Property market slow to recover

The property market is still moving at little more than snail’s pace with house sales running at just half the rate considered normal for a healthy property market.

Latest analysis shows that the national average housing turnover rate for the past year was 2.1% — and only 1.5% outside of Dublin.

An average of 4%-5% is considered a normal rate and one that more accurately reflects the desire of people to transition from renters to homeowners; to trade up and down as family size changes; and to migrate around the country to avail of job opportunities.

A below normal rate suggests people are being constrained in their choices and ability to buy homes for financial and other reasons.

Just 42,960 residential properties changed hands in the 12 months to June 2016, slightly down on the 45,138 that were bought and sold over the previous 12 months.

Most activity was in Dublin, Kildare, and Westmeath which each saw 2.5% of their stock of residential properties changing hands.

Monaghan had the least activity of all with a turnover of just 1.3%; while Donegal and Tipperary were also slow markets with rates of just 1.5% and 1.6%.

The analysis is by GeoDirectory and DKM Economic Consultants. Dara Keogh of GeoDirectory said: “We can see that market activity is still heavily concentrated in and around Dublin.”

It is not price that is attracting buyers to Dublin and the surrounding counties — the average transaction price in Dublin was €380,237, followed by counties Wicklow at €315,564, Kildare at €255,967, and Meath at €229,314.

The only county beyond the east coast to have average prices above the €200,000 threshold was Cork at €205,445. By contrast, the lowest prices were to be had in Longford at €80,357; Roscommon at €88,317; and Leitrim at €91,608.

Overall, the national average property price was €232,862 but that dropped to €168,078 when pricey Dublin was excluded.

The vast majority of homes sold were second-hand — 87.8% compared to 12.2% of newly-built properties — but that is not surprising given the low level of construction.

Throughout the year an extra 12,439 homes were added to the national housing stock and 4,375 were under construction in the month of June.

Again, the activity is unevenly spread across the country, with Kildare, Dublin, Wicklow, and Meath adding most to their stocks in percentage terms.

In terms of actual numbers, Dublin had the most new additions, 4,975; followed by Cork, 1,285; and Kildare, 879. Longford had the lowest number of new additions — just 26 in all — and only 60 homes were under construction in June in Longford, Leitrim, and Roscommon combined.

“Nationally, we’re seeing an uptake in construction; however, Dublin is still dominating with 25% of homes under construction located there,” said Annette Hughes of DKM. Dublin, Cork, and Galway accounted for 44% of all buildings under construction.

The analysis also shows that detached homes are the most numerous type of housing, accounting for 39% of all residential properties. Terraced accounted for 27% and semi-detached for 23%.


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