Ten facts for non-residents who want to purchase property in Ireland

Non-residents can purchase property in Ireland

The coronavirus pandemic has had little impact on Ireland’s property market. Although house prices increased 8.44% in 20211 it is still a sellers market, as the demand for property keeps rising. There is a shortage of property, which could lead to buyers battling each other.

Can foreigners purchase property in Ireland

Non-Irish citizens have the great news that property can be bought in Ireland regardless of their nationality or residence. Foreigners shouldn’t face any obstacles when buying a home.

Are non-EU citizens allowed to buy property in Ireland

Anybody can purchase property in Ireland. This includes Irish citizens, EU/EEA residents, and non-EU citizens. Non-EEA citizens can also buy property in Ireland. You don’t even have to live there to purchase a home.

It is important to remember that you don’t automatically have the right to reside in Ireland if your property is owned. You may need to apply for a residence permit if you are not an Irish citizen or UK citizen.

Ten facts for non-residents who want to purchase property in Ireland
Ten facts for non-residents who want to purchase property in Ireland

After Brexit, buying property in Ireland

A new group of British buyers has emerged from the UK’s exit from the European Union. They are looking to buy property in Ireland, live or gain access the EU.

EU citizens don’t have the right to purchase property in Ireland. Therefore, British nationals can freely buy homes and commercial properties there. The UK and Ireland are both part of the Common Travel Area. This means that UK citizens can continue to live in Ireland after Brexit.

British buyers might find Irish property more costly after Brexit. The reason is that the value of the pound against euro has fallen by approximately 15% as of 20216 when compared to levels before the referendum.

Is it possible to buy property in Ireland and obtain residency?

Ireland, like other European countries has a scheme called the ‘Golden Visa’ that grants residence permits to foreigners who invest in property.

However, the eligibility requirements are very strict. This is not as easy as purchasing a house and getting a visa. For three years, you will need to invest at most EUR2,000,000 in a trust for real estate that is listed on an Irish stock exchange.

How much do different properties in Ireland cost?

Prices for property in Ireland vary depending on the property type, location, and whether it is in a major city like Dublin, or in a rural area.

Property in Ireland is generally cheaper than property in the UK. For a city-centre apartment in Ireland, the price per square metre is EUR3,870 (PS3,224), whereas in the UK it’s EUR5,098/PS4,247)7.

Here’s a list of the average prices of different properties8 in Ireland’s most populated destinations to give you an idea of where your money will go.

Can I buy property in Ireland as non-resident?

Yes, you are allowed to buy property in Ireland as non-resident. Foreign nationals can purchase residential or commercial property in Ireland without restrictions. You will need to obtain a PPS number (lawyer) and hire an Irish property lawyer.

Here’s the information you need if you are a non-resident looking to buy property in Ireland.

Can foreign nationals purchase property in Ireland

Even if they don’t live in Ireland, foreign nationals can buy property in Ireland. This applies to both residential and commercial properties. Irish real estate is a popular choice for investors, as it was the country with the fastest growing economy in Europe in 2020.

Is it possible to live in Ireland if my property is Irish?

You do not automatically have the right of residence in Ireland just because you own property in Ireland. You must obtain the required immigration permits. It depends on which passport you have. The UK, EU, EEA, and Switzerland citizens can work and live in Ireland without restriction. For longer stays in Ireland, citizens from other countries might need a visa.

The Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) is a great option for non-EEA citizens who have substantial funds to invest in Irish real property. You and your family will have the right to live in Ireland if you are accepted.

Is it possible to open a business from an Irish commercial property?

The purchase of a commercial property in Ireland does not automatically grant you the right to open a business there. The Irish government allows citizens of the UK, EU and EEA to open a business without restriction. Permission may be required for citizens from other countries.

