US buyers are taking advantage of the lack of British interest in Irish properties since Brexit caused a fall in the value of the pound.
Now, almost 20% of overseas inquiries into Irish property are coming from America, according to the Real Estate Alliance (REA).
That is a huge rise from two years ago when American interest was described as “a negligible base”.
A survey carried out by REA found that there has been a 32% fall in inquiries about properties in Ireland from the UK over the past 12 months.
This is being attributed to the fall in the value of the pound following Britain’s decision to leave Europe.
However, the lack of buyers from Britain is being countered by an increase in American interest.
REA chairman Eamonn Spratt explained: “Property buyers from the US are increasingly securing homes and investment properties in Ireland, buoyed by a strong dollar and the lure of a resurgent economy for emigrants.
“The average house price in the US in November 2016 was $365,200 (€341,739), compared to our Average House Price survey national value of $216,856 (€202,926), so there is obvious value for American buyers in Ireland.
“Our agents report that inquiries from the UK have dipped by a third since the Brexit vote, and the attendant fall in the value of sterling against the euro.
“But while the UK still forms 37 percent of our overseas business, 19.6 percent is coming from the US, 18 percent from Australia, 15 percent from mainland Europe and 11 percent from other locations – especially Canada.
“78 percent of our members report an increase in inquiries from overseas in the last year, with the average agent seeing a 22 percent rise in calls from outside Ireland.
“The biggest rises were seen in calls from Irish emigrants planning to return from Australia, which increased from 11 percent in 2015 to 18 percent in 2016.
“Last year we brought the first Irish property exhibition to the US and met with 425 potential buyers in New York.
“32 percent of the attendees were Irish families looking to return home, 19 percent were retirees looking to downsize, and 17 percent were young Irish people returning to work.
“5 percent of attendees were searching for a holiday home and another 3 percent were keen to buy a second home with ties to family in Ireland.
“A survey of attendees also found that 16 percent were investors while 8 percent were US-based people who have homes in Ireland and were looking for them to be either sold or managed.”
The survey also found that 40% of sales to overseas purchasers are for properties valued above €200,000, a 9% rise on last year.
Nearly a third of overseas buyers are looking for a home for their retirement, while 16% are looking to purchase properties as an investment.