Be care­ful what you wish for be­fore you try to cash in on ru­ral prop­erty boom

Irish Independent - Farming - - FARMING - Mar­garet Don­nelly

Surg­ing in­ter­est in ru­ral prop­er­ties has been a key re­sult of the fall­out from Covid-19. City folk are look­ing for space, gardens, fresh air and good trans­port links it seems, so can we ex­pect a prop­erty boom in ru­ral Ire­land?

Early in­di­ca­tions from the IPAV price barom­e­ter say there is strong ac­tiv­ity in some quar­ters of the hous­ing mar­ket. Ru­ral auc­tion­eers have also re­ported that the level of en­quiries for one-off houses with room for a pony has shot up.

The lock­down has seen many peo­ple re-eval­u­ate their liv­ing sit­u­a­tion, with many start­ing to look at the in­flated prop­erty prices in our cities and ask is it re­ally worth it?

For those forced to work from home, space has become king be it space for the home office or space to sit out in a back gar­den, or space to feel safe away from the crowds in cities.

Those with hol­i­day homes that have broad­band must be thank­ing their lucky stars!

Drive down any ru­ral road and al­ready there’s plenty of one-off hous­ing or strip bun­ga­low builds, creat­ing a weird ur­ban sprawl in and out of small towns and vil­lages that have been heart­less and soul­less for years.

Houses sat idle dur­ing the day while those pay­ing for the house spent hours com­mut­ing. But now it seems broad­band is top of the shop­ping list for house buy­ers so they can work from home. Ac­cess to the coun­try­side is not top of the agenda for ev­ery­one, but a sig­nif­i­cant 35pc list it as im­por­tant on their shop­ping list.

Any lift in the num­ber of young peo­ple mov­ing to ru­ral Ire­land is to be wel­comed, es­pe­cially when these peo­ple don’t leave their houses idle all day but ac­tu­ally live in the com­mu­nity.

But be­fore putting up the ‘site for sale’ sign to cash in on a ru­ral hous­ing boom, it should be re­mem­bered that not ev­ery­one views life in the coun­try­side the same.

The price of a site might seem cheap when your new neigh­bour is com­plain­ing about the smell of slurry, trac­tors leav­ing muck up on the road or your cat­tle breaking in and dam­ag­ing a land­scaped lawn.

On the other side the new neigh­bours may have a dog or two, left to roam the coun­try­side unchecked. The site could cost more in the long term that it’s worth. Be care­ful what you wish for!

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