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Investment Guide – Cork

Investment Guide






South-West Ireland


According to Irish Examiner, Ireland’s property market is continuing to view an upwards trend since 2014. Since then Cork city’s property investment market has been under the radar of many investors and has been benchmarked internationally for one of the first times.

The commercial property market is another market in Cork city which is experiencing a period of growth both in terms of rental yield and capital gains. Investment and demand for commercial property are adding to Corks strong economy and as Ireland’s second city – offering a great investment opportunity.

What’s more, the ‘Help-To-Buy’ scheme which was recently introduced has added ‘fuel to the fire’ – increasing the already buoyant first-time buyer market. Initially drawn by lower rental costs than Dublin, first-time buyers can now seek help with the first purchase of a home with a 5% deposit scheme. The response to the scheme was well received as 120+ applicants were made on the first day of announcing the help-to-buy scheme in the area.

A survey by shows that at the end of 2015, Cork property prices rose much faster than the capital city, inflation in house prices for Cork city centre exceeded 10% where pacemaker Dublin only rose by 5%. Whilst, increased rental growth and occupier demand has stimulated not only investment in the area but also further development in prime areas of the city. Redevelopment activity is also taking place in retail and mixed used areas of the city from ‘Merchants Quay Shopping Centre’ to ‘Capitol’ a 0.75-acre site; a necessity to replace stock and a tentative sign of enhancement in the city’s landscape. The opening of many well known high-street shops and growing confidence in retail trade is a reflective indicator of the fundamental strengths that Cork has to offer.


The second largest city in Ireland, Cork has an economy focused on the city centre, which as of 2011, supported employment for 24,092 people. According to 2006 figures, the top five employers in the area where public sector organisations, and included Cork University Hospital, University College Cork, Collins Barracks, Cork City Council and Cork Institute of Technology. Apple Inc. was the sixth largest employer, followed by Supervalu, Mercy University Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital and Boston Scientific.

Additionally, huge inward investment has been made Mahon Point Shopping Centre is County Cork’s largest shopping center, having opened in 2005. Just under €737 million has been invested in Mahon, Cork, including the N25 dual carriageway extending from Dunkettle Roundabout to Cork Airport & Cork City via a €137 million tunnel, the Jack Lynch Tunnel, which opened in 1999.

Cork economy is ‘fulcrum to drive all Munster forward’

(The Irish Times, 2017)


Cork has experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the country with the region seeing an increase of 11,000 foreign direct investment jobs since 2009.

Cork is home to some of the biggest companies based in I.T, pharmaceuticals (medical device), manufacturing and not to forget FMCG. Companies with head offices are continually expanding their premises amidst the boom of the local economy. The city is small so makes commuting easy for staff, however, brings an influx of staff year by year as the charm of the city brings people into the city.

Apple, one of the world’s most highly recognised brands has recently announced a company expansion in their Holyhill campus, confirming that an additional 1,000 jobs will be created in the city. Voxpro concurrently also announced 400 new jobs in Cork in their Healthcare division with an addition of 140 jobs being created in the slightly further afield Carringtwohill facility.

Population of Cork rises 4.6% (Census, 2016)


It must also be noted that Cork is the fastest-growing area in terms of the population outside of greater Dublin, with a population greater than Galway, Limerick and Waterford combined. (The Irish Times, 2017)

From a total of 542,868 residents, results show 125,657 live in Cork City and 417,211 in the rest of the county.

The CSO also provided statistics reflecting life in both city and county.

From the overall total, 274,193 are recorded as female compared to 268,675 male.

More than one in ten (10.4%) say they have no religion, with rates higher in the city (15%) than in the county (9.1%).

The average age in Cork is 37.5 years — up from 36.4 at the time of the last census. However, the average age is higher in the city (39.1) than in the county (37.1).

Just over a quarter of the 195,853 households are in the city, with 146,442 in Cork county.



Cork is home to 25 secondary schools and colleges plus the addition of a School of Music; located throughout the city and further afield, that provide a comprehensive and responsive secondary level education service for their communities.

University College Cork (UCC)- The university was founded in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges located in Belfast, Cork, and Galway. A world class university, combines rich tradition of teaching, research and scholarship. A highly respected university in the top 2% of universities in the world, known for being a college of medicine and health and a centre for Architectural education.

UCC is unrivalled in the quality of its academic programmes. Its courses are internationally recognised and some 20,000 students take its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. International students are part of a dynamic, multi-cultural community of scholars, academics and professionals. UCC enjoys a global reputation which draws 3,000 students from over 100 countries across the world.

In addition to UCC, Cork has several other third level institutions such as Crawford College of Art and Design and the National Maritime College of Ireland. The city is also home to the Cork College of Commerce.

Cork University Hospital is the largest university teaching hospital in Ireland and the only Level 1 Trauma centre in the country – due to the presence of over 40 different medical and surgical specialities based on the one campus.  CUH is the tertiary referral centre for the HSE Southern area, and the supra regional area of Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Waterford and Kilkenny. CUH, therefore, acts as a regional centre for secondary and tertiary care for the catchment population of 550,000.


Cork Airport, which has a new state-of-the-art terminal, is the principal international gateway to the South of Ireland and is conveniently located just 8 km from Cork city centre. There are frequent connecting flights from Amsterdam, Paris and London to Cork. Alternatively, if you fly to Dublin Airport or Shannon Airport, from where there are frequent connections to Cork, either by train or bus. There are several intercity bus companies operating routes to Cork – Aircoach and GoBus operate a direct service from Dublin Airport to Cork city centre.

Cork City, as well as the university campus, are easy to navigate and both within walking distance from each other, both campus and city are well served by Bus Eireann. Parnell Bus Station is the main city bus station hub of the city and all routes stop at this station.

Cork’s Kent Station is the main train station in the city. From here, services to all over Ireland can be reached. Intercity Trains depart hourly from Cork to Dublin, making connectivity between the two cities easy and offering passengers a great amount of flexibility.

Timely delivery of the M20 Cork to Limerick is an imperative to facilitate effective economic collaboration across Munster,” said Mr O’Connell. He added that Cork was and would be “the second engine of economic growth” in Ireland to complement Dublin.’ (Cork Chamber president Barrie O’Connell, The Irish Times, 2017)

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