American tycoons are snapping up the palatial mansions that drove the Celtic Tiger economy – at a fraction of the cost.
A new survey says that wealthy Americans are buying Irish estates at a fraction of their previous value.
The Sunday Independent says that the rich investors are buying lavish properties at a fraction of their value at the height of the Celtic Tiger.
The paper says that many of the expressions of interest for some of the most noteworthy properties currently on the Irish market are international purchasers, specifically ‘rich Americans’.
Many of them boast Irish heritage and are keen to invest in the land of their forebearers.
The paper says they are making the most of the opportunity to buy palatial spreads at bargain prices with properties now selling for half the price they were valued at during the boom.
One of the prime examples is the North Dublin estate at Abbeville House, once the family home of former Prime Minister Charles Haughey.
The paper says his beloved Kinsealy mansion which boasts 14 bedrooms was purchased from the now infamous politician for $60million a decade ago.
It is now available for just over $4million, an astonishing 15 times less than what Manor Park Homes shelled out for it in 2003.
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Foreign investors are leading to a revival in the Irish market according to the survey.
David Ashmore, an executive at the Sherry Fitzgerald agency, confirmed that interest from foreign investors and particularly from the US, continues to be ‘robust’.
Ashmore revealed that 90 per cent of the top sale homes in excess of $3million last year were purchased by international buyers.
He said that in many cases, interest is coming from expats who have made their fortunes overseas.
He told the paper: “The 90 per cent overseas buyers, if you drill down into that and take the Irish abroad out of that, it wouldn’t be quite so high a percentage.
“Foreign interest and investment is a positive and is bringing life back into the Irish property market.
“What the overseas buyer has done is put activity into the market, and spurred the Irish buyer onward to have the confidence to buy.
“It is quite heartening that there is interest in investing in Ireland”.
American communication tycoon John Malone forked out over $10million last year for Humewood Castle in Wicklow, almost one-third of what it was valued for seven years previously.
Savills agent Harriet Grant, head of country houses, farms and estates at Savills, believes most of the US interest in Irish castles is down to ‘business and heritage’ reasons according to the paper.
She said: “People are looking at Ireland for opportunities. There is the attraction of Europe, we have good airports and we speak English.
“Hoards of Irish emigrants are now returning with their riches and snapping up some of the stately properties.
“The Irish spread themselves all over the world. It is very much a case of people returning. It is probably one of the strongest reasons why people buy here, but there are others that don’t have roots.”
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