Dublin 13: Impressive 15pc increases in D13
"The market has been wrecked by the Central Bank," says Dave Kelly of JB Kelly Property Team, reflecting back on a year that started well, "and then fell off a cliff." However such was the early-year spurt that values still finished up at a very strong 15pc despite the later slump.
Kelly says that there is not enough money in circulation to support a healthy market, and asserts that income restrictions on mortgage lending of three-and-a-half times salary, rather than the 20pc deposit requirement, is to blame for the inability of prospective first-time buyers to get a foot on the ladder.
"Salaries haven't gone up," says Kelly, "so I don't see where any increases in prices are going to come from unless something changes in terms of the mechanics of how the market operates."
Kelly says that other agents he talks to on Dublin's northside are saying the same.
"I'm aware," he says, "of two or three big developments launched in Dublin 13 that should have sold out within a couple of weeks, where the prices are now being quietly negotiated. That kind of thing has not happened since the crash and really the market should be in recovery now."
The problems that first-time buyers are experiencing have led to what appears to be an anomaly in the Dublin 13 market, which has seen the price of an average four-bed semi perform very well, increasing from an average of €400,000 last year to €462,000 now, because the purchasers of those houses are trading up and have a better ability to borrow than those starting out.
"The market for the four-bed semis is healthy, unlike the market for three-bed semis," says Kelly.
Kelly says that he has seen the highest level of transactions in the Dublin 13 market in the €650,000-€800,000 price bracket, where buyers have greater equity to bring to the table. That said, the market is quiet in the million-plus bracket.
"The market is really working for second and third-timers and for those coming out of negative equity. Many people just can't afford to make a trade even though they are in houses that are too small for them. There is huge demand but no ability to purchase and I don't see that changing unless there are adjustments to the Central Bank rules. The market had already corrected itself and the Central Bank killed it off prematurely, and threw a wet blanket over everything. Nobody is really grumbling about prices, but they are finding it very hard to get their finance together."