Donegal has been named the most popular county in Ireland for those looking to purchase a holiday home.
Of the 60,000 holiday cottages for rent and second-home getaways across the Republic of Ireland, one in five are located in the north-western region, which boasts rolling hills, beautiful scenery and unspoiled natural beaches.
The data, reported by the Belfast Telegraph, comes from the Republic’s Central Statistics Office (CSO), which shows that the number of holiday properties in the country has risen by 19 per cent since 2006. Ownership of holiday homes in Donegal, however, is up 28 per cent to reach 10,636 properties.
Those new to the holiday home market will have paid significantly less than those who bought prior to 2007; CSO data shows that in Donegal the average holiday home house price is €137,000 (£110,000), which represents a fall of 49.2 per cent in the last six years. Falls of above 50 per cent have been recorded in some coastal areas, where prices were previously very high.
“It’s easier to sell a high-quality house in a crash, but how much of the investment will be recouped? People might find a buyer, but they won’t like the price,” economist Ronan Lyons told the publication.
“It’s far too early to be talking about a recovery in the holiday home areas.”
The second most popular Irish region for holiday home ownership is Kerry, where there are 8,202 holiday homes, followed by Cork (7,282 holiday homes).