Property price register back on Dail agenda
THE Government is to press ahead with a national property price register that will allow consumers to check the actual selling price of homes.
The Department of Justice confirmed yesterday that the Property Services Bill permitting the creation of a detailed database has been put back on the Dail agenda and should be dealt with quickly.
The necessary legislation was thrown into legal limbo with the sudden collapse of the last government, but the department confirmed yesterday that it will go to Dail committee stage after the final outcome of the Seanad elections.
"It is expected that the Select Committee, when established, will move quickly to deal with the Property Services (Regulation) Bill," the department said.
The Central Statistics Office will today publish its first ever property price index, but this will not give actual prices paid, instead focussing on monthly price changes since 2005 when the market was near its height.
CSO statistician Niall O'Hanlon said that this index was based on sale price figures from the eight main banks, but would not give actual prices because that would not reflect the changing profile of properties sold from year to year.
For example, 16pc of properties sold in 2007 were apartments, compared with 7pc last year, so the index had to take that into account.
However, it would give an accurate breakdown of how property prices had changed since 2005, with a separate breakdown for Dublin and the rest of the country, as well as for apartments and houses.
Their index was designed in this way to comply with a European directive requiring them to collect this information for international comparisons and should not be confused with the proposed property price register that would capture specific selling prices, he said.
The Property Services Regulatory Authority said it would make the introduction of the register a priority once the necessary legislation had been passed.
They expected it would operate as a website containing details of the address, price and date of sale of all properties, said Liam Roche of the PSRA, the state body set up to regulate estate agents and other property managers, which itself is in legal limbo until the Property Services Bill is passed.