Housing market booming amid services shortage

DEMAND for accommodation in Donegal has never been greater but, when it comes to essential services, estate agents are facing some awkward questions from those wishing to settle in Ireland’s fourth largest county.

People relocating here from other parts of the country, and those returning home after living abroad, often struggle to register with a GP because practices are already at full capacity.

“A lot of young families wanting to move here definitely have concerns about childcare and GP services. The main demand we’re seeing is for second-hand properties because of the costs associated with new builds,” explains estate agent Edel Quinn.


Primarily based in Donegal Town, Ms. Quinn mostly sells properties in south and west Donegal. However, she insists the same challenges can be found throughout the entire county.

“The main issue we see relates to people moving back to Donegal from abroad. They’re told by GP practices that new patients are not being accepted.

“There needs to be government investment in Donegal to support the growing population.

“We’re selling to people who have jobs that allow remote working from home. It’s vital that these people have access to childcare places and doctors,” according to Ms. Quinn.

Highlighting the robust demand for housing in Donegal, despite the service challenges, the average home price in the county surged by 13.5% last year, reaching €210,000, compared to prices in 2022.

Just last week, the government initiated a €750,000 campaign aimed at enticing builders back home to address the housing crisis.

Construction workers in cities like London, New York, and Sydney are being urged to return to Ireland.


“The government is saying that an additional 50,000 construction workers, across all trades, will be needed over the next ten years to meet the housing demand.

“It would be great to get our people back home to Donegal but they won’t come unless the infrastructure needed for basic living is available to them,” added Ms. Quinn.

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