Investors sell up - and home buyers get older
Investors are selling up residential properties in large numbers, but not enough to meet the demand from families for homes.
New figures from Sherry FitzGerald show around a third of sellers of properties are now investors.
Meanwhile, separate figures show the age of people buying homes has risen dramatically, with most now over 40.
Investor sales have reached around 10,000 a year, according to the Sherry FitzGerald data.
And the mass sell-off by investors has removed around 40,000 properties from the rental market, according to Sherry FitzGerald economist Marian Finnegan.
"During last year, 33pc of vendors were selling investment properties, while a further 13pc of sales were as a consequence of bank repossessions, many of which would be investment properties," she said.
Sellers of investment properties are mainly those who bought a single property some 10 years ago.
But the introduction of the property tax, water charges, the USC, the cost of registering with the Private Tenancies Residential Board and the restriction of mortgage tax relief had made it more expensive to be a buy-to-let investor, Ms Finnegan said.
Those who were emerging from negative equity were encouraged to sell up because of the extra costs, she added.
Meanwhile, separate figures show a big drop in the number of people in their 20s and 30s taking out mortgages.
Younger buyers are being hit by a shortage of properties to buy, as well as Central Bank lending restrictions.
Data from insurer Royal London show fewer people in their 20s have been buying homes over the past 10 years.
And more of those buying mortgage protection policies are over the age of 40.
The new figures point to what has been described as a fundamental change in the age profile of those paying for a mortgage.
Royal London said its figures on the ages of those taking out protection policies were a good proxy for the mortgage market as a whole.
Mortgage protection cover is usually a prerequisite for anyone buying a home and financing the purchase with a mortgage.
In 2004, the percentage of policyholders who were over 40 was 33pc. That increased to 55pc in 2014.