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Invest in high-income Irish property

Many of our clients may know, renting or buying a property in Ireland is extremely difficult due to its severe supply constraints. Because of the supply-demand imbalance, coupled with other factors such as its fast-growing economy and world-class education, more people are moving to Ireland than ever before, investing in real estate in Ireland can be uneasy, but highly profitable.

While there are no restrictions on nationality when purchasing property in Ireland, the property is low priced comparatively with developed English-speaking countries such as the UK and the US, but rents are relatively high, many buy-to-let investors have been finding the highest rental yields in Ireland amongst European countries in recent years, benefiting from the capital growth at the same time.

We previously provided a guide to buying a property in Ireland, in this article, we are going to discuss what makes Dublin’s buy-to-let property scheme attractive.

The two main sources of income in a buy-to-let investment are rental yield and capital growth. These are very different terms that describe the two income streams a property can deliver. It is also important for investors to understand the price-to-rent ratio which provides insight into a given property’s potential return on investment.

Rental yield and rental price performance

One of the most important metrics for an investor to consider is the rental yield they can receive. Rental yield is based on you letting your property out to a tenant and what you can expect the rental income over a year. Understanding the average rental yields in a property market is vital for making an informed decision for choosing a property for investment.

Irish properties provide higher average rental yields than many popular property investment global cities.

Country Rental Yield

Although it is one of the best countries to invest in rental property, Ireland is not usually found on the list of the best countries for real estate investment due to a reason – availability of stock. Stock of residential property has always been a problem in Ireland and the problem continues to worsen. The number of houses for sale dropped 26% in three years up to September 2022. Furthermore, many new developments are snapped up by institutional investors, further reducing the availability of stock for individual investors to enter the market.

In terms of rental prices performance, according to the property website daft.ie, Irish rental prices rose the most on record in 2022 with increases of 20% in some cities. In Q4, average rents were 13.7% higher than the same period in 2021.

Which is best to buy for investment: 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom apartment?

Property Types

When it comes to an investment property, bigger is not always better. Firstly, 1-bed and 2-bed appeal to the widest rental market compared to 3-bed properties, which means they are in higher demand and would minimise rent lost due to shorter vacant periods. Secondly, 1-bed and 2-bed typically provide stronger yields as the 3-bed property requires a higher capital entry point. Last but not least, in the exit strategy for an investment property, 1-bed and 2-bed have a stronger secondary market as they appeal to more owner-occupiers and have lower furnishing costs than a 3-bed property.

There are many advantages of investing in a 1-bed apartment for investors to invest in the Irish property market for the first time:

  • It has a lower capital entry point compared to a 2-bed apartment.
  • It is cheaper and easier to furnish than a 2-bed property.
  • It has a lower maintenance cost.
  • It appeals to young professionals and graduates, as well as young couples.

Buying 1-bed apartments is a good investment choice within the buy-to-let sector in the greater Dublin area. This is largely down to their appeal to a wide rental demographic, and because remote working is becoming a new norm for many companies in Dublin, many people would rather stay away from the city centre but in a less busy, more relaxing environment to live.

In Dublin some popular districts, gross rental yields range from 6.19% to 7.96%, which are generally considered excellent yields. One-bedroom apartments will earn relatively more than two-bedroom apartments. To earn higher returns, buy smaller units.

Capital Growth

Another important source of income in a buy-to-let investment is capital growth. Capital growth is your profit earned on a property purchase and is based on the capital rises that you may experience as property prices go up.

According to Irish Central Statistics Office (CSO), in July 2022, the national residential property price index rose strongly by 13.1% from a year earlier, up from a y-o-y increase of 8.48% in the same period in 2021. The latest data from the Property Price Register (PPR) revealed that Irish house prices were up 8.9% in the first three months of 2023.

10-year Irish residential property price

The graph shows the 10-year residential property price index in Ireland. Source from Central Statistics Office.

According to PPR’s same set of data, Dublin remained the most expensive county with the median price of homes sold in the first quarter of 2023 up 8.1% year-on-year and 1.2% quarter-one-quarter.

Investment properties in Dublin and the surrounding areas are anticipated to be benefited from a price increase. When considering the best places to buy in Dublin, you may want to consider the up-and-coming areas around the city, which provide amenities for families and commuters looking for the perfect balance between city life and quiet neighbourhoods. While your rental income may be less than the one of a property in the city centre, you will likely pay a lower purchase price. This means your overall yield and profit are healthier than if you opted for a smaller property in Dublin’s most elite districts.

