Category: News

Homes cheaper to buy but is rent culture rising?

A leading local estate agent believes there may be a shift towards a European-style rent culture in Donegal, despite it being cheaper to purchase a property in the county.

Brendan McGee, of Franklins, also says there’s no housing shortage here, in contrast to media reports of spiralling prices and desperate house hunters queueing for properties in Dublin, Cork and Galway.

“It’s a different story in Donegal,” Mr McGee said this week.

“There is adequate supply across the county and sale prices here are still at figures less than the cost of construction.”

Quoting figures from, Franklins states that there are currently almost 100 houses on the market in Letterkenny (55), Ballybofey (26) and Buncrana (12) in the €100,000-€150,000 price category.

However, Franklins estimates there are around 1,500 houses privately being rented in Letterkenny. An average four bed semi-detached in the Cathedral town costs around €750 per month to rent. Mr McGee says the same property would have mortgage repayments of around €675 a month.

He adds: “Historically, Irish people were home buyers, but now rents are higher than mortgage repayments, even in less urbanised counties like Donegal.

“It is understandable that people are renting more in places where they can’t afford to buy, but in Donegal it’s is actually cheaper month-on-month to buy a property than to rent one. That’s not to mention capital appreciation.

“Around 90% of our current stock would be much cheaper to buy than to build – you could not buy a site and replace those homes for the sale price currently offered.”

Admitting there are obstacles to buying, such as stricter central bank lending rules plus a requirement for a sizeable deposit, he added that the banks are telling them every day that they are open for business regarding mortgages to first time buyers.

“It’s almost like there is a fear among potential first-time buyers about entering the property market. Is it a case of them being traumatised by the crash and the experiences their parents may have had? Whatever the reason, the numbers speak for themselves when it comes to renting versus buying.”

With rental values increasing at a steady rate over the past few years, it is widely accepted this is the more expensive ‘choice’.

“However, from last week’s figures, you can see that availability is not a problem in Donegal with many options in various locations. Renters should bear this in mind because along with the fact that lower monthly mortgage repayments are available it means there couldn’t be a better time to buy.”



Franklins are the largest and most experienced firm of estate agents and valuers in Donegal, having been established in 1999.

Our Directors have collectively 50 years of experience selling and valuing property.

There are few parts of the county we haven’t done business in, so you can be assured of an accurate  appraisal and advice wherever you are.

Paul Franklin, our MD has a long family history in estate agency going back 100 years. Paul’s brother, son and two nieces are agents in the UK.

Housing crisis – what crisis??

22 Stewart Court Ramelton – ‘New build’ €149,000

Whilst the property market in large parts of the country is clearly witnessing a surge in prices (both rental & sales), here in Co.Donegal there remains great value. Still in many cases sale prices are lower than build cost. As a border county with historically 40% sterling buyers, the Brexit situation has impacted negatively and looks set to influence the market until the dust settles one way or the other. This could be 2 or 3 years.

Market Activity nonetheless remains quite steady with a plentiful supply to the market in most price ranges. Surprisingly until the end of July 18, 90% of all sales in the county were on properties valued at below €200k (source – National Property Price Register). Sales over €400k in the county are still unpredictable.

The county has witnessed modest increases in values in the last 18 months but there is no doubt Co Donegal still offers some of the best value for money in the country whether buying for owner occupation or investment.

Historic country house just 10 mins from Letterkenny

Gort Manse, Raymoghy, Manorcunningham


Gort Manse is a highly desirable country house of immense character occupying an elevated site overlooking its own substantial grounds and countryside beyond. The house itself extends to c.450 sq metres. Behind numerous outbuildings including a double garage, the remainder being suitable for a home office, gymnasium, etc. The owners have substantially updated the house over the years to include solar panels, dual central heating and a new kitchen 3 years ago. Constructed c.1890 most original features remain intact. Accommodation is well-proportioned. A highly desirable country house, private and within close proximity of Letterkenny. VIEWING ESSENTIAL.

  • Storeroom of c.10 sq metres with wc & range of cupboards
  • 15 sq metres currently used as an office, fluorescent lighting, laminate wooden floor
  • 20 sq metres, range of fitted cupboards, staircase to a first floor storage area of a similar size
  • 00m x 6.00m sliding up & over doors, 3 skylight windows, ideal for home gym or further office etc.
  • Double Garage


  • Double glazing
  • Oil fired central heating
  • Solar panels
  • Gas tank on the premises which can be used if required (gas fires to most rooms)
  • Underfloor heating to ground floor shower room

PRICE GUIDE – €749,000

CALLING ALL INVESTORS – how does 10% sound ??

