THE biggest problem facing the property market in Kerry is a dearth of "quality" stock available for sale to meet prospective buyers' demand.
The Property Price Register report for the last four months of 2012 indicated renewed buoyancy in sales, however, according to a Killarney estate agent, the biggest problem the sector is facing in the coming year is a paucity of "quality" residential units available for sale.
Ted Healy ( above right) of DNG Healy told The Kerryman that, following on from the busiest period in the property sales sector in recent years, all current indications pointed towards further improvement in 2013. However, there is a shortage of "quality" properties", he said. Property sales website daft. ie currently has almost 4,200 properties – houses, apartments and sites – for sale in Co Kerry, while property.ie has almost 3,500. And, statistics from Census 2011 published last year, revealed that there were 19,719 vacant dwellings in Kerry, more than a quarter (26.4%) of the household stock of 74,747.
Yet, despite the number of vacant dwellings in the county, a shortage of quality properties remains, according to Ted Healy.
"The biggest problem that we would have at the moment is that we don't have enough properties to sell. It's come around to that situation, that there isn't enough quality stock there at the moment. There is a demand but there aren't enough quality properties there," he said.
Mr Healy explained that value in the market and an increased appetite amongst buyers had contributed to a much busier last quarter in 2012 than in previous years.
"The last quarter of last year was very busy. It was the busiest quarter we had in the last number of years. I suppose firstly there's value there, value that we haven't seen in years. There definitely more of an appetite out there for property, it seems to be coming around full circle again," he said.
As for the market bottoming out, Mr Healy remarked that that was the "million dollar question", however he said while the market was looking more positive, any increases in prices would not be substantial.
"That's the million dollar question, it's hard to know. In certain areas there has been rises in prices, in others there hasn't. It certainly is looking more positive this year; whether prices are going to rise it's hard to say. I don't think that anything will rise dramatically. But it certainly has stabilised," he said.
The upshot of value in the market is that it is a good time to buy, said Ted Healy, providing of course prospective buyers have access to funds.
"If you have the funds to do it, it's certainly a great time to buy property," he said. "There's great value there and it's serious sellers that are coming to the market with property to sell and property that is going to sell. If you have the wherewithal to buy, absolutely it is the best time to buy in the last 10 to 15 years, but it's all about having the wherewithal to do it."