Thursday 14 December 2017

Surge in property sales despite end to mortgage relief

But two-tier market here 'for some time'

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

MORE houses and apartments are set to be bought and sold this year than last year.

New figures from the State's property regulatory site suggest that this year is already ahead of last year, and is on course for more transactions over the full 12 months.

The first five months of 2013 saw just under 8,500 transactions notified to the Property Services Regulatory Authority, of which 2,777 were in Dublin.

The number of sales and purchases is already 13pc ahead of the same period last year, according to an analysis of the authority's figures by chief economist at stockbroking firm Investec Philip O'Sullivan.

The surge in transactions is despite the fact that first-time buyers who bought last year got mortgage tax relief, which has since been withdrawn.

More people forming households and the fact that no new properties are being built was leading to a fall-off in the excess supply of housing from the boom.

"This effect is far from uniform, with shortages of certain types of units emerging in parts of the capital, while other areas will have excess inventory levels for years to come," Mr O'Sullivan said in a research note.

He added that although the level of transactions was rising since the Property Services Regulatory Authority first started gathering data from the start of 2010, it was rising off of a very low base.

"With parts of the capital seeing no shortage of prospective buyers at this time, we suspect that it will be Dublin which takes the first steps towards a normalisation in transactions activity. In any event, our sense is that we'll be writing about a 'two-tier' housing market for quite some time to come."

A housing report from Daft.ie found that asking prices for houses in South County Dublin increased by over 12pc in the past year.

This was the strongest year-on-year growth in asking prices recorded in any part of the country since early 2007.

For the country as a whole prices fell by 6pc in Leinster, 11pc in Munster and 12pc in Connacht-Ulster over the last 12 months.

And separate figures show a rise in the numbers of people approved for a mortgage in May.

Figures from the Irish Banking Federation indicate a rise in the number of people approved for a mortgage.

The report shows that a total of 1,722 mortgages were approved by lenders in May, with a value of €294m.

Numbers of mortgages approved were up 5pc on the same month last year.

Irish Independent

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