92 Meadowbank, Letterkenny, Co.Donegal

To good to be true ? NO.  This very desirable property is currently for sale through Franklins at just                €119 000 – and is full let for €1150 per month.

4 bedroom semi in great condition plus a one bedroom flat on the side. In an improving part of town, near the hospital and all the towns amenities. An area we predict will continue to improve as more and more homes here are professionally refurbished.










Browse our website for many apartments and houses ideal for investment, many producing yields of 8-10%. Where else would you find a return on your investment like this ? The rental market has seen in the last 3 years continuing demand and spiralling rents. This continues unabated with rents still increasing sharply due to lack of supply.

When you have found the right property we will find you first class tenants with excellent references, manage your property and deal swiftly with any maintenance issues that arise. We manage hundreds of properties and have an efficient lettings staff to deal with all enquiries.


Paul Franklin


Franklins showcases Donegal to attract ‘movers’

Franklins Estate Agents has launched a series of new area guides showcasing why Donegal is a perfect spot to call home.

The online area guides are accompanied by stunning video footage of the county dubbed the ‘Coolest Place on the Planet’ by National Geographic and detail some of the top activities and places of interest.

The Letterkenny-based estate agency has taken the unusual step in an effort promote the county as a great place to move to as well as visit.

Things to do in Donegal

With the help of Letterkenny videographer Brian McVeigh, the company has compiled four guides offering a snapshot of beauty spots, attractions and things to do in Inishowen, Fanad, Rosguill and Letterkenny.

Paul Franklin, Managing Director of Franklin Estate Agents, said: “We all know what a fantastic place Donegal is to call home. The idea behind these guides is to showcase to others how wonderful a place our county is to live, work and play in.

“Each guide consists of a short video and a written description of the area’s highlights – what to do and see, where to shop and eat, and much more.

“The videos show some of the lesser spotted natural beauty of Donegal, with wonderful drone footage showcasing many of the iconic landmarks.

Moving to Donegal

“I hope that people from outside the county see these videos and decide to come and join us. Donegal is definitely Ireland’s most picturesque place to live and when it comes people realising that, the more the merrier,” said Mr Franklin.

The area guides are available on the Franklins Estate Agents website at:

Donegal paradise for the price of a tiny Dublin or London home

We’ve written previously about how moving to Donegal is now a realistic option for many young families looking to relocate from London or Dublin because of improvements in technology.

The option to work remotely is one being taken up by scores of young professionals these days. They are eager to maintain their careers but better balance work and quality of life by setting up home in Donegal.

In the past we have touched briefly on the very real value for money in the Donegal market and for many the bang you get for your buck is the most important factor when buying a new home.

Average price of a Dublin home

The average price of a three bed semi-detached home in Dublin is now €299,000, according to the Quarter 3 2017 Property Report, while the average price of a four bed semi is currently €430,000.

The report further suggests the average price for a home in Dublin has increased by €40,000 over the last 12 months.

Average price of a London home

Across the Irish Sea, the average price of a home in London currently stands at £471,761 – or €530,000 – according to latest figures from the Nationwide building society.

So with those figures in mind, we thought it pertinent to ask: What would the average house price in Dublin or London (or much less than) buy you in Donegal? Let’s take a look. Here are five properties that are great examples of the value in the Donegal market right now.

And of course the quality of life in stunning Donegal is unsurpassed anywhere on these islands.

What you can buy in Donegal for the price of a Dublin or London home

Kristenwood, Knockbrack, Letterkenny

Video –

1 Kristenwood - New Main Image

Few properties define countryside luxury quite like this five bedroom home just a short 12 minute drive from Letterkenny – the county’s largest town, Donegal’s commercial and retail centre, and a place renowned for its thriving social scene and night time economy. From the state-of-the-art kitchen and porcelain floor tiles to the oak joinery, elegant bathrooms and carefully planned living space, Kristenwood is a rural haven that would make a superb Donegal country home. The asking price is €385,000.

