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Property price index delayed amid claims of surge in sales

IT will now be near year-end before the first list of official property sales prices is published, it emerged last night.

The new property register is expected to be a major fillip for the beleaguered homes market -- but the Property Services Regulatory Authority will not now have the data compiled until at least September.

It had originally been expected to be in place by June.

The latest delay in putting the price register in place came as a leading estate agency claimed it was seeing a massive surge in home sales.

Savills said yesterday it had concluded 60pc more property sales in the first three months of this year than in the same quarter last year.

There was now a shortage of second-hand homes in the greater Dublin area, said Savills Ireland director Ronan O'Hara.

He also reported a 400pc rise in viewings in the past three months.

Mr O'Hara added that it was not unusual for 30 or more people to show up for a 30-minute open house view, which he said was reminiscent of a very different market.

"Buyers who have been sitting it out for two to three years renting, waiting for house prices to fall to affordable levels are tired of doing so and want a place of their own," Mr O'Hara said.

Earlier this week Daft.ie said there were signs that prices may be bottoming out in parts of the country.

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This news has fuelled some optimism that the worst could be over for the housing market, even if property prices keep falling for a while yet.

But surveys such as those conducted by Daft.ie look at asking prices only -- the actual sale prices of properties around the country will not be known until the register is up and running.


The Property Services Regulatory Authority was first created five years ago, but the commencement order formally establishing it and appointing members has just been signed by Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

Chief executive Thomas Lynch said yesterday the delay was largely due to the fact that the legislation behind it the agency set-up was complicated, with more than 101 sections.

The authority will regulate estate agents, auctioneers and property management agents for the first time.

Estate agents will have to publish advised market value of properties -- and actual sales prices have to be made available.

Ex-president of the Law Society Geraldine Clarke will chair the new authority.

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