THE Covid-19 pandemic is proving to be a golden opportunity to sell Donegal as a perfect place to live and work. That was the message delivered this week by Boyd Robinson of Charlie Robinson Limited, Auctioneers and Valuers.
“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing for the past few weeks,” said Mr Robinson who added that interest is ‘way up’ in all price brackets.
“Covid has made a lot of people think. There is a realisation now you can work remotely and more and more people are now looking for a better work life balance,” he said.
The Letterkenny based auctioneer admitted that the search for holiday houses in the Dunfanaghy and Carrigart areas in particular have gone “through the roof” since the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
“Our sales are probably up about fifty per cent since Covid. Anybody who had been looking at property prior to the virus has now decided to make the move and buy as they realise that they’re not going to get away again for a while. It’s made the holiday home market, especially in the Dunfanaghy area, extremely busy,” Mr Robinson said.
Traditionally, eighty per cent of the local holiday home market would have been made up of residents from Northern Ireland but that figure has evened out in more recent times.
“I would say it is closer to sixty forty now between north and south. There’s been a big move from Dublin buyers into Donegal,” he said.
Marketing campaigns promoting the Wild Atlantic Way have also helped to put Donegal firmly on the property market.
“More and more people are starting to discover Donegal thanks to the Wild Atlantic Way. They all love it when they come and many of them decide to buy,” he said.
Recently, he put up a property on the market with an asking price of €700,000. An immediate offer of €750,000 was put on the table and a sale agreed sign is now in place.
“An awful lot of properties are making above the asking price. There’s a lot of interest in property,” he said.
Mr Robinson said that new working conditions were also giving localities across Donegal a massive shot in the arm, adding that quality broadband is crucial.
“We sold three houses recently to people who will be working remotely – one to a man from London and two others to buyers from the Netherlands,” he said.
“The market is buoyant. The biggest issue at the moment is stock. We’re always looking for properties to sell,” he added.
The average asking price for a house in Donegal is now €150,000 compared with an average of €325,000 in Dublin. Donegal is also well below the average list price nationwide, which is €256,000.
“One property recently sold for €750,000. It reached more than its asking price and had three bidders while we’ve also property on our books for as little as €120,000 to €140,000,” he said.
“Dunfanaghy is a bit more expensive than anywhere else because it has everything that the holiday maker wants. There’s Ards Forest Park, mountains and golf courses beside you. Then you have Horn Head, surfing schools, riding schools – it’s all there,” he said.
“People are beginning to realise the freedom and opportunities they’re afforded when they come to live in rural Donegal,” he added.