Forquar, Milford


This delightful six bedroom Milford family home oozes class, character and charm. Set in an acre of magnificent, mature grounds, and boasting far reaching countryside views, this stunning Donegal property was built in 1948 and has been substantially upgraded in recent years. The town of Milford is a five minute walk away and picturesque Ramelton is just a five minute drive. Letterkenny is around a 20 minute drive and the popular coastal areas of Portsalon, Dunfanaghy and Rathmullan are all accessible in 15 to 20 minutes. The asking price is €335,000.

Ballyargus, Redcastle


With a luxury kitchen any cook would love, a bathroom that includes a jacuzzi bath and a real attention to detail throughout, this quietly sophisticated Redcastle family home is a great example of the value in the Donegal property market. Constructed in 2005, this four bedroom chalet bungalow extends to some 2000 sq ft. Located in a quiet rural setting, but is just 20 minutes from Derry, the fourth largest city in Ireland. The asking price is €159,950.

Screen, Kilmacrennan

1 Screen - Main Image 1

This beautiful cottage in a fabulous Lough side setting, is a truly unique property that blends old world charm with modern finishes. The property’s boundary touches the shore of Lough Keel and it has its own jetty and fishing rights to the Lough. Kilmacrennan is less than 15 minutes away from Letterkenny by car. The asking price is €275,000.

Briar Cliff, Fahan


This four bedroom Fahan property maintains many of its period features and so much of its charm. Set in a stunning location, this home overlooks Lough Swilly and Fahan Marina from its elevated site. There is also a self-contained 2 bed apartment on the property’s lower ground floor, and while some redecoration work is now needed, this is a truly special property with a great asking price of €165,000.

Looking for your ideal Donegal home? View all our residential properties now

If you are looking to marry quality of life with real value for money by relocating to Donegal, talk to our team of experts today. Tel: +353 74 91 88000 or email [email protected]

Buying a Donegal home: What to ask the agent

Buying a home in Donegal can be an overwhelming experience and many people can be filled with trepidation when viewing a property.

There is research to suggest that house hunters spend as little as 25 minutes viewing a property before they decide whether or not to buy – so it’s vital you make the most of the time you have in the company of the estate agent.

2Oak Park - Entrance

Donegal’s trusted estate agent

Here at Franklins, we believe in straightforward, honest and clear communication – it’s a core part of the professional and personal service clients have come to expect from Franklins.

When we accompany you on house viewings in Donegal, we give you the freedom to ask the right questions and we do our utmost to answer them effectively.

This is after all the best time to explore any concerns you might have and to glean all the information you want.

So with that in mind, the Franklins team has put together a quick checklist of the questions to ask at a viewing that should make the process a little easier.

How long has the property been on the market?
This is probably the first question we are asked most often at viewings and we can understand why. You will want to get an indication of how sought after the property is. If the property has been on the market for a time period longer than other properties in the area, it’s a chance to ask why the agent thinks the house hasn’t sold yet.

Why is the property being sold?
There may be any number of reasons why the property is being sold but as a potential buyer you’ll want to find out if it’s for any reason that could impact on you and the decisions you need to make.

How long has the seller owned the property?
Always a good question to ask as if the house has changed many hands in a short time, you’ll want to know the reasons why.

What’s included in the sale?
Knowing exactly what you’re getting for your money is of paramount importance – ask about the fixtures and fittings, white goods, garden furniture, where the boundary lies etc

Is there a chain?
If the seller has already found their next home chances are any potential sale could go through much quicker. Likewise, if you as the potential buyer does not have a property to sell, it is worth mentioning this to the agent – shorter chains mean quicker sales.

Has there been any major work on the building?
It is always worth finding out about any renovation work carried out on the property. You’ll want to know how the work has changed the property and if it was done with planning permission.

It’s important that you are very clear about what information will help you make an informed property choice and you may have a very defined set of questions of your own.

It’s a good idea to think about what is most important to you before the viewing.

To view our latest residential and commercial property opportunities click here or get in touch with us today by calling +353 74 91 88000 or [email protected]

Remote working makes Donegal ideal for ambitious professionals

Working remotely in Donegal while still pursuing a career is a choice being made by a whole generation of professionals thanks to high speed internet.

At Franklins, we have been buoyed by the ever-increasing numbers of young professionals choosing to settle here, or return to their native Donegal from Dublin, Belfast or London.

Increased remote working in Donegal is a pattern that has gone hand in glove with increased and improved broadband coverage in the county.

