Those judging The Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland competition last year chose Waterford city as the winner on account of the affordability of homes in the region, its scale – not too big or too small – the quality of its residential core, its abundance of culture as well as its access to greenways and coastal towns and villages.
Outside the city there is an array of beautiful rural areas such as Lismore, and the coastal towns of Tramore and Dunmore East.
Waterford is home to South East Technological University as well as a number of large employers, including GlaxoSmithKline, Bausch & Lomb, Jabil Healthcare, Sanofi, West Pharmaceuticals, Cartamundi, Honeywell and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
Asked for his take on the county’s residential property market, Keith Palmer of Palmer Auctioneers says the market has softened somewhat in recent months.
“We’re seeing properties taking longer to go sale-agreed and that’s leading to a build-up of supply, which is a good thing because its been a seller’s market for the past three years. I think it is becoming a more balanced, equitable market.”
“The fundamentals are still good, just not as good,” he adds.
He says a trend the agency has noticed over the last few years is emigrants returning to Ireland from the UK and, with more workers now working from home, people are seeking to relocate from Dublin.
“Property prices down here are much more affordable,” Palmer says, adding that “there is a really good standard of living and really good schools”.
“Waterford has got a lot to offer and people are starting to realise that,” he says.
Old Stone Cottage, New Street, Lismore
This three-bedroom cottage in the heritage town of Lismore has been renovated to create an airy home full of character. The open-plan kitchen-dining room has been brought right up to date with contemporary fittings, exposed beams overhead, a vaulted ceiling and a stone island that houses a wood-fired oven.
The second and main bedrooms are also on the ground floor and the main has French doors which open on to the south-facing landscaped garden. There are stairs which lead up to a mezzanine lounge area and the third and smallest bedroom, currently being used as a home office.
This property has a B energy rating, keeping heating costs low. The historic town of Lismore lies on the river Blackwater and is home to Lismore Castle and gardens, where many events are held.
There are primary and secondary schools in the area. Old Stone Cottage, extending to 132.4sq m (1,425sq ft), is on the market through Sherry FitzGerald Reynolds seeking €345,000.
Robins Hill, Woodstown
This four-bed detached property with sea views is surrounded by woodland and is just a short walk from Woodstown beach.
The triple-aspect kitchen-dining room is filled with light thanks to a large window which runs the length of the wall, up to the double-height ceiling. This property, extending to 251sq m (2,702sq ft), has one large single bedroom and three double bedrooms.
The main bedroom has a dual-aspect bay window, an en-suite and a decent-sized walk-in wardrobe. There is plenty of space in the upstairs mezzanine for a home office.
This C-rated property is 11km from Waterford city and a five-minute drive from the coastal village of Dunmore East. It is for sale through Palmer Auctioneers seeking €550,000 down from an original asking price of €595,000.
Apartment 1, Newtown Park House, Newtown, Waterford city
This two-bedroom, two-bathroom ground-floor apartment overlooking the river Suir is situated in a complex of just 12 units. It would likely suit those looking to move into a smaller home closer to all the city’s amenities, which include University Hospital Waterford.
The property is just a 10-minute walk from the People’s Park in Waterford city centre. The home is well-maintained and a new owner could move in right away.
It has a spacious open-plan kitchen-dining-lounge area and the main bedroom is en suite. The apartment has a C Ber rating and extends to 73sq m (786sq ft).
It is on the market through RE/MAX Property Specialists (Waterford) seeking €175,000.
4 Suir House, Canada Street, Waterford city
This three-bedroom ground-floor apartment in a sought-after city location is on the market through Ennis Gough Property seeking €135,000.
The property comes to the market in good condition, leaving little work for a potential landlord to do. It’s location, right next to the river Suir, likely ensures that the property will remain popular with renters working or studying in the city.
There is an ongoing tenancy in the home which a buyer could continue, and the current rent roll is €9,000 per year, according to the agent. The property, extending to 80sq m (861sq ft), has a C Ber rating and double-glazed windows.
It is within walking distance of the shops, restaurants, leisure facilities and parks in the city centre. There are also primary and secondary schools nearby.
4 Pebble Beach, Pebble Grove, Tramore
This two-bedroom bungalow, with a C Ber rating, is located in the popular seaside town of Tramore.
Just 20 minutes outside Waterford city, Tramore is home to a large sandy beach with waves perfect for surfing, an amusement park and plenty of arcades, shops, restaurants and cafes. The Tramore Horseracing Festival draws crowds every August and the Doneraile Walk offers stunning vistas for those looking to experience the southeast coast.
The highlight of this property may well be the sauna located in the en-suite of the principal bedroom. The renovated property has central heating and, although it could do with a cosmetic refresh in places, is in turnkey condition.
There is a management fee for this property of about €750 a year, and it is for sale through Property Partners Barry Herterich seeking €180,000.
5 Sion Row, Ferrybank
Agents Brophy Cusack are calling number 5 Sion Row “a rare development opportunity” which could peak the interest of a buyer looking for a project.
The major highlight of this property is the view it offers over the River Suir and Waterford city. The current owner has been granted planning permission for an extension, designed by MDP and partners, to the back of the property facing south.
The proposed development is laid out over three floors and would include a large main bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite and a balcony on the first floor to make the most of the views.
The Ferrybank area has a number of amenities, including Waterford train station, schools, shops and restaurants, while being located just a short drive from the city centre. This property, extending to 86sq m (925sq ft), has an asking price of €75,000.