Odds shorten on house price rises this year
Bookie Paddy Power is defying the doomsayers of the Irish property market and is favouring increases of between 0.1pc and 12pc on Irish house prices this year.
The odds of such increases occurring have been trimmed to 3/1 and less.
The bookie's odds suggest that house prices in Dublin are more likely to increase by as much as 8.01pc to 12pc this year.
However, Dublin apartment prices seem likely to fall by between 0pc and 4pc this year.
In all, the bookie is offering a range of odds on each of the three different sectors of the market as measured by the CSO house-price index including the national average, Dublin houses and Dublin apartments.
Reflecting the contrasting views on the outlook for the market, the bookie is also offering relatively short odds on prices falling in different sectors.
On page four some of our country's leading estate agents give their views on the market which are more optimistic than those of the ratings agency which offered a qualified forecast for a further 20pc fall.
Paddy Power is offering generous odds of 9/1 on falls of over 16pc which is a real challenge to the ratings agency to put its money where its mouth is.
Odds of 4/1 are available for those willing to bet their house on prices falling by any amount this year.
Some lucky owners did just that four years ago and are already reaping the rewards of betting on price falls over recent years as a number of them bought back into the market in the last eight months.
More of these are expected to take advantage of current low prices and buy back in this year.
Jim Nolan, who compiled the odds for Paddy Power, cites three factors which he says are likely to see a rise in the CSO house price index over the 12 months to the end of December 2013.
These include increased availability of mortgage finance as reflected in Permanent TSB's recent announcement of plans to allocate €500m for new mortgages.
He also expects that the recent rise in prices will motivate buyers who won't want to miss the bus and seek to buy in case prices rise further. Investors are also expected to buy ahead of the end of 2013 deadline for capital gains tax exemption on house purchases.
The bookie appears to believe that the greatest likelihood is on national prices rising by between 4.01pc and 8pc as the odds on this happening are 2/1.
Slightly better odds of 9/4 are available on Dublin house prices rising by between 8.01pc and 12pc.
For those hopeful house buyers with a pessimistic view of future prices, they could generate odds of 11/2 by betting that Dublin house prices will fall by any amount this year.
Chances appear greater that Dublin apartment prices will fall, so the odds are only 5/2 on such flats falling by more than 8pc.