Working remotely in Donegal

Working remotely in Donegal

Donegal high speed broadband

And with further improvements planned to the tech infrastructure here – a huge rollout of 1Gbps fibre broadband is planned over the next year – there will be little to differentiate connectivity in Donegal from the country’s more urbanised centres.

These advancements are enabling IT savvy, ambitious professionals to experience the joys of life in Donegal without compromising their career.

That’s great news for anyone wanting to enjoy the Wild Atlantic Way of life, the rugged landscape, the spectacular beaches, lakes and mountains while keeping their career ambitions high.

It all makes Donegal a very attractive option for professionals, especially those wanting to raise a family away from the humdrum of city life.

That’s not to mention the very real value for money in the Donegal property market. Donegal house prices remain well below the national average. There’s no doubting the fantastic value available right across the county.

Low childcare costs in Donegal

Then there’s Donegal childcare costs, commute-times and crime rates – all among the lowest in the country.

And it’s not just in tech that our connectivity has improved.

The county is well served by an improved road network and the Dublin to Donegal commute time is now just a little over three hours.

Donegal Airport also connects us to Dublin while nearby City of Derry airport affords an ease of access to the UK and beyond.

If you are a professional looking to marry quality of life with career by working remotely talk to our team of experts today. Tel: +353 74 91 88000 or email [email protected]

Donegal’s ‘cool’ living – the secret’s out

Living in Donegal

Those of us lucky enough to call Donegal home know just how fantastic it is to spend time there – but now the secret’s out thanks the National Geographic Traveller Magazine.


Donegal’s ‘Coolest Place on Planet’ tag came as no surprise to us but will have grabbed the attention of potential visitors who may never have even entertained the notion heading our way for a holiday.


Having beaten off stiff competition from far flung destinations to top the magazine’s ‘Cool List’ last December, Donegal is now to the forefront – not only for traveller’s but also for those seeking to buy a house in Ireland.

Living in Donegal

Living in Donegal is bliss.

Buying a home in Donegal


From Donegal Wild Atlantic Way cottages to Donegal village homes with all the necessities needed for modern living, enquiries about buying a home Donegal may well rise as a result of the new found fame.


Now it’s been revealed that next month’s UK edition of the publication will feature a 20-page glossy supplement all about our wonderful part of the world.


The coverage will provide the readership of around 43,000 people with some of the reasons why ‘up here is different’ and why so many people who have visited have fallen in love with Donegal.


Many have come and many have stayed over the years, bowled over by lure of the rugged coastline, historic monuments, friendly people and even the illuminated night skies thanks to the Aurora Borealis.


For those who took the plunge into buying a house in Donegal for a little place to call home, these attractions were made all the more appealing by practicalities such as the lower cost of living, the escape from daily traffic jams and the great value for money in the Donegal property market.


When selecting Donegal at the top of its ‘Cool List’ last December, the National Geographic Traveller Magazine cited our “weather-nibbled coast spotted with sea stacks, Blue Flag beaches and offshore islands” as some of the best attributes. It described the county as “a land that feels undiscovered” – an observation that will no doubt serve as a beacon to many seeking a holiday home in Ireland or a remote country escape.


We wholeheartedly agree with Tourism Ireland, which describes the latest supplement as “truly invaluable publicity – showcasing the spectacular Donegal landscape to thousands of potential British holidaymakers and positioning Donegal as a highly desirable place to visit.”


But it’s not only visitors who will take heed. We’d be surprised if a number of those who hear the call of Donegal don’t decide to make a corner of our wee county home when they fall in love with all the wonderful aspects which we might sometimes be guilty of taking for granted.


Get in touch today to discover your Donegal home.


BUYING THROUGH FRANKLINS / the big difference

Unlike most firms of estate agents in the county Franklins rarely ‘hold’ offers on properties. We operate a much more transparent and fairer system. If we receive offers below an acceptable level to our clients we endeavour to negotiate with prospective buyers to a price agreeable to the seller / vendor. If this does not materialise we consider the property to be fully and freely available to subsequent viewers. We do not therefore in most cases revert to previous viewers / bidders. In our view they had their opportunity.

So if you are looking to buy, most of Franklins properties are freely available and open to offer / negotiation. We will not be reverting to previous viewers and you will not therefore be entering into an auction type scenario.

Honest, simple and straightforward. You know where you stand with Franklins.