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The wild countryside of Donegal Photo by: Google Images

Donegal most popular county for holiday home buyers - has Sarah Jessica Parker set a trend?

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The wild countryside of Donegal Photo by: Google Images

Donegal is the most popular country in Ireland to own a holiday home, official figures show.

Almost one-in-five of the 60,000 vacation homes across Ireland are in the North Western County, with a rise in home buyers in the area in recent years, census figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

The data shows that Donegal had over 10,000 holiday homes in 2011, the highest of any county and representing 18 per cent of all holiday homes in the State.

Celebrity couple Sarah Jessica Parker and husband Matthew Broderick own a holiday home in the hills of Kilcar, where Broderick spent summers as a child.

The star, her husband, and their son James, 10, and three-year-old twins daughters Tabitha and Marion are regular visitors to their cottage in Kilcar.

“Ireland has always been a great getaway,” she said in previous interview.

“We try to replicate Ireland at home, but it’s a poor man’s substitute,” the ‘Sex and the City’ star told TV3.

After Donegal, the most popular counties for vacation homes are Kerry, following by Cork and Wexford.

According to the research, there were almost 50,000 vacation homes in Ireland in 2006. This figure has increased 19 percent, to 59,395, over the past six years.

However, many property owners face losing money on their investments as a result of the Ireland's property bust.

Ireland's property register, launched last month, shows a holiday home in Bundoran, one of Donegal's most popular seaside towns, sold for €85,000 ($110,000) in August 2010. A property in the same development was sold for €63,000 ($81,000) last February.

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