Irish buyers see off foreign bidders in property auctions
Irish property buyers are outbidding foreign investors for prestige purchases as "confidence and stability" returns to the home market.
One of the country's biggest auctioneers yesterday completed a multi-million euro sale of commercial and residential properties around the country.
Robert Hoban, from Allsop Space, said while demand for high quality offers remains intense, many international buyers now find themselves unable to compete with domestic purchasers.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said this applies to both commercial and residential sales. "Overseas buyers have always been around - but the number of successful purchasers from other countries has definitely decreased.
"It's been falling for some time. A few years ago about 20pc of properties were sold to overseas buyers - but this is now down to about 5pc and dropping all the time - as the domestic economy grows in confidence. That's a definite trend.
"There's just more certainty around as regards the market in general."
While making precise predictions on future trends is difficult, he said "Irish buyers are definitely back buying Irish properties again."
He pointed out in yesterday's auction the Irish were "winning out" despite strong foreign competition. "Now about 95pc of the properties we sell are to domestic purchasers."
However, despite this shift in buying patterns, over 200 overseas telephone investors took part in yesterday's bidding - a record at an Allsop auction. Normally the figure would be around 100. About 50pc of the buyers bought property with their own funds - with the remainder availing of alternative arrangements.
Referring to the domestic market, Mr Hoban said it's "anyone's guess" whether house prices will rise in more sought-after parts of the country. He stressed properties for the "right price and right location" continue to generate strong interest. "Properties that are in secondary locations might suffer a little bit more," he added.
Some €28m of commercial properties were sold over three hours of frantic bidding.