Buying a house in Ireland is a multi-step process that usually involves a solicitor who handles the conveyancing, a term used to describe the mandatory legal procedures for property transactions. Ireland is a beautiful country, with great prospects for people who want to move here. With beautiful landscapes and a peaceful lifestyle, Ireland can become a new home for you or your business, in the situation in which you want to open a company. If you want to buy a property in Ireland, it is recommended to ask for the help of our Irish lawyers, who can assist you throughout the entire process.
|Foreigners can buy property in Ireland (Yes/No)
Restrictions on land ownership for foreigners
Types of property sale methods in Ireland
Private agreement (treaty), auction, tender; our lawyers in Ireland can explain.
|Property purchase duration
|It can take approximately 2 weeks until you receive the keys to your new property in Ireland.
|Real estate agent use
Not mandatory, but common.
|The agency with which the property deed is registered
The Property Registration Authority
|What to consider before buying property in Ireland
Your budget and financing options, the area/city in which you will buy the property, the type of property you wish to purchase, and other personal issues.
The bank evaluates your application and informs you of the amount you may receive.
|Calculated as a percentage of the house value (commonly at least 10%)
|Property due diligence
A comprehensive verification, always advisable before signing the final purchase agreement; our lawyers in Ireland can assist you.
|Property purchase fees
Stamp duty (according to the value of the property in most cases).
|Reasons to buy property in Ireland
Ireland is a beautiful country that offers a good quality of life in Europe. At the same time, you can find various business or employment opportunities here, given the country’s economic growth.
|Assistance for individuals
Our conveyancing lawyers are ready to assist you whether your are buying your first house/apartment, or you are selling one.
|Assistance for investors/corporations
|Our real estate lawyers in Ireland provide complete legal assistance and counsel for medium to large real estate investment projects.
The Process of Purchasing a Property in Ireland
If you are a non-Irish resident, we advise you to be legally represented by our law firm in Ireland, as there are several stages that have to be accomplished in order to buy a property here, regardless of its destination: commercial, or residential.
Conveyancing services are needed to buy an apartment in Dublin, just as well as purchasing a house anywhere else in the country.
In Ireland, both parties – the seller and the buyer – must employ an Irish lawyer. The price of the property can be negotiated by an Irish law firm on your behalf. From a legal point of view, a buying-selling process must respect the following stages:
- The contract procedure – our Irish law firm will assist with the negotiation process, opening a bank deposit, and the legal date when you become the owner. The lawyers will also help when the contract is signed and at the transfer of ownership (this stage usually lasts 4 to 6 weeks).
- Insurance – when the transfer of ownership is completed, our local law firm can help you choose the most appropriate insurance policy for your property.
- Testaments – if you are interested in this matter, the execution of a will can be done after the purchase of the property.
- Taxes – taxes apply according to the type of property you own. Our Irish lawyers will provide you with the necessary documentation for the payment of the taxes.
If you have already purchased a property in the country and are now interested in divorce in Ireland, our team can help with matters regarding the division of property.
From the point of view of the buyer, the following steps are relevant for buying a house in Ireland:
- decide on your purchase and budget: you should decide what type of property you are looking for (a house, an apartment, etc.), as well as what you can afford to buy; for this purpose, the buyers should also factor in the value of the mortgage repayments on a monthly basis;
- contact a solicitor: our team includes experienced conveyancing solicitors and you can reach out to us as soon as you decide to purchase a property; alternatively, we also assist those who wish to sell a house or an apartment;
- find out more about the property: once you have a shortlist, our solicitors will help you find out more about it via the Property Services Regulatory Authority, the verifications recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (for radon checks), as well as the Building Energy Rating;
- special survey: this can be seen as a final stage of the due diligence process started in the previous step; it is a survey that will help the buyer find out if the house or apartment has any defects; when you buy property in Ireland, you should only use the services offered by a surveyor who operates under the Society of Chartered Surveyors, the professional body for chartered surveyors in the country;
- obtain a mortgage: our lawyers can give you more information about the available types of mortgages and your options; we advise you to reach out to more than one mortgage provider in order to make sure that you choose an option that is most suitable to your needs and possibilities; formal mortgage approval is needed for signing the sales contract; signing this document when you buy a property in Ireland without having an approved mortgage can lead to losing your deposit.
Working with an experienced solicitor will streamline the process and will allow the buyer to rest assured that the purchase is a safe one. Buying a home is an important and often very anticipated step for many individuals. Our team can make sure that the conveyancing is properly handled and that your purchase is a suitable one, according to your needs and your budget.
Signing the sale agreement when you buy property in Ireland
The steps briefly highlighted below precede the signing of the sale contract for buying a home in Dublin or another Irish city. This agreement is a binding one and its provisions may stipulate that, should the seller choose to withdraw from the purchase after the signature date, he may lose the deposit on the property.
We advise local and foreign individuals interested in buying a house in Ireland to sign the sale agreement in the presence of our experienced real estate lawyers. Having a trusted legal advisor during this process is essential, and your solicitor will review the contract before you sign it to check for any clauses that may not be in order.
