Second-hand home sales treble
Price falls and low mortgage rates behind pick-up in residential market
THERE has been a three-fold increase in the number of second-hand residential properties that went "sale agreed" in January.
The surge in sales supports evidence of a pick-up in the residential market since the start of the new year, according to property website MyHome.ie.
Angela Keegan, of MyHome.ie, said there has been an increase each month since last September in the number of properties nationwide that had gone sale agreed.
In Dublin alone, 658 properties went sale agreed in January, compared with just over 200 in the same month last year.
Sale-agreed figures for Leinster also increased by a similar percentage over the same period, Ms Keegan said. Similar trends were seen in counties Kildare, Wicklow and Meath.
"This trend goes against the traditional seasonal selling cycle that would normally be seen in the market of residential properties for sale," she added.
December showed a marked increase, with the highest number of sale-agreed properties in 2009.
Ms Keegan insisted that a high proportion of agreed sales would now turn into actual sales, unlike the situation during the housing boom when people often walked away from an agreement to buy or sell.
The rise in second-hand house sales was due to sharp falls in house prices, low mortgage rates from some lenders and a feeling that the worst of the budget increases were over, Ms Keegan added.
So far this month, there were twice as many sale-agreed properties in Dublin compared with the same month last year.
An analysis of the data on the site also suggests that the level of stock "overhang" is reducing in a number of areas.
Ms Keegan added: "The levels of activity have been trending upwards since September 2009, with a marked increase in activity during December which showed the highest number of sale-agreed properties per month in 2009.
"It is likely that this increase was fuelled by market certainty and confidence brought by the publication of the December Budget."
Asking prices for homes fell by 19pc during 2009 and are now 30pc below their peak levels of early 2007, according to recent findings from the Daft.ie property website.
Daft said the national average asking price for a house at the end of 2009 was €242,000, down more than €100,000 from the peak. The rate of decline in asking prices has varied across the country.