Sunny southeast at a snip

There are bargains to be had in the holiday homes market right now


Long the county of choice for Dubs seeking a weekend bolt hole, Wexford is the east coast’s best-known holiday home destination.

With the ferry port at Rosslare, it is also first port of call for many holidaymakers arriving by ferry.

Those factors, plus a reputation as Ireland’s sunniest spot, mean the county has always had a strong secondary market in holiday homes. While sales slumped quickly once the downturn took hold, there are signs of renewed growth in buyer interest but only in cases where good locations meet knockdown prices.

“Demand for holiday homes is better this year but only for good-quality houses in good locations,” says auctioneer Ray Corish, who specialises in properties in Wexford town and south Wexford. “One-off holiday homes with good coastal locations are doing better than those on developments, unless it is a particularly good development.”

With an overhang of supply in many coastal locations, traditional favourites such as Rosslare, Kilmore and Curracloe are faring best in attracting interest from potential buyers.

Many of these are acting in recognition that one person’s economic adversity is another’s opportunity.

That fact is not wasted on those fortunate enough to have the means to buy a holiday home that, in previous years, they could only have dreamed of.

“There are bargains to be had in the holiday homes market right now. In Kilmuckridge, for example, a very popular spot, a three-bed, detached holiday home on a nice development, close to the beach, can be had for €100,000 and that good value is only out there now because certain people, unfortunately, have to sell,” says John Kearney of Kearney & Co.

Interesting time
“It’s actually a very interesting time for anyone who does have money, or a decent job, because there is currently an opportunity that would never have existed before to buy often custom-built holiday homes, in lovely coastal plots, that previously would have stayed in families for generations, but which, because banks are leaning on people, now have to be sold.”

Still, given the economic environment, acquiring a holiday home isn’t at the top of most people’s priority list, and that too is reflected in the market.

“The holiday homes market is okay, but not much more than that,” says Colum Murphy, managing director of Kehoe & Associates in Wexford town.

“That said, there are people out there now with retirement lump sums for whom, all of a sudden, a holiday home in Rosslare is much more possible. What’s more, we are seeing houses that were built as holiday homes in developments in places such as Kilmuckridge and Curracloe selling for less than €100,000 and being bought by people who realise they won’t get better value than that and are moving into them on a permanent basis.”

Maple Lodge, Castlebridge, Co Wexford
Wexford’s popularity as a holiday destination means it can offer the opportunity to generate income from your home. Maple Lodge (above) is a seven-bedroom B&B in Castlebridge village, close to the blue-flag beach at Curracloe and five minutes from Wexford town. While it could make a spacious family home, it is currently run as a four-star rated B&B.

The owners took early retirement from their jobs in the financial sector 15 years ago. According to selling agent John Kearney of Kearney & Co, they have since spent the six summer months running it as a B&B in order to raise enough money to live for the six winter months in the warmer climes of the south of Spain.

They are now selling up and moving to Spain full time. Because the house is currently run as a B&B, it is in “pristine” order, Kearney says. “At the start of every new season, extensive maintenance has been carried out, much more than you would have with your average family home.”

The 279sq m (3000sq ft) house, which is on just over half an acre of garden, with good parking, has a large entrance hall with vaulted ceiling, sunroom, large diningroom and kitchen.

It has a central vacuum cleaning system and additional sound proofing in the rooms. Outside, it has mature gardens, two patio areas and a large railed decking area with power points.

The guide price is €425,000.