Price of coastal homes ‘soars in wake of pandemic’

Properties near sea 23% more expensive than before Covid-19 – report

The price of coastal homes has soared since the pandemic struck as demand surges, according to research which shows properties by the sea commanding a huge premium over pre-Covid times.

With remote working now the norm for many after prolonged city shutdowns, a report for property website suggests the price of a home with a sea view and the benefit of sea air is rising fast as some people retreat from urban life.

“Properties by the coast in Ireland are now 23 per cent more expensive than before the pandemic,” said, adding that the national average increase in the same period was 8.7 per cent.

“The premium for properties in these coastal areas - which range from Carlingford and Rosslare on the east coast, through Kilmore Quay and Schull on the south coast, to Lahinch, Renvyle and Dunfanaghy on the west coast - has grown dramatically over the last year.”

In a commentary for, NUIG environmental economist Dr Tom Gillespie said “the trade-off between being close to work and being close to nature” may be changing after lockdowns in favour of proximity to nature.

“Many have speculated that the marked increase in coastal activities such as sea swimming and surfing, two ‘staycation’ summers, increased savings, and remote working possibilities for relocating buyers and returning locals alike might have led to a surge in demand for coastal properties,” he said.’s estimated how the premium on coastal homes changed between January 2019 and April 2021 based on an examination of almost 120,000 properties listed for sale throughout the State on its website.

“We find clear evidence that echoes the anecdotes that the price of coastal properties have been on the increase since the onset of the pandemic,” the report said.

“In particular, we see an effect on properties that are not just within 500 metres of the coast of Ireland, but in areas where more than 10 per cent of the total stock of housing are holiday homes. This latter feature identifies those parts of the coast that are well established in terms of coastal amenities, including beaches.”

The five seaside areas with the biggest price increases for a three-bedroom house were: Kilmore Quay in Wexford, up 54.2 per cent to €230,644; Dunmore East in Waterford, up 51.2 per cent to €345,090; Lahinch in Clare, up 39.4 per cent to €235,590; Renvyle/Letterfrack in Galway, up 39.1 per cent to €267,131; and Schull in Cork, up 33.6 per cent to €396,811.

However, said the growth in transaction prices was even greater. “Based on a sample of … listings connected to the property price register, approximately one-fifth of coastal properties are going for more than 10 per cent of the asking price, approximately double the national ratio.”

Areas with big differences between asking and transaction price included Lahinch (13.8 per cent), Dunfanaghy in Donegal (26.3 per cent) and Enniscrone in Sligo (13.5 per cent).

Although searches on the site for coastal properties were up 45 per cent in February on the same month last year, searches for Dublin city were down 59 per cent.

Arthur Beesley

Arthur Beesley

Arthur Beesley is Current Affairs Editor of The Irish Times