Dublin property vs London property

Dublin property vs London property

Many people like to invest property in the UK, but many of them do not know Ireland can offer better value. We can compare the properties of the two places from their price per square metre (psm), rent per month, and price-to-rent ratio.

Dublin London Apartment Price

Investors can enjoy a 1.5 times larger space purchasing an Irish property than in the UK, for the same capital amount and a similar growth rate of property price.

Dublin London Rent per Month

UK and Ireland Rental Yield

From a rental perspective, although rents in some city centre locations are higher in London than in Dublin, the property price is lower in Dublin, offering stronger rental yields (data refer to the table above). investors would also have to take the carrying costs into account, those are the fees for owning a property, for example, the property management fees, and usually the fees are lower in Dublin than in London.

Price to Rent Ratio

Investors are suggested to consider the price-to-rent ratio when investing in a property. The ratio is an essential indicator because it provides insight into a given property’s potential return on investment (ROI). Generally speaking, a lower ratio indicates that the property has good potential to generate long-term returns, while a higher ratio suggests that the property may not provide adequate returns over teams, and is less likely an investor can achieve positive cash flow from renting the property out after deducting from operating expenses and mortgages. A good price-to-rent ratio is considered to be 15 or lower indicating that investing in real estate in that area would be more profitable for renting.

Malahide property

The expected rental income of this Malahide project is around €2,250 for a 1-bed unit and €2,700 for a 2-bed unit, offering gross rental yields of about 5.6%-6.5%.


Properties provide an excellent hedge against inflation that attracts many investors who are currently expanding their property portfolio. Ireland ranks highly as a strategic location for investors seeking to secure long-term income generated by property investments. Dublin and its surrounding areas offer a stable housing market with the potential to generate high rental income as well as to make great ROIs on the right properties, making it an excellent location for global property investors.

Guide to buying a property in Ireland

Ireland has become a hugely popular immigration destination in recent years. High quality of life, excellent education, a robust economy, and an abundance of job opportunities are just a few of the many factors that have led to its growing popularity.

For those who plan to stay in Ireland, buying a house to live in or for the family makes perfect sense. There are no residency-based restrictions to buying property in Ireland. You can buy property here if you are an Irish citizen, EU/EEA citizen, non-EEA national, or even non-resident in Ireland.

However, due to its growing population, strong employment market, and coupled with a very tight housing supply, property buyers and investors can often find it difficult to buy a residence in Ireland. This is most evident in Dublin and in other prime locations. A 1-bedroom or a 2-bedroom apartment can be snapped up by the local market very quickly with the average time to sale agreed to be about 2-3 months, some only take a few weeks, indicative of a tight market.

The housing demand remains strong despite the uncertain economic environment posted by events in Ukraine, higher energy prices, CPI inflation, and European Central Bank (ECB) rate hikes. Transactions are currently still being agreed above the asking price as the demand remains high.

From an investment perspective – historically, real estate has proven to be a stable investment during inflation with a high chance of value increase. Ireland offers strong economic stability, and investing in property in Ireland is not only safe but also profitable due to yields that can go beyond 5%.

It is an exciting opportunity to own a property in Ireland right now, however, you may want to pay attention to the following information.

Property budgeting and mortgage

Budgeting and mortgage

When buying a property in Ireland, there are some associated costs a buyer would have to consider, such as legal fees, insurance, and stamp duty. Allow about 3-5% of the purchase price to cover the costs of buying your new home in Ireland.

Stamp duty applies to both new and second-hand property. Stamp duty is applied every time you become the new owner of a property. The current rates are 1% of the first €1 million paid for a property and 2% on any amount above €1 million.

For example, if you buy a house for €1.3 million, you will pay €10,000 (1%) on the first 1 million and €6,000 (2%) on the remaining €300,000.

Where VAT applies stamp duty is calculated on the property price excluding vat.

Stamp duty is usually paid when you complete the process of buying the property and your solicitor will usually arrange this for you.

If applying for a mortgage, it is uneasy for foreigners. You will usually need to be living in Ireland for at least 6 months and have been in employment for at least 12 months before most lenders (i.e. banks) will consider you for a mortgage.

