Property prices to hit boom levels
Prices in the Dublin market are set to hit boom-time levels within the year, according to Pat Davitt, head of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV).
His comments come as IPAV releases the Residential Property Price Barometer, its first survey of house prices nationwide, which is published exclusively today in the Sunday Independent.
Figures compiled for the research show that the cost of an average family home in Dublin is now €517,894, more than double that of the national average three-bed which clocks in at €253,466.
"The Dublin market is on its way to reaching, or even topping, the high levels last seen in 2007. This could happen within the next year, and earlier in the more sought- after locations," says Davitt.
The country's highest priced three- and four-bed semis were recorded in Dublin 4, priced at €975,000 and €1.3m respectively. Dublin 2 topped the scale for two-bed apartments at €383,334.
When Dublin prices per square metre are measured, however, Dublin 4, Dublin 3, Dublin 14 and Dublin 7 hit the top slots.
"With so little stock availability and unprecedented and soaring demand, prices have nowhere to go but up," says Davitt.
Other findings in the survey show that the surge in Dublin house prices has had a knock-on effect on prices in the commuter belt. Average prices for a three-bed semi in Wicklow stand at €275,591, the highest outside the capital, while counties Meath and Kildare stand at €239,000 and €235,000 respectively.
When prices per square metre are analysed, however, Kildare tops Meath by 23pc, indicating that buyers may get more bang for their buck in Meath.
In other parts of the country, average house prices lag behind those of Dublin by a factor of up to 10, with counties Longford, Sligo and Leitrim recording the lowest prices for three-beds, at €90,000, €108,375 and €115,000 respectively. The best value for money is to be found in Longford, where prices per square metre for two-bed apartments were almost 7.3 times lower than those in Dublin 2.
"When we compare values in Dublin North or South to those outside of Dublin, it shows how far prices have fallen and how little many areas of the country outside Dublin have recovered since 2012."
The figures suggest there is still little incentive for builders to begin construction outside of the main cities as prices of second-hand homes remain well below the average €240,000 price of a new build, says Davitt.
According to Conall MacCoille, chief economist at Davy stockbrokers, the number of new houses needed each year to meet demand is 30,000 units.
Experts had previously predicted a lack of housing stock and government interference would drive property prices back to the heady days of the Celtic Tiger within three years.
Economist Ronan Lyons, author of the Daft.ie House Price Report, said family homes in Dublin were on course to hit 2006/2007 prices first. He said a lack of new houses coming on stream and a declining number of properties coming to the market were behind the surge.
A flurry of foreign investors spending big on small properties with the hope of selling them in a number of years and Irish emigrants returning home, was also fuelling price rises.