Rise in houses being sold sparks prediction of recovery
THE number of houses and apartments sold in the first eight months of the year has risen.
In a further sign of property market recovery, new research shows that close to 2,000 properties are changing hands each month.
This is up 13pc on the same period last year, according to the property price register.
Experts said this was another sign of a slow recovery in the housing market.
Investec Bank economist Philip O'Sullivan, who analysed the figures on the website of the Property Services Regulatory Authority, said it was likely there would be another year of growth in the number of sales.
Figures for last year were distorted by the withdrawal of mortgage tax relief on the last day of the year, which caused a large number of transactions to be completed in the last three months of 2012.
Despite this, there was likely to be more transactions this year than last.
Mr O'Sullivan said: "The return to price growth in parts of the country has an undoubted impact on buyers' propensity to transact."
He said that while transactions activity continues to improve, this is from a very low base.
"However, while we remain some way from seeing a normalisation in volumes, this pick-up in activity has positive implications for the domestic economy."
Last month's Central Statistics Office figures showed an increase in prices nationwide and in Dublin but falling outside the capital in July, compared with the same month last year.
The same figures showed rises of 8pc in property prices in Dublin.
Property price rises of between 5pc and 7pc for this year have been predicted by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) economist David Duffy.
Dr Duffy is regarded as the leading housing economist in the country.
He said recently he expects prices outside the capital to have risen by between 3pc and 4pc by the end of the year.
The economist told an Irish Banking Federation briefing last month that the housing market had recovered.