Property Pad

1st April 2014

Recovery in the housing market picks up pace in the first quarter

By Sherry Fitz.

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Key findings

The average value of residential property in Ireland rose by 5.0% in the first quarter of 2014; this follows annual growth of 9.2% in 2013.

  • Notably Dublin house prices rose by 6.5% in the first quarter of the year, following growth of 14.1% in the twelve months to the end of December 2013.
  • When Dublin is excluded from the national figure, the quarterly growth figure was 3.0%.
  • The regional centres also experienced upward price movement during the first three months of the year.
  • An analysis of the stock of available property for sale on the open market continued to decline as recorded in January 2014. There were approximately 37,883 units advertised for sale, of which 3,025 were located in Dublin.  This represents a reduction of 28% on January 2013 levels when there were 52,532 units for sale in the open market.
  • Notably, just 0.6% of the Dublin private housing market is currently available for sale.  This is incredibly low by either historical or comparable levels.

Commenting on these results, Marian Finnegan, Chief Economist, Sherry FitzGerald Group said:

“The first quarter of 2014 was a period of strong price inflation in all the regional centres most notably in Dublin.  The ever decreasing quantity of property advertised for sale in the regional centres led to strong competition for properties thus fuelling this period of price inflation.  Notably Dublin prices rose by 6.5% in the three months alone.  

The cities of Cork and Galway also saw price inflation with price growth of 5.5% in Cork city and 3.1% in Galway city during the three months to the end of March.  Both cities are suffering from a shortage of property for sale with only 1.5% of Cork city private properties advertised for sale and only 0.9% of Galway City’s private housing stock advertised for sale in January 2014.

Looking to the future, it seems likely that without a notable increase in the supply of properties to the market, price inflation in both Dublin and indeed all of Ireland will exceed levels achieved in 2013.  That said, it is early days and supply traditionally increases in the post Easter market.  A notable increase in supply in any location has the potential to moderate current price trends in the months ahead.  Outside the regional centres, current forecasts would suggest that 2014 will be a year of stability after six years of price deflation".

Further findings

  • An analysis of transactions that closed during the opening quarter of 2014 reveals that 74% of the second hand homes sold through Sherry FitzGerald were purchased by owner occupiers; this compares to 83% in the same period in 2013.
  • Notably, investors bought 19% of the properties transacted in the year to date; this compares to 10% in the same period in 2013
  • First time buyers remain a relatively active cohort in the market accounting for 21% of the properties traded in the year; notably this compares to 25% in the same period in 2013.
  • An analysis of the profile of vendors who sold their property through Sherry FitzGerald in the opening three months of the year revealed that 30% of vendors were selling investment properties. Executor sales accounted for 17% of the market.

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