How can I purchase a property in Ireland

Finding the property that you are interested in purchasing is the first step. You can also view properties online or ask an agent for assistance if you are unable to travel to Ireland. After you have found a property you want to purchase, you will need to make an offer. You will likely be required to make a deposit if your offer is accepted. This is advantageous because the agent will take the property off the market for a certain period. You can cancel the deposit at any time until you sign contracts. After this is done, you will need to hire an Irish property lawyer (lawyer), who will take care of all the remaining conveyancing steps.

Learn more about our 10 Step Guide for Buying Residential Property in Ireland. The process is different if you’re buying a property at auction.

Where can I find an Irish property lawyer?

The Law Society of Ireland website can help you find a solicitor. You can be sure that a listed solicitor or firm has the required credentials to practice law. Conveyancing is the legal process of purchasing and selling property. This is a very specific area of law. You should ensure that the firm you choose has a dedicated conveyancing solicitor, as we do at Mullins & Treacy Solicitors.

What happens if I am unable to travel to Ireland to sign the paperwork

You might grant power of attorney to your solicitor if you are unable to travel to Ireland to sign the paperwork. This authorizes your solicitor to complete the transaction on your behalf.

Can I rent out the property?

Yes, you can rent out the property. This will have tax consequences if you are a nonresident landlord. This can be explained to you by your solicitor.

What is a PPS Number?

You will need an Irish Personal Public Service number (PPS) to purchase property in Ireland. This tax identification number is equivalent to a National Insurance Number in the UK, SIN number in Canada, and SSN in the USA. This requirement can be addressed by your solicitor.

What tax will I be required to pay on my Irish property?

Stamp Duty will be payable when you purchase the property. This is an annual fee. An annual local property tax will be added. Capital Gains Tax may apply to property that is not your primary residence. However, exemptions are available. Commercial properties may be subject to VAT.

Non-residents might have to pay Irish income taxes. Ireland has signed double tax treaties to 73 countries. You will not be subject to double tax if you are a citizen of one of these countries.

How do I find property in Ireland?

Agents and property agencies

An Irish estate agent could be a good option if you live in the UK. An agent or professional who is familiar with the market can help you find suitable properties and guide you through the buying process.

The Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA), is the website where you can find a licensed property agent in Ireland. You will find the list of licensed estate agents .

You can also visit The Golden Pages website in Ireland (which is the equivalent to the UK’s Yellow Pages) or search online for agents in the areas you are interested in.

Ireland property websites

You can also begin your property search yourself by entering your criteria, and then searching major Irish property sites such as 10:

How can I select the right property?

Types of property9

While Ireland shares many of its property types with the UK, you might be surprised to see more Georgian homes. Charming 19th-century workers’ cottages and ‘Dutch Billy homes’ are also available. These tall, narrow homes with long terraces and inspired by Dutch or Belgian architecture, can be found in Ireland. If you don’t want a period home, Ireland has many new homes.

The type of property you choose will depend upon your needs, your family size, and your budget. It also depends on the housing stock in your destination.

Property condition

It is important to have a qualified surveyor inspect the property before you buy it. You might find structural problems in the Regency property that you love.

Like in the UK there is no legal requirement for the seller or estate agent in Ireland to disclose any problems with the property’s condition. To inspect the building, an independent surveyor must be appointed. Search the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland Register to find one.

There are three types:

  • Type 1: A simple walk-through of the property with a summary report
  • Type 2 – A more detailed inspection that checks for insulation, drains and boundaries.
  • Type 3 – A comprehensive survey where the surveyor checks things like central heating and accesses service hatches.

There are other things you should be aware of

Every home listed for sale in Ireland must be equipped with a Building Energy Rating (BER3)3. This tells you how efficient the property is in terms of energy. It’s worth checking as it will affect your energy bills.

Also, make sure to check if the property is in a High Radon Area. Radon, a radioactive gas that forms when ground uranium decays, can cause lung cancer. The Radon Risk Map can be viewed. More information is available from the Environmental Protection Agency.

What are the steps for buying property as a foreigner

Although the steps for buying a house in Ireland are similar to those in the UK, we’ll give you an overview of what to expect.

