19 Jun 2017
Rumour has it that Disney chose Malin Head to shoot parts of the new Star Wars film, in what should be a major tourism boost for the area. Of course, the film will also show off some of the county’s charms to a huge international audience. Move to Donegal, you should – as Yoda would say.
This is great news for Letterkenny, the county’s biggest town and the obvious launching pad from which to explore the area. Even if you’re not a massive Star Wars fan, there are still plenty of reasons to buy a house in Letterkenny or the surrounding areas.
Great prices, scenic locations on all sides, major employers and a total absence of planet-destroying space stations are all great selling points.
Donegal remains one of the cheapest places to buy a house in Ireland. The asking price for an average property in the county is just €132,442, according to the latest Daft Report.
“We’re mainly dealing with first time buyers and self builds,” says Alison Hegarty, Manager of EBS Letterkenny. “The average age would be people in their early 30s. You’d have a lot of young people working in Pramerica and United Healthcare. The self builds would be outside Letterkenny and the people building homes often get land from their parents.”
The office has been busy, with about 66 applications currently being processed. Most self build mortgages involve a bigger investment. “The average mortgage would be €122,000,” says Alison. “The average mortgage for self builds would be around €190,000 to €200,000.”
The Letterkenny office also caters for people from outside the town and gets a lot of customers from Inishowen. The office strives to do its best to facilitate customers who have long distances to travel.
“We’re open late on Thursday and open at the weekends,” says Alison. “We’ve met people for late evenings in the week to facilitate them. We’re lending and we’re flexible about meetings.”
Prices in the county may have risen by 10% since last year but there are still great deals available.* There are many local people working in Northern Ireland, who wish to buy in Donegal.
“It’s a good time to get in, especially for sterling customers who are buying property here and being paid in the North,” says Alison. “A lot of banks are doing nothing for them but we’re facilitating them.”
There are still bargains available in the town but some people prefer to chase better value in rural areas. Seaside areas can be expensive but smaller towns can offer good options for young families or first time buyers.
“A lot of people were looking for places in the new estate at Rann Mor,” says Alison. “We’ve had a lot of mortgage applications for people looking for places in that estate. You’d get cheaper houses outside of Letterkenny in Inishowen, Ramelton, Convoy or Manorcunningham.”
There are plenty of options for families, depending on the life they want to lead. Letterkenny offers plenty of family-friendly amenities and has all the shops, entertainment and restaurants you could want. Inishowen and other outlying areas offer greater proximity to beaches and a slower pace of life.
Letterkenny has a great selection of cultural facilities like the Arts Centre, the Regional Cultural Centre, the cinema and other venues. The town also has an extensive selection of sports clubs and facilities, from Aura Leisure Centre to Letterkenny Community Centre and the LYIT Sports Centre. A wide choice of schools and third level options like Rossan College and Letterkenny Institute of Technology make Letterkenny a serious choice for students too.
People who work in Letterkenny travel in from Inishowen and neighbouring towns like Ramelton, Convoy, Manorcunningham, Newtowncunningham, or further afield. Major employers for the area include Pramerica, United Healthcare, Letterkenny General Hospital and LYIT.
The proximity to the border means that this part of Donegal is also a popular option for people working in Northern Ireland. Derry City is just 35km from Letterkenny. “A lot of people from Derry would buy property in Inishowen but work in Derry,” says Alison. “They’d live here because they like the beaches and country living.”
Letterkenny has everything you’d need – but it’s also a great base from which to explore Donegal. Derry City is on its doorstep for people who want even more shopping choices.
“You’ve the scenery and the beaches, the quality of life and the low cost of living,” says Alison. “You’ve also got lots of restaurants, pubs, the leisure centre, cinema, LYIT – everything you’d expect in a big town.”
To round it all out, there’s even the piece of sci-fi history left behind with Star Wars. Film buff or not, Letterkenny offers great choice for buyers or self builders alike.
If you’re thinking about buying a house, it pays to have your mortgage approved – or at least know what you can afford.
If you'd like to talk through your mortgage options, book a 30 Minute Mortgage Meeting with Alison or one of the team in the EBS Letterkenny Office. You can use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you may be able to borrow.
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Gerry Cuffe Financial Services Limited trading as EBS Letterkenny 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.
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House Prices taken from Daft.ie accessed April 2016.
*House Price trends accessed on 2016 House Price Index, Daft.ie, accessed June 2016.