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View of the River Corrib, Wolfe Tone bridge, and colorful houses in Galway Bay

13 Jun 2017

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Galway is a city that knows a thing or two about the importance of family. The “Tribes” of Galway were 14 merchant families who ran the city during the Middle Ages. Galway is still referred to as the “City of the Tribes” to this day.

Back then, it was Ireland’s main trading post with Spain and France. Christopher Columbus even visited the city, blazing a trail for the countless European backpackers that followed.

Landmarks like the Spanish Arch are now the only relics of that time and families are more likely to feed the swans at the Claddagh than rule the city. Galway has been transformed into a thriving tech hub and a cultural hotspot though it remains a great place to raise a family.

Property trends in Galway

EBS Galway 2016

Demand is high in Galway so finding the perfect home can be a challenge. However, a new development at Réileán in Roscam will provide some much-needed housing stock. Another development at Maoilín on the Ballymoneen Road is bringing over 100 homes to the Galway market.

“We get a lot of first time buyers and young people as there are a lot of multinationals here,” says Martin Leyden, Branch Manager of EBS Galway. “People are also trading up to property that’s valued at €200,000 and upwards. You can see people’s confidence coming back. It’s not just young people that are looking for mortgages. People in their fifties are moving up as well. We get both first time buyers and trader uppers.”

Even with Central Bank regulations limiting 90% mortgages to first time buyer properties up to €220,000, local houses remain well-priced for people who want a 10% deposit. The average three-bed house in Galway City is €185,000, according to the latest Daft Report.

Galway for families


“The Galway lifestyle is very attractive,” says Martin. “It’s a great city. It’s a young person’s city and a destination for tourists. There’s always life here. The student population brings life to the city in the winter and the summer is great for tourists. This gives the city centre a constant vibrancy. Galway has scenery, the sea, great sports facilities, the university, great festivals, arts events, theatres and restaurants.”

Not many cities can boast central attractions like the 2km “Prom” or the beach at Salthill, which are great for kids. It also has excellent schools and third level options in the form of NUIG and GMIT.
Hurling is the main sport in Galway but rugby is also big, with Connacht Rugby based in the Galway Sportsgrounds. Gaelic football and soccer are always popular and Galway has plenty of local sports clubs and facilities dotted throughout the city. Given the location, golf and water sports are popular too.

And it’s not just the kids who benefit. Parents can enjoy the town’s famous nightlife, bustling bars and Michelin star restaurants like Aniar and Loam. Galway’s compact city centre also attracts many local shoppers and tourists.

Galway has a wealth of arts facilities and events and you could never accuse it of lacking culture. Festivals like the Galway International Arts Festival, the Galway Races, the Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival and the Galway Film Fleadh run from April to October. It’s certainly hard to be bored in a city like Galway!

Prime locations in Galway

One of the main attractions of Galway is that city life can be balanced by the presence of nearby beaches like Salthill and Silver Strand. Residential properties in Salthill, Knocknacarra, Grattan Road and The Waterside in Woodquay offer great sea views but you can expect to pay more for the privilege.

First time buyers and commuters


The average gross earning for a couple buying their first home in Galway is €68,565, according to the latest EBS DKM Mortgage Affordability Report. First time buyers are drawn to new developments like Roscam and to satellite towns, says Martin, adding that properties that cost €160,000 in nearby satellite towns could cost €200,000 in the city.

Moycullen, Spiddel, Claregalway, Craughwell, Athenry, Oranmore, Gort and Loughrea are all popular locations for commuters and first time buyers.

Employers in Galway


Galway has become a med tech and technology hub and major multinationals like Hewlett Packard, Boston Scientific, Medtronic and EA Sports are major employment providers.

“They have a highly qualified workforce,” says Martin. “You’ve the university producing the people with the skills so it’s like a conveyor belt coming out of NUIG.”
Whatever your ‘tribe’, Galway, it seems, has opportunities for everyone.

Thinking of buying a house in Galway?

EBS Galway 2016

Before you go house hunting, it's a good idea to get your mortgage arranged – or at least discussed so you know where you stand.

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 Martin or one of the team in EBS Galway. 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.


Martin Leyden Financial Services Ltd trading as EBS Galway 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.

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.

House Prices taken from Daft.ie accessed May 2016.

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