13 Jun 2017
With its 800th birthday around the corner, it’s no surprise that Tralee is in party mode. Then again, it’s often Festival Time in Tralee. It’s skilled at putting its best face and ‘gúna’ on too, trumpeting its charms and parading its line of Roses.
There’s no other Irish town that has the national, or global, festival profile that Tralee enjoys thanks to its Rose Festival, on the go since 1959. Longevity like that isn’t all down to marketing and presentation: a place has to have substance and self-belief to keep that pace going and growing, and Tralee has substance and roots in spades. Read on for all you need to know as a home buyer.
Tourism and job opportunities in Tralee
Consider this: Tralee has been the HQ town for decades of the food giant Kerry Group. From humble beginnings in 1972, Kerry Group now employs 24,000 people globally in an all-encompassing foods business, operating in 140 countries. Guess what the population of Tralee is?
About 23,000. That’s some ratio of jobs around the globe, a job somewhere for every man, woman and child in Tralee and environs, all springing from a town on the very western fringes of Ireland and Europe.
Given all it’s got going for it, Tralee is a rightly acknowledged base for international tourism.
In fact, manager of Tralee’s EBS branch, Ivan Stuart, appears as adept at promoting the town’s strengths and tourism draws as he is at his day job. “We have a very busy volume of business, thankfully; it’s such a solid town.”
“The population has held steady in the past number of years and the town’s looking good; there’s been a good number of premises being taken up, pubs are selling and there’s move now to pedestrianise the town centre around Denny Street, so there’s plenty going on,” says Ivan.
What’s on year-round in Tralee
The Rose Festival might fill a seven-day week, and anticipation fills the preceding months, but Tralee’s a year-round, all-weather town. The town hosts the Institute of Technology Tralee, with well over 3,500 students whose academic year gets busy when tourism slackens. ITT shares a campus with 16 companies in the Kerry Technology Park.
Tourism too provides much employment, says Ivan. Tralee is well placed to be a base for trips to Dingle and Killarney. With top beaches close by, it has branched out from the standard offer of hotel/pub/eating house to include the Aqua Dome, Wetlands environmental centre and Blennerville Windmill.
Great value location for Buyers
Compared to Killarney, Tralee offers huge price advantages to Killarney: every kilometre you drive between the two large, often competing Kerry towns, saves you thousands of euros when you come to buying.
There’s reasonable choice of homes on the market in Tralee: as of June 2016, Daft.ie had about 440 listings and myhome.ie had about 280 properties on offer, all with Tralee addresses.
What there is in Tralee, notes Ivan, is a divide between the price range of typical three- and even four bed semi-ds and detacheds: you’ll get a choice of the former from €125-130,000 for a three-bed, and €160,000 for a four-bed semi. But if you want detached, you’re looking at €200/220,000 entry level.
Tralee for first time buyers
You’ll get homes for under and over the €100,000 threshold around the town, though many at this price point will need refurbs and energy efficiency upgrades: a typical example might be a 900 sq ft three-bed semi-d within the town, at a spot like Clonmore Grove.
If you want to go newer, Caherslee has good options from €130,000 to €150,000, and if you want new, out of the box, a trip north of the town to Lixnaw will buy a 1,200 sq ft B3 rated three-bed in Kilcaragh Lawn.
There’s still scope for FTBs to buy sites and build, or buy refurbs and replace, say Ivan Stuart: about 40% of his mortgages are for self builds, so the door’s not closed on this option.
You can get sites and derelict cottage (some on great plots) for €50,000 and under, though development levies and professional fees can add up quickly, warns Ivan. Build costs can range from €80 per square foot upwards after that.
Tralee for next time buyers
There’s good choices abound, both in and around the town, and further afield too. Mounthawk Manor has modern, detached options near the school from €250,000, and The Spa section of Tralee along the road to Fenit is the long-time trading up dream for many. Older detacheds might start at under €300,000, and go up from there.
Other Spa sales saw €440,000 paid in 2015, and €489,000 was paid for a top home in Knockanish West, The Spa earlier in 2016. It’s that little bit more expensive but it’s worth it if that’s the market you’re looking for.
That’s the thing about Tralee: while it may not be massive, it’s got more than a bit of spirit.
Whatever you’re after, Tralee’s got it in abundance.
Thinking of buying a house in Tralee?
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Thomas Stuart financial Services, trading as EBS Tralee 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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