Buying Real Estate in Ireland (Guide)

Taxation Researcher | January 20, 2022

What´s it like to buy property in Ireland? How high are the realtors´ and lawyers´ fees and what about other property purchase costs in Ireland?

If you’re looking to buy property in Ireland, it’s useful to know which taxes you’ll have to pay and what the total additional costs will be. In this article, we’ll take a look at the property buying process in Ireland and examine all the additional taxes and costs. Read on and find out how to buy real estate in Ireland.

The property purchase process in Ireland

Fortunately, there are no restrictions for foreigners purchasing real estate in Ireland and the investment climate is favorable for foreign businesses.

Ireland Victorian style country house

Once you find a suitable property, you should make an offer and engage the services of a solicitor to take care of the contracts. Keep in mind that the offer does not legally bind you to buy.

When your offer has been accepted, you may arrange for a survey for the early detection of potential problems. This way you can ensure the property is in good order before you spend any money.

In either case, after the seller accepts the offer, your solicitor will then draft the Deed of Conveyance which is the document that transfers the property into your name. This will be sent to the seller´s solicitor for his approval.

The vendor´s solicitor will then draw up a contract for the sale of the house. When your solicitor has reviewed this contract and is satisfied with it and to the title to the property, you will be in a position to sign contracts. Estate agents are involved in the transaction up to this point – until the seller signs the contract with the buyer.

However, before the signing, you must pay a non-refundable deposit of 10%. If you do end up buying the property, this will be considered as a prepayment and deducted from the final sales price.

After the signing of the contract by both parties, the conveyancing of the property usually takes 6 to 8 weeks. Once the contract is signed, the stamp duty should be paid.

Then, the sale of the property is registered at the Land Registry Office or at the Registry of Deeds. Depending on the title to the property this can take up to six months.

All in all, buying real estate in Ireland isn’t overly complicated.

Property Buying Costs and Taxes in Ireland

Let’s take a closer look at the additional costs and taxes on buying property in Ireland

Transaction Costs

Who Pays?
Stamp Duty 1% - 2% buyer
Legal Fees 1% - 1.5% (+ 23% VAT) buyer
Registration Fees 0.25% - 0.75% buyer
Real Estate Agent´s Fee 1% - 3.5% (+ 23% VAT)
1% - 3.5% (+ 23% VAT)
Costs paid by buyer 3.71% - 8.90%
Costs paid by seller 1.23% - 4.305%
Source: Global Property Guide
*The round trip transaction costs include all costs of buying and then re-selling a property - lawyers´ fees, notaries´ fees, registration fees, taxes, agents´ fees, etc.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty in Ireland is levied on property transactions and is payable by the buyer. The applicable stamp duty rates depend on the market value of the property.

Stamp duty in Ireland is levied on property transactions and is payable by the buyer. The applicable stamp duty rates depend on the market value of the property.

Stamp Duty on Residential Properties

Property Value, € Stamp Duty, €
Up to €1,000,000 0%
Over €1,000,000 2% on all value over €1,000,000
Source: Global Property Guide

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value Added Tax (VAT) is levied at a standard rate of 23%, effective 01 January 2012. This is not an additional tax but is already included in the sales price of the property.

Legal Fees:

There is no fixed rate of charges for legal fees when it comes to buying real estate in Ireland. The fee for the conveyancing work offered by solicitors is negotiable. Some solicitors charge a fixed fee while others charge a percentage of the purchase price –usually around 1% to 1.5%. The 23% VAT is also levied on the legal fees.

Real Estate Agent´s Fee
Although nominally paid by the seller, real estate agent´s fees are usually included in the asking price, thus, effectively paid by buyers. Buyers pay a separate fee if they acquire the services of an auctioneer to purchase the property on their behalf. Auctioneer´s fees vary from 1% to 3.5% of the selling price, plus the 23% VAT.

Registration Fee:

The solicitor will determine the nature of the title to your property. The costs incurred will depend on whether the title is held in the Land Registry or the Registry of Deeds.

The Land Registry is a system of compulsory title registration. The register is conclusive evidence of title to property and any right, privilege, appurtenance or burden appearing thereon.

The Registry of Deeds is a system of voluntary registration for deeds and conveyances. The document filed in the Registry of Deeds is a memorial which is essentially a synopsis of the deed and also other statutory requirements, but doesn’t record official property ownership.

Registration Fee

Property Value, € Fee, €
Up to €50,000 €425
€50,000 - €200,000 €600
€200,000 - €400,000 €700
Over €400,000 €800