Dublin 22: Bank sales frustrate D22 buyers
The banks are still causing consternation in Dublin 22, which still has some stressed and receivership sales to process. Those properties offered for sale by banks took a particularly long time to close, leaving many buyers frustrated in an area which still holds affordable family homes.
"It used to be that the average sale took anything between three and four months to close," says local agent Paul O'Brien, "but that drifted to between four and five months during 2017, and bank sales were taking six months or longer. It's got to the point that buyers want to know before they go and view a property whether it's a bank sale or not and they won't bother to view if it is, because they know how long it's going to take to close.
"The system is totally snarled up and it's causing everything to drag. If there could be a concerted effort put into clearing the logjam, that would be very positive for the market as a whole."
O'Brien also noticed a reduction in the number of investors around, something that he puts down to the rent caps introduced in 2017.
"The new rules make it less attractive for investors," he says. "By the time investors have taken into account the costs of refurbishing a property to get it ready for the rental market, it may not be worth their while. Some deals fell apart when investors pulled out."
In common with other Dublin postcodes, the older, traditional houses in Dublin 22 sold very strongly, particularly those near the Luas.
"The larger three- and four- bedroom family homes in settled areas such as Cappaghmore produced good results," says O'Brien, who says that good demand for much larger homes has been a distinguishing feature of the D22 market through the last 12 months.
For the year ahead, O'Brien is expecting plenty of interest in a small development of family homes at Whitton Avenue and is predicting continued growth, although he says that a hike in interest rates could have a negative impact.
"I won't be surprised if prices increase by 11pc or 12pc in 2018," he says, "but I'd prefer 5pc because it's more sustainable. Government policy takes so long to have any impact that the supply/demand issue will continue to push prices up.
"Generally, I'd say that the outlook is for inflation for the next three to five years. I hope that an increase in interest rates and in supply don't both come at the same time, as that could have a detrimental effect."