Friday 30 September 2016

Million-euro home sales return as property prices soar nationwide

Published 07/11/2015 | 02:30

Sorrento House was sold for €10m
Sorrento House was sold for €10m

Sales of €1m-plus homes have surged as property prices continue to rise across the country.

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The average house sold between June and September cost €235,429, new data reveals, which represents a 12pc hike compared with the second quarter of the year.

And first time buyers and families hoping to trade up are facing stiff competition from cash buyers for the scarce number of homes coming onto the market.

As many as four in every 10 homes are bought without a mortgage, as cash-rich buyers hoping to invest in rental or family homes vie for properties.

An analysis of the Property Price Register also shows that the sharpest price hikes are being seen outside the main cities of Dublin, Cork and Galway.

The data also indicates there is no shortage of wealthy buyers purchasing homes at the top end of the market.

Some 140 properties costing €1m or more have traded hands in the third quarter alone, compared with a total of 153 in the first six months of 2015.

Most were in Dublin, where 120 units falling into this price bracket traded hands between July and September.

The most expensive was Sorrento House, on Sorrento Terrace in Dalkey, which fetched €10m when it sold on August 31.

Shortage

Described as one of the finest houses in Dublin, it enjoys views across Killiney Bay and Bray Head.

Another seven €1m-plus homes were sold in Cork, with Lisnalee House on Barrington's Avenue in Blackrock fetching €2.6m.

Five were sold in Kildare, three in Wicklow and one each in Cavan, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick and Meath.

The data, however, demonstrates that there is now a shortage of homes being delivered across all regions.

Large towns outside of the main cities saw steep hikes.

The highest price rise recorded in the latest figures was in Kilkenny, which rose 24.5pc and where the 'average' home sold cost €175,756. They also sharply rose in Carlow (up 17pc), Cavan (16pc), Monaghan (15pc) and 14pc in Kildare.

The Property Price Register also shows that the number of properties trading hands has increased in every county except one in the period between July and September.

In all, some 11,211 homes were sold. This compares with 8,058 in the second quarter, an increase of 39pc.

Only in Sligo have sales dropped, down 8pc to just 140.

The register shows that the average selling price for a home between July 1 and September 30 now stands at €235,429.

This compares with €209,770 for the second quarter of the year - an increase of more than 12pc.

The highest average, unsurprisingly, is in Dublin, where a home now costs €381,259 - up 10.5pc in just three months. The lowest is in Longford at €77,423, a rise of 9.5pc.

But the number of new homes coming on to the market remains at stubbornly low levels, with the latest figures from the Department of the Environment showing that fewer than 9,000 were delivered in the first nine months of the year.

Of these, half are one-off homes built to order and unlikely to ever go on the market.

The completions fall far short of the number needed to meet demand, with between 18,000 and 25,000 units a year required to help keep prices at a sustainable level.

This is having an impact across practically all markets, and only in four counties have prices dropped - Donegal, Clare, Kerry and Leitrim.

In the rest of the country, hikes range from a high of 24.5pc in Kilkenny to 1pc in Offaly.

An analysis of selling data also shows that almost four in every 10 homes sold in the first half of the year were for cash. Between January and June, some 17,052 units were sold across the country.

However, figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland - which collates mortgage draw-down data from the main banks, including AIB and Bank of Ireland - shows that just 10,729 mortgage offers were taken up in the same period.

This means that 37pc of the units sold in the first six months - or 6,323 - were bought with cash and without recourse to a bank loan.

The data also reveals:

• Transactions totalling €2.6bn were completed in the third quarter of the year. This is an increase of 56pc.

• The sharpest increase in the value of homes traded is in Kilkenny, where properties valued at €32.3m were sold, up 94pc.

• It is followed by Galway, up 77pc, Waterford (75pc), Dublin (69pc) and Kildare (66pc).

• The sharpest rise in the number of units sold is in Waterford, up 67pc to 332.

• It is followed by Clare to 297 (up 66pc); Galway with 652 (up 63pc), 184 in Kilkenny (up 56pc) and 3,537 in Dublin ( 53pc).

Irish Independent

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