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Property prices dip but fears of crash due to Covid vanish

 

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Buyers typically paid €258k for a home in year to October

Buyers typically paid €258k for a home in year to October

Andy Dean

Buyers typically paid €258k for a home in year to October

Property prices fell only slightly in October as predictions of steep falls due to the pandemic failed to materialise.

Buyers typically paid €257,992 for a home during the 12 months to October, official figures showed.

The number of properties sