Dublin North County: Less gung-ho than 2014, but north Dublin up 5pc
Grainne McKenna of DNG McKenna Healy says that there was no rhyme or reason to the market in Dublin North County through the last 12 months in which prices moved up by an average of 5pc.
Coming out of 2014 the market here had turned in a whopping 20pc increase in values - but since the start of last year, inflation has averaged out at less than a half percent per month.
"The implications of the Central Bank guidelines were widely felt," she says, "but in areas such as Rush and Lusk we have had a busy year, particularly at the lower end of the market. Three-bed family homes in those areas, whether semi-detached or mid-terrace, are sought after by people who have been renting, perhaps in the city centre, or renters moving out from areas such as Raheny, Artane and Marino. Lusk is still affordable, the houses are good value, and it has the train service into the city centre and is reasonably accessible for the airport, which are two big considerations.
"The market in Skerries, where property prices are higher, has been slower. There are some new developments underway there and people are holding off and waiting for those to come on stream."
Compared to the year that preceded it, McKenna says that there were few multiple buyer or bidding situations in 2015, but that houses in the under-€250,000 bracket were moving fast enough.
"And we had a really busy December," she says. "There were a lot of people who had taken maybe eight months to get their mortgage approval, and were finally in a position to go ahead at the end of the year. I'm hoping that these positive indications augur well for the year ahead, and that there will be a new influx of buyers who are mortgage-approved and ready to go at the start of the year."
Melanie Brady of DNG in Fairview says the market has been steady in both Howth and Malahide, with prices and activity starting to come back after the dampening effect of the new Central Bank rules. In both locations, properties within walking distance of the village command a premium from both young professionals and older people down-sizing from larger properties in the area, as do properties with land and sea views. Properties and sites with development potential but without planning permission are not easy to sell, she says.
"Everything will sell according to price," Brady reports. "These are prime, solid areas on the coast offering value and charm. The confidence is starting to come back to the market and we have been achieving bumper prices for apartments in the marina in Malahide.
"Last year was been less gung-ho than 2014, a bit more reserved, but there has been plenty of activity as people who had sold and have been renting, sitting on their pots of money, have been getting back into the market."
Our expert predicts an even more slight increase of 4pc through 2016.