It can sometimes be easier for an “expatriate” to get a mortgage when someone is returning to Ireland after being abroad for a few years. Some Irish banks will not even consider lending to someone who lives outside Ireland and doesn’t have most of their income in Euros.

Energy rating

All homes for sale must have a Building Energy Rating (BER). The BER tells you how energy-efficient your home is. A-rated properties are the most energy efficient while G-rated homes are the least energy efficient. When choosing a property to buy, considering its energy rating is important, not only does it help lower energy use, but also houses with a good energy efficiency rating can fetch almost 10% more than a comparable property with a low BER rating.

The Solicitor and the power of attorney


During the property purchase process, it’s advisable to have sound legal advice from a party acting in your interest, especially when you are not able to stay in Ireland to manage the purchase process, you can nominate a solicitor based in Ireland to represent you throughout the whole legal process and grant your solicitor power of attorney.

Solicitors’ charges vary substantially, however, a good solicitor who is experienced in representing buyers from overseas can help you avoid or deal with common problems, and that will save you a lot of time with less hassle, this is usually money well spent!


It is important for property buyers to apply for an Irish PPS Number (equivalent to a National Insurance Number) personally before purchasing a property in Ireland regardless of whether you are a resident or non-resident. You are not permitted to complete a significant financial transaction without the PPS Number. Your solicitor can advise you on this if you are not sure where to start.

The buying process

In order to secure your chosen property and have it taken off the market, you would normally be required to make a reservation with a deposit, then usually pay 10% of the property’s cost within a few weeks of signing a contract which your solicitor sends to the seller’s solicitor. The balance of monies due is payable on property completion.

Requisitions on title

Between signing the contract and paying the remainder of the monies owed, your solicitor will draft a purchase deed and ask the seller’s solicitor a range of standard questions (known as Requisitions on Title) regarding the sale of the property. Note, at this point you as the buyer have committed yourself to purchase the property (providing the answers to the requisitions are satisfactory), but the seller is not committed to selling the property until they sign the Deed of Conveyance prepared by your solicitor.

Buying a house is not only exciting, but it’s one of life’s achievements. Property is also a great investment asset to own for creating passive income and long-term wealth. We at Bartra are always here to advise our clients where to live and where to buy in Ireland. Interested in buying a property in Ireland? Contact us now.

Read on for more published content about Ireland property: Our colleague Richard Lenehan met Jonathan Dowling, who works for Bartra New Homes, in Dublin’s prime residential district Blackrock to check out the Glensavage Estate and learn more about the residential buying process for overseas buyers. Click to view the video.

Ireland’s property market – a worthwhile investment

The hottest property markets for Hongkongers include London, Sydney, Vancouver, New York, Japan, Bangkok, Lisbon, and many more, but with a large number of multinational companies have established their European headquarters in Ireland (many more are planning to) and the IIP providing the opportunity for immigration to Ireland, its cities are looking increasingly attractive. And there are other benefits to be had, too.

Ireland’s property market has enjoyed steady growth over the last decade, particularly in the nation’s capital, Dublin and its surrounding commuter areas. This growth has been driven by a strong economy (see our blog on ‘Ireland’s Economy’) and high employment levels; GDP growth in 2018 was 5.6%, the second highest in Europe, and in the same year full-time employment grew 2.7%. This year, Ireland is the only developed economy to experience growth in GDP, boosted by exports from the Pharma and tech sectors, the chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers said.

Dublin has experienced continued international investment, particularly in the technology sector; it is home to Twitter’s EMEA headquarters and Facebook and Google’s European headquarters. Ireland also boasts a burgeoning medical technology industry, which performed particularly well in 2020, and many of its giants are based out of the capital.

In addition, a limited supply of homes in Dublin’s prime locations, coupled with a growing population that is predicted to increase by nearly a third before 2036 taking it to 1.76m, contribute to a high demand for property in the capital. In 2019, PwC ranked Dublin third out of 31 European cities for real estate investment and development in its 2019 PwC/ULI Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe report.

There is plenty, then, to attract international property investors. And with similar procedures for purchasing a property in place in Ireland as there are in the UK, where many Hongkongers have chosen to invest in property, good value and promising returns also add to the appeal.

