterford has a great social scene and plenty of shopping options along with some fantastic places to eat out. The city has certainly come a long way from the frog-based diets of the past!
Thinking of buying a house in Waterford?
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Waterford Mortgages & Investments Limited trading as EBS Waterford 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.
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House Prices taken from Daft.ie accessed June 2016.