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House prices continue to rise

The average value of residential property in Ireland rose by 1.7% in the first quarter of 2015, which compares to growth of 5.0% in the same period in 2014.

Dublin house prices rose by a moderate 0.9% in the first quarter of the year, this compares to growth of 6.5% in the same period in 2014.

Notably, when Dublin is excluded from the national figure, the quarterly growth figure was 2.8%. In comparison, residential property outside Dublin grew by 3.0% during the opening quarter of 2014.

The regional centres outside Dublin experienced strong price growth during the opening three month period, most notably in Cork with price growth of 3.0% in the three months to end March.

An analysis of the stock available for sale on the open market revealed there were 30,642 units advertised for sale in Ireland in January, which represents 1.6% of the private housing stock. This compares to 37,883 units in January 2014, a 19% reduction in the country overall.

In Dublin, there were 3,982 units advertised for sale in January 2015, which represents 0.8% of the private housing stock. However it in interesting that this represents a 32% increase on available stock in Dublin in January 2014.

The Property Price register reveals that just under 43,000 properties transacted during 2014. If one excludes multi-family/portfolio sales, the figure is reduced to approximately 41,500 or 2.2% of the private housing market.

Owner occupation still dominates the purchaser profile at 73%, while investors now account for 20% of all purchasers in the quarter.

First time buyers role in the market diminished further during the opening quarter accounting for 14% of the properties traded in the quarter; notably this compares to 17% in the same period in 2014.
An analysis of the profile of vendors who sold their property through Sherry FitzGerald in the quarter revealed that 36% of vendors were selling investment properties, while executor sales accounted for 11% of the market.

Commenting on the results, Marian Finnegan, chief economist Sherry FitzGerald said, “There is no doubt on reviewing the performance of the Irish housing market in the opening quarter of 2015 that the market is operating differently than it did during 2014. There may be a myriad of reasons for this depending on where you are in the country, however there is also every reason to believe that the Central Bank’s intervention in the market in January 2015 had a role to play in the market’s performance in the intervening period.”

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