Thursday 22 March 2018

Is the price of your home rising in 2016?

Whatever type of home you own and wherever you live in Ireland, we have the answer, says Residential Property Editor Mark Keenan

WHAT a turnaround we've seen over 12 months in the Irish property market!

Dublin house price inflation, which had been running at 20pc to 25pc this time last year, has today been poleaxed by the Central Bank's lending restrictions to the point where most markets are reporting single percentage digit growth and a few are even experiencing value slippage.

Is the price of your home rising in 2016?
Is the price of your home rising in 2016?

The measures were introduced at the beginning of last year requiring 3.5 times income and a 20pc deposit. The effects took hold gradually as six-month mortgage approvals obtained at the end of 2014 were used up or expired.

The obstacles to borrowing proved enormously difficult for average earning city couples who postponed buying and remained in rental accommodation in order to save up deposits - resulting in a surge in rents and fewer buyers.

It was Dublin "cusp" markets where families struggled most to buy average homes priced at around €380,000 - entailing an almost insurmountable deposit of €76,000. If you are living in Dublin 15 and West County Dublin where average semis comprise most of the stock, then it is likely that your home is worth less than it was this time last year.

Elsewhere the measures had an unexpectedly inflationary impact as affected buyers spilled into cheaper locations. Cavan (up 25pc), Wicklow South (up 12pc) and Laois (up 12pc) were among the markets to report a "spillover" boost. Otherwise markets which have been last to recover from the crash (Waterford and Monaghan among them) are generally seeing the highest price inflation.

An entirely different dynamic is taking place in the cheaper regional capitals of Cork, Galway and Limerick where recovery has continued at around around 8pc to 10pc. Price increases have been driven by improving local economic performance, returning tourism, increasing numbers of new jobs and returning emigrants.

We are also seeing prices increase in hinterland county areas as buyers move out in search of more affordable properties. Cork County North prices have risen by 15pc while Galway County saw increases of 18pc.

The last 12 months has also shortages spread to big to medium towns nationwide, a trend which will continue to cause inflation so long as local market prices continue to remain below the €200,000 to €250,000 mark at which housebuilding becomes economically viable.

Despite prices rising by 15pc through the last 12 months in Ennis, an average property still costs just €145,000 when it is estimated that buyers would have to pay €200,000 to make building an equivalent property viable. Shortage will be a big driver of regional town inflation this year.

Meantime some micro markets saw values surge based on uniquely local factors. In Dublin 2, inflation of 10pc was recorded based on investors and foreign owner-occupiers gravitating to modern blocks in the docklands. In Killarney inflation also hit 10pc in the 12 months to date with 14pc predicted.

Tourism has surged again and supply is now among the most restricted in the country at less than one-sixth of what is considered normal. West Cork (15pc) has seen prices boosted by air commuters to London's banking centre.

Much of what happens this year in the capital and commuter counties will be dictated by whether the Central Bank chooses to soften its lending impositions. And as supply increasingly becomes an issue, rents rise and prospective buyers save their deposits, the question remains on whether the Central Bank's measures have simply caused a temporary "damming" which will spill over as rents rise and prospective buyers reach their deposit targets.

But for now, whether you live in a cottage in Kerry, a three-bedroom semi in Dublin 12 or a two-bedroom apartment in Cork city centre, we will tell you how much your home is worth today, how much it was worth this time last year and how much our local experts on the ground believe it will sell for a year from now.

Unlike the Property Price Register, which is typically four months behind, or those surveys based on largely irrelevant asking prices, our survey is entirely current and based on today's valuations. To do this we have analysed the value movement of 37 different property types across 64 local micromarkets and we have utilised the expertise of more than 70 local valuers.

How much is your house worth? has the answer.

Irish Independent

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