Once the contract is signed, the next step is to handle the Requisitions on title – a standard list of questions for which the seller will need to offer information. This is a step during which the assistance of the solicitor is essential for those who buy an apartment in Dublin or another type of property.
Once the sale is finalised, a final step is to register the deeds with the Registry of Deeds, or the Land Registry. This is a specialised system of registration with which your solicitor will be able to help. It is useful to note that this is the final step when you buy property in Ireland, however, by this time, you are already the rightful owner of the property. This means that you do not have to wait until this final registration is complete before you are considered the owner of the property.
The importance of the due diligence process
As the buyer, you may wish to postpone the property payments or refrain from any binding operations, until the due diligence process is complete. This helps ensure that the property you are about to purchase is one that has no hidden defects and is rightly priced.
The seller is not obliged by law to provide extensive information on the work that may be required on the property or any unseen defects. A thorough verification is needed to ensure that there are no issues with the property, issues that may not have been apparent during the initial viewing. Moreover, the due diligence verification will also be performed in order to reveal if there are any encumbrances on the property (these are any charges against the property made by parties who are not the proprietor).
A property that has an encumbrance can be purchased, however, there may be limits on the manner in which the new owner can use it, or whether or not it can be passed on. Our Irish lawyers will be able to detail these issues, if any arise upon a closer inspection of the property’s legal status.
As previously mentioned, the survey performed on the property before you purchase it should be performed by a chartered surveyor. Upon this inspection, and if any defects are revealed, you may wish to renegotiate the price you are willing to pay for the property.
Taxes paid in Ireland when purchasing a property
There are several taxes that the Irish government imposes on property purchasing contracts. The short description below is useful if you want to buy an apartment in Dublin, as in all other cases. If you need more information on the subject, our Irish law firm can offer you assistance.
- Stamp Duty -1% of the contract value for residential property under one million EUR and 2% for sums above this; for commercial properties, a rate of 2% out of the purchasing price is applied.
- Income Tax – if the owner is not an Irish resident, the income tax on rents or on properties is applied at the rate of 20%. When the owner becomes an Irish tax resident, the taxes applied will be between 20% and 41%.
- Capital Acquisitions Tax – Applied only to tax residents in Ireland, whose taxes will be permanently regulated by the Irish authorities.
- Capital Gains Tax – Applied to the difference between the purchase price and the sale price for a person who isn’t an Irish tax resident.
If you are interested in property purchase in Ireland, our accountants in Ireland can give you detailed information on tax liability for property owners, both individuals and corporations. With our help, you will also be able to easily manage any taxation issues in Ireland, if you are a foreign investor who wishes to buy commercial or residential real estate and have questions about the taxes that you will be subject to.
Additional issues to consider when you purchase a property in Ireland
Buying a home or an apartment in Ireland is an exciting step, and one that many dream of accomplishing. Whether you are a foreign national living in Ireland or are an Irish citizen, you will need to take into account all the steps that your purchase will generate.
You will need to take care of several issues, whether you are the buyer or the seller. As the buyer, for which this guide is intended, you will first need to leave your rented house or apartment. This means giving notice, as agreed in the tenancy contract.
Moving your furniture and belongings to your new home is just the first step. You will also need to perform the following:
- Find your new postal code and redirect your post;
- Transfer your utility agreements;
- Change the address for voting purposes (on the Electoral Register);
- Change your address for the following: insurance policy, driver’s license, tax, and welfare purposes, and also inform your employer and the financial institutions of your new address change.
If there are any legal issues you need to address, our lawyers in Ireland will be able to answer your questions.
If you wish to leave the purchased property to a certain family member after you pass away, we can help you when making a will in Ireland.
If you are interested in issues concerning the division of property should you need to get a divorce in Ireland, our lawyers can answer your questions. We also provide complete representation during the divorce proceedings. While legal representation during divorce is not mandatory, it is always advisable, especially in more complex cases in which jointly owned properties are involved.
The real estate market in Ireland
The Irish Central Statistical Office offers a comprehensive look into the evolution of the real estate market, as well as many other issues related to housing and households. The agents at our law firm in Ireland summarize some of these statistics below:
- The residential property price index increased by 2.4% in May 2023 on a year-on-year basis;
- Prices in Dublin have decreased by 0.2%, while those for properties outside Dublin have gone up by 4.5%; when historical trends are taken into account, Dublin residential property prices were 9.6% lower compared to their price when they were at their highest, during the February 2007 peak;
- The median price of a property purchased within the 12 months ending in May 2023 was EUR 315,000;
- The lowest median price during the same period was EUR 160,000 in Longford; by comparison, the highest median price was recorded in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, at EUR 630,000;
- A total of 4,435 dwelling purchases were filed with the Revenue Commissioners in May 2023; this represents an increase of 18.9% compared to the number of household purchases recorded a year prior (in May 2022, when the number was 3,730).
If you need assistance in buying or selling a property in Ireland, please contact our Irish law firm. We also provide other legal services for individuals, such as those related to divorce in Ireland.