Dublin South County: 5pc rise in year of transition in south Dublin
"In terms of property, 2015 was a year of transition," says Wade Wise of South County Dublin estate agents Beirne & Wise, who puts increases to date over the past 12 months at a steady 5pc.
This follows a previous annual hike of 13pc and demonstrates the effectiveness of the Central Bank's new lending control measures.
"The 2015 market kicked off with a restricted supply of available property, and this, coupled with strong demand from buyers, resulted in high price inflation in the first quarter of the year. By the summer, the effects of the new Central Bank rules on mortgages led to a cooling of the market, and house price inflation stalled and in some areas prices fell back. By the autumn, we began to see a realignment of vendors' and buyers' price expectations, which resulted in an increased volume of sales."
In Dublin South County, Wise confirms that first-time buyers continue to dominate purchases up to the €500,000 price level, although the new Central Bank rules have made things more challenging for them.
"In the mid-range price bracket," says Wise, "we saw continued demand for good family homes lifting prices in the first quarter. In the second half of the year, we saw a levelling of prices with an increase in supply.
"At the top end of the market we have seen continued activity with a steady stream of buyers, both domestic and those returning home from overseas, resulting in a number of homes selling above €2m, such as 29 Woodlands Park, Blackrock which sold for €2.15m. 2016 is going to see continued restricted supply of housing in this high-demand location, and an upward pressure on house prices. We are predicting growth in the 3pc to 5pc region. How the market starts in the spring will depend on supply."
At present Sandycove is proving extremely popular. "Apartments and smaller houses are performing particularly strongly with older down-sizers outbidding first-time buyers and young professionals."