Nosey parkers will be in ecstasy checking on neighbours
NOSEY parkers will be in ecstasy -- now they can find out exactly what number 17 down the road sold for last year.
Even if it was a cash sale -- something not captured in published data up to now -- the nosey neighbours will be able to find out at the click of a mouse the actual sale price it achieved.
The first comprehensive list of all residential property sales going back to January 2010, www.propertyprice-register.ie, is set to become one of the most popular sites in the country.
But apart from providing gossip for the curious it will take the guessing out of property prices. This in itself should go a long way to stabilising the market.
The public body that published the site, the Property Services Regulatory Authority, has said the information will be updated on a regular basis and that, for the most part, the information will be published within a month of the date of sale.
Using the site is not difficult, but the new facility has its limitations.
Once you read the piece explaining what the site does and does not do, you then click on a link that brings you to a page which has the register.
First choose a county. Then the year in which the sale took place, the month of the sale, and then give the town or area you are interested in. You will be asked to enter two randomly generated words in a box, and if you do this correctly you should then be given a list of property transactions which closed that month.
Records of some 50,000-plus sales across the State are on the website.
Searching for property sales in Tullamore, in Offaly, in September last year, for example, throws up five transactions, from a €50,000 second-hand house sale in Mucklagh, to a €185,000 house sale in Tullamore town.
What you do not get is the size of the properties, the size of the site, and any indication whether it was a cash or a mortgage sale. So, you won't know if the house was a three-bed or a five-bed property.
Another drawback is that you will have to search each month of the year if you are not sure of when exactly the sale closed.
The register will also not provide an index of prices. Economists will now have to use the information on the site to compile one of these.
But at least it should clarify how much properties sold for, and help buyers make properly informed choices.
The register has been talked about since the 1970s, but it took the International Monetary Fund to force the Government to publish it.