  1. Talk to a mortgage advisor about your financial situation to determine if pre-approval is possible for a mortgage.
  2. Locate a solicitor
  3. Start house hunting – If you don’t reside in Ireland, you may need to arrange one or several viewing trips
  4. Make an offer on a property and accept it. The property will then become sale agreed upon. You’ll also need to make a deposit to the agent.
  5. Do a building survey
  6. The contract for sale is signed by both the estate agent or solicitor. It binds both the parties to the closing of the transaction.
  7. Your solicitor will complete the Title Requisitions and draft a Deed of Conveyance.
  8. Receive mortgage approval, make exchanges and pay all applicable taxes
  9. Move in and get the keys.

The legal requirements to buy property in Ireland are fairly straightforward. There are some key points you should remember, however:

  • To legally sell property in Ireland, all estate agents must have a license from the PSRA. Most will have their license available so you can look it up if you wish.
  • According to law, a Commissioner for Oaths is a similar to a notary and must supervise property purchases in Ireland9. Their services are subject to a modest fee, which we will examine in a moment.
  • To legally purchase property in Ireland, you don’t require a visa. The same goes for citizens of the UK and Ireland.
  • After the contract of sale is signed, you could lose your deposit if it is withdrawn.

How can I obtain a mortgage/bank loan?

If you are a citizen of Ireland or already live in Ireland, it is usually easier to obtain a mortgage from an Irish lender. It may be difficult for a foreigner living in Ireland to get a mortgage. You may also find it difficult to get a mortgage for a property in Ireland from a UK bank.

There are many options. First, choose an Irish lender that has a strong presence within the UK. You can find the right lender by working with a mortgage broker who is familiar with both the UK and Irish markets.

It is possible to move to Ireland temporarily before purchasing your property. Lenders might prefer that you have a history of living and working in Ireland for at minimum six months.

Here are the essential facts to know about mortgages once you have found one you are eligible for.

  • Although you can only borrow 3.5 times your gross monthly income, there are exceptions for first- and second-time buyers.
  • A minimum deposit of 10% for first-time buyers and 20% for all other buyers is required. A minimum deposit of 30% is required for buy-to-let investors.
  • A mortgage stress test will be required to pass. This examines your income and spending habits.
  • To protect your mortgage, you must have life insurance

What taxes and fees do I have to pay?

Here is a quick overview on the main costs of buying property in Ireland9

  • Solicitor’s fees: There is no fixed price for legal fees here in Ireland. They can either be a flat fee, or a percentage. Flat fees start at EUR900 + VAT, while percentage fees range from 1% + VAT to around EUR900.
  • If applicable, mortgage valuation fee: between EUR150 and EUR200
  • Stamp duty – 1% on the property’s price up to EUR1million (2% above this threshold).
  • Search fees – around EUR150
  • Land Registry fees: EUR400 for properties under EUR50,000; EUR800 for properties over EUR400,000+. A EUR175 mortgage fee and a EUR40 fee to obtain a certified copy the title plans are additional fees.
  • Commissioner for Oaths/notary fees – EUR44

Budgeting is also important for life and home insurance.

This article was based on these sources:

  1. Global Property Guide – House price rise in Ireland
  2. Global Property Guide Investment analysis of the Irish real estate market
  3. Citizens Information Steps involved in purchasing a home
  4. Currencytransfer.com Property purchase in Europe after Brexit
  5. Citizens Information – residence rights for non-EEA citizens
  6. Expatica – Value of the pound against the euro since Brexit
  7. Numbeo Property prices comparison between Ireland & the UK
  8. Seaspray mortgages – average property prices in Ireland
  9. Property Guidelines – Number of Brits in Ireland
  10. Foreign Buyers – Top Real Estate Websites in Ireland
  11. and CCPC: Steps to purchasing property in Ireland
  12. Online Mortgage Advisor– Mortgages in Ireland
  13. Money Guide Ireland How to buy a house in Ireland when you are living abroad
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