The prospect of Donald Trump becoming US President is sending American millionaires to Ireland in search of safer pastures, according to Irish property advisory firms.
Amid fears that the controversial statements of the presumptive Republican nominee and his harsh stance on immigration will lead to further terror attacks in the US, Irish real estate agents are reporting an increase in the sale of country homes and estates to America’s super-rich that will act as a “contingency plan” in the event of Trump's election.
"The buyers we're seeing are extremely worried about what America will be like if Trump gets into power,” Roseanne De Vere Hunt, head of country homes, farms and estates at Sherry FitzGerald, told the Irish Independent.
“They are fearful of what will happen next, and are convinced things will be very unsettled if he makes it to the White House.
"Trump's comments about minorities certainly aren't helping the situation and are making a lot of people concerned. In the eyes of some Americans, Ireland remains a place of quiet and peace, and we don't have guns freely available.
my mom is looking at property in Ireland bc we're outie if trump wins ������— niamh (@NiamhBiesel) March 16, 2016
International interest in Irish property has been on the rise in recent years thanks to the market’s good value and the lifestyle that the Irish countryside can offer.
“Our house prices are 25% higher than in 2002 whereas UK house prices increased by 115% in the same period. Purchasers always respond to good property and good value,” De Vere Hunt said.
"Ireland can certainly provide what these buyers are looking for. They're also winning on the exchange rate," she continued, although the effect of Brexit on the UK’s international property market is yet to be properly established.
Many of America's wealthiest now fear for their personal safety and they are forking out anything from $2.2 million to $33.1 million (€2 million to €30 million) on Irish country homes, looking in particular for period houses which are in “exquisite condition.”
Celia Lamb, head of country homes, estates and farms at Ganly Walters agrees that Ireland offers a better alternative to the UK, tempting American buyers to spend their money here.
"Prospective buyers see the UK as enormously expensive, and we're an obvious English-speaking option,” she said.
"The fact that firms like Google and LinkedIn and vulture funds have bought here has given high-end business people a lot of confidence in Ireland."
This is not the first time that Americans have shown a desire to leave the US if Trump were to be President or the first time they’ve chosen Ireland as their favorite place to relocate. In April 2016, remote and underpopulated island Inishturk off the coast of Mayo was overwhelmed by a huge number of inquiries after community leaders announced they were willing to accept Americans fleeing (the potential) President Trump.
"We've been swamped with hundreds and hundreds of messages ever since the story was published in IrishCentral,” said Joe Whelan, a ferryman and shop worker who also helps run the island's Facebook page and official website.
"It's been impossible to answer every message, so we've put together a list of answers to 'frequently asked questions' on things like accommodation, employment and visas. About 300 subscribers have now signed up to that list."
If you don’t fancy living on an island at the edge of the Atlantic, however, some of the incredible historic properties up for grabs on the Irish market currently include Glin Castle, the home of the last of ancient Irish nobility.
Sitting on the banks of the Shannon Estuary in Co. Limerick, the castle was the home of the FitzGerald family, the hereditary Knights of Glin, for centuries and is now on the market for the first time in 700 years.
With a massive 380 acres, the property includes a main building, west wing, guest lodge and gate lodge, a working dairy farm, and 23 acres of landscaped grounds and is now on the market for $7.2 million (€6,500,000).
If Donald Trump wants more property I hav a 3 bed in Fermoy I wld like to sell. Great that jobs coming to Ireland tho, well done The Donald— tlc (@Lapps100) May 12, 2014
Although many of these properties may be out of the price range of the average American, there are also many cheap properties available. You can see some of the top cheapest properties on the market in Ireland here.
H/T: Irish Independent
Love Ireland! Would buy this house in a second EXCEPT for the fact that it's near Trump's property. LOL > https://t.co/lelqRwgIwc— Deb Trotter (@debtrotter) April 13, 2016