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Trading Up in Ennis: why it’s 'The Greatest,' and where’s best to buy?

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06 Jul 2017

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Musical Ennis strikes a chord with that famous refrain in the Christy Moore* song about Co. Clare’s Lisdoonvarna: “we go there, and they come here.”

Ennis, the sizeable county town of Co. Clare with a population of some 25,000, is back on the move, and its offspring can surface in the most surprising of places and guises.

One of its most famous (distant) sons is the late, great boxer Muhammad Ali. Ali’s great grandfather Abe Grady came from Ennis, and to much local hoopla and showmanship Kentucky-born Muhammad Ali visited Ennis in 2009, and unveiled a 7’ high statue of himself.

Now, after the champ’s demise in 2016, that statue seems to be not half big enough.

Ennis, like Ali, punches well above its weight. Here’s why.

The ‘Greatest’

Music, sport, lifestyle, coastline – Co. Clare has it all, and Ennis is the epicentre of the county’s thrumming times. “Slap bang between two good cities, Ennis gives its inhabitants access to good jobs and services but yet allows us to live in the relative tranquillity of a pretty town,” says John Cleary of the town’s EBS office. “There’s something for everyone; it's a great place to live.”

“Ennis is close to Limerick, and to Shannon, so there are ample employment opportunities. Some even commute to Dublin from Limerick now that the infrastructure is so good,” adds John.

"County Clare is steeped in music, and GAA is part of who we are. Ennis is lucky to have excellent schools and access to colleges in Limerick and Galway. The beaches on Clare’s coast are world-famous and are only a short drive from Ennis and Kilrush.” 

Add the Cliffs of Moher and that extraordinary surfing wave/wall of water called Aileen’s Wave off the cliffs and truly, the county has many claims to greatness.

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So marker laid down: you can enjoy life in and around lively yet historic county town Ennis, which puts on festivals for food, Book Week, and Fashion Week. Trad music’s a constant soundtrack, and it’s all lifted to new heights with the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, which returns to Ennis for a third time this August.

Where to buy?

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Ringed by new roads and roundabouts, all roads seem to lead to the town centre, so accessibility isn’t an issue.

Around Ennis, people move for more space, and facilities. According to John Cleary many of those trading up "have spent some time living in the town of Ennis, and have decided to move out to the surrounding satellite towns. Or, many have decided to build their own homes. We have a good reputation for keeping things (house-builds, especially!) moving along. At the moment about one third of the mortgages we do are for people building their own home.”

EBS Ennis also sees people with homes looking to change/trade as their family has outgrown their existing home. “Some of these are in negative equity, and we have to work around that, but it is often possible for them to move homes and to move on with their new life stage,” says John.

Holiday home activity is also ‘on the up,’ with traditional destinations like Kilkee and Lahinch seeing increased sales activity in the past year of recovery. 

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Ennis for first time buyers 

The market is  back moving in Ennis; 2015 saw 354 house sales with an Ennis address: that’s more than double the figure for 2013 (163 sales) or 2010 (169  sales, according to the Price Register), and it’s more than three time the volume for 2011, which saw 112 transactions.

EBS Ennis has witnessed that pick-up and “over the last year there has been an increase, mostly in the first time buyer category. The demand has been there for some time now but the supply is finally starting to come through.” 

Good houses do come up, he stresses, and John advises keeping in good contact with estate agents so that “when the house that you have been looking for comes on the market, you are the first to know.”

Plan ahead

It’s always good to envisage what  you may need and where your life could be in five years’ time, not just at this moment: “your needs will change and if, for example, you plan on having a family, you might need access to schools and other amenities that wouldn’t be top of the list for a single person.

The most popular areas to buy at present are within easy reach of the town, but are close to the bypass too, as well as being easily-accessed by/to satellite towns like Clarecastle and Kilnmona.

Sought-after locations include the Limerick road, followed closely by the Lahinch road and the Tulla road, while there are fewer options and activity on the Galway road.  

Supply for next time buyers and commuters

As of summer 2016, Daft.ie lists 140 properties for sale in Ennis. Myhome.ie has 74, and the Price Register shows strong positive activity in the broad €150,000-€250,000 price range.

“We’d advise buyers to make sure auctioneers know they’re in the market for a house; make sure to get a  look at anything new that comes on the market, and be prepared to pay more than the asking price,” advises John, adding to keep up to date with website trends and “set your limit and stick to it”.

Bringing it all back home

EBS Ennis staff have noticed a rise in inquiries from ex-pats in the traditional emigration corridors of Australia and the UK “and a big part of their thinking seems to be around the future, and planning an eventual return as their families grow. A few of these have purchased holiday homes in Ireland, which gives them options for the future if they aren't planning an immediate return in the next year or two.”

“We've also seen cases where a family has started to come back in stages, where one of the couple has secured work locally, and the other is staying where they are while they continue the job search.”

Home is where the heart is after all, and Ennis is a town that’s close to many hearts!

Looking to buy in Ennis?

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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 Emer O’Reilly or John Cleary or one of the team in EBS Ennis. 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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Emer O'Reilly Financial Services Limited, trading as EBS Ennis, 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 and Myhome.ie accessed June 2016. 

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