The first signs of a nationwide property recovery in 2014 has been confirmed with one national estate agency group reporting a 6.2% annual price increase outside Dublin – as a three-tier market emerges.
A survey of 48 Real Estate Alliance members nationwide has reported a mini-boom in the residential market around the country since mid-January, with average viewing numbers up by 84%.
“We are now moving from a two-tier market to a three-tier one for the first time, with Dublin, a large commuter ring and large urban areas nationwide, and then the rest of the rural areas all showing different levels of positive activity,” said Philip Farrell, Real Estate Alliance CEO.
“Our agents are reporting an increase in supply of 11.5%, with average prices for closed sales rising by 6.2% on the spring selling period last year – the bulk of which has happened since mid-January.
“Each property is now attracting 13 viewers on average, up from seven in 2013, and this has enabled some agents to organise block viewings – something we haven’t seen since the height of the boom.
“Our survey shows that the average time it takes for sale agreed has dropped from 17 weeks in 2013 to an average of ten in 2014.
“We are seeing an increase in bank-funded buyers on the ground which has led the previously strong cash buyers figure to drop from 70% to 56% of the market.
“In larger urban areas nationwide there is a release of pent-up demand as people begin to make moves to secure property in desirable areas.
“We are also seeing a marked increase in market sentiment, which hit rock bottom last year. Viewing numbers are up, AMVs are being achieved, and exceeded in some cases, with an increase in both first and second-time buyers. While there is an increase in activity overall, there are still some counties which are slow to perform price-wise. This is generally due to over supply in these areas and a lack of demand as potential buyers don’t have the same access to the same amenities that many urban areas provide.”
Real Estate Alliance (REA) is Ireland’s leading property group of Chartered Surveyors with almost 50 branches nationwide, comprising many of the country’s longest-established auctioneers and estate agents.
REA O’Brien Collins in Drogheda has reported that a property with an asking price of €80,000 had 41 viewers, attracted 10 bids and sold for €100k after 30 days on the market.
REA Celtic Properties in Bantry have reported sufficient interest to organise block bookings for the first time in five years.
“Take the case of two identical holiday homes in Milford, Co Donegal. One attracted two viewings and one offer last spring and sold for €100,000. This year, a neighbouring property received 10 viewings, and four offers before selling for €111,500” said Philip Farrell.
“In Meath, REA T&J Gavigan are reporting that the average price for a three-bed semi-detached in Kells last spring was 100k. That has now risen to €110,000 with strong demand.
“In Limerick, REA O’Connor Murphy are seeing a substantial increase in demand in the prime locations such as the North Circular Road and Ballyclough. This high-end increase is also being reported around the country, in areas such as Drumconora and Barefield in Ennis and Dungarvan.
“In Cork, REA O’Donoghue and Clarke are reporting a 15% price increase, with supply up 20% on last year. Demand is high for three-bed semis and also small sites around Cork city and we are seeing five weeks on average to sale agreed.
“In the coastal areas in particular, we are seeing a large increase in enquiries from the UK – due both to our recent London Property Exhibition and also our tie-up with rightmove.co.uk.
“However, our survey also sees a lot of members predicting a shortfall of supply in their areas due to lack of three and four-bedroomed new developments coming through.”
The three-tiered market:
2. Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, South Louth and larger urban areas such as Galway city and Cork city. Also large popular urban towns and tourist locations such as Killarney and Kilkenny.
3. Rural counties and smaller towns.