Cash buyers snap up bargain properties in key spots nationwide
CASH buyers are snapping up bargain properties that would not have been affordable during the boom.
Both new and second-hand houses are selling without delay in locations with good access to transport and schools, according to the latest market analysis.
When it comes to second-hand houses, buyers are mainly interested in properties which are priced below €175,000.
The annual survey from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) shows that prices in Dublin and Leinster plunged much faster than other parts of the country last year.
The SCSI said cash buyers and farmers were re-entering the market -- but warned that until banks started lending again, "we will not see a recovery in activity levels in the property market".
Demand is strongest for three-bedroom houses in most areas, with these properties showing the lowest level of price decline.
For instance, in Dublin new three-bedroom houses fell by around 11pc whereas four-bedroom detached Dublin houses fell by 18.4pc and apartments by more than 16pc last year.
In Munster even lower falls of around 9pc were seen for both three-bed semis and three-bed townhouses whereas period houses in their own grounds saw price drops of 15.8pc.
Leinster agents recorded falls of over 20pc for apartments, second-hand country cottages and period houses on their own grounds. In Leinster, the average selling price for a second-hand three-bed semi declined by 16.8pc in 2011 -- about the same as 2010.
In Connacht, selling prices for similar homes declined by 15.2pc in 2011 compared to 15.7pc in 2010.
SCSI vice-president Roland O'Connell said the house price decline across Ireland was at a marginally slower rate than in 2010.
While most agents reported a revival in the market in the third and final quarters of 2011, nevertheless he said, "confidence in the residential property market remained relatively weak in 2011 due to uncertainty around the economic situation and a lack of access to finance.
"Until we see the financial institutions lending to qualified buyers, we will not see a recovery in activity levels in the property market," he added.
The rental market in Dublin showed signs of growth for the first time in three years with a 0.8pc increase in rental values compared to a decline of 4.5pc in 2010 and 16.4 pc in 2009.
Agents remain divided about the market's prospects for 2012.