Dublin, for example, is well priced compared to some of its European counterparts. Home prices start from €400-500,000 for a one-bedroom flat in prime residential areas, such as South Dublin, according to Mei Wong, Executive Director – Head of International Residential Sales at Knight Frank, which deals in both residential and commercial property consultancy, while family homes start from €1 million, though in super-prime areas can exceed €10 million.

Location matters and ownership


Dublin’s most desirable areas to live in, particularly for a family home, are found in the South of the city, with Dublin 4, including Ballsbridge, Sandymount and Donnybrook, and Dublin 6, namely Ranelagh, Rathmines and Rathgar, holding greatest appeal. Each offers a range of housing options within easy reach of the city centre and is close to some of the city’s best schools including a number of those listed in The Sunday Times’ top 25 schools in Ireland in 2018. Blackrock, Monkstown, Dalkey and Killiney, also areas in south Dublin, are of growing interest thanks to their coastal locations offering attractive sea views.

Whether buyers are in search of houses or apartments, property titles are similar to those in the UK. Houses and townhouses are generally freehold, while flats, particularly new-build units, are likely to be leasehold (often 999 years). For those buying for investment, rental yields in and around Dublin are strong and have risen steadily since 2011, but vary according to the area.

Off-plan properties, which are often popular with Hongkongers, can offer attractive yields of between 4 and 6%, particularly in Greater Dublin where undersupply continues to drive growth and push up rental values. Apartments in Dublin 2, where a number of new developments are launching on the south quays, have particularly high rental yield potential, while property in more established areas of Dublin, such as Dublin 4 and Dublin 6, does not offer the same growth prospects.

Aside from Dublin, other areas worth considering include Cork, Ireland’s second most popular location for property investment; Limerick, which was named one of the Europe’s Cities of the Future in 2018/2019 by fDi Intelligence, a specialist division from The Financial Times Ltd.; and Galway, named European Capital of Culture 2020. These cities are attractive places to live, there are top schools, excellent medical facilities, and an array of lifestyle options such as golf courses, fishing and yachting.

There are a number of other elements to consider when purchasing overseas property, many of which set Ireland apart. Property taxes remain relatively low in Ireland. Stamp duty is 1% of the value of the property up to €1 million, then 2% on the balance over €1 million. Local property taxes are also modest, but vary according to location.

IIP investors will hold a Stamp 4 VISA, equivalent to a permanent residence permit, though there is currently no limit on the number of homes that can be purchased by a resident or non-resident, so prospective buyers and investors are able to purchase property at any stage of the residency process.

While most Hong Kong property buyers tend to be cash buyers, mortgages are available with an LTV of up to 70% with an interest rate of around 2.9%. Bartra works in partnership with EBS, one of Ireland’s largest financial institutions, to offer attractive and appropriate mortgages to its clients. For IIP program investors, it is worth bearing in mind that at maturity investors can expect around returns of €200,000 from a €1 million investment of Nursing Home projects, which could be put towards buying property.

Based on the resilience of property markets around the world, the global pandemic seems to have had little impact on buyers’ desires to purchase new homes. In fact, international investor enquiries have picked up as people have had time to consider new markets. And Ireland’s capital, set in an English-speaking country within the EU where residents enjoy high quality of life amidst a steadily growing economy, is a place where investors should feel confident in its potential.

If you are looking to invest in property in Ireland, watch our interview with Mei Wong, Executive Director – Head of International Residential Sales at Knight Frank, which is part of our “Immigration Insights with Bartra Wealth Advisors” video series. Mei and Jay Cheung, our Marketing Director, reveal some of Dublin’s most attractive areas for investors and considers the elements international buyers need to be aware of when contemplating property purchase in the Emerald Isle.

New launch – Glensavage, Avoca Road, Blackrock, by Bartra Homes


Apart from IIP projects, and as a leading property developer in Ireland, Bartra Group has diverse real estate portfolios. Bartra Homes has recently launched a premium residential development project, strategically located in a prestigious and highly sought after location in South Dublin, Blackrock. Glensavage is a beautiful hidden site of 2.49 acres (0.94 hectares) off Avoca Road in Blackrock.

You can visit the project website for specification details, layouts or simply contact us.

We also work with Knight Frank for other property investment opportunities.

Data source from Knight Frank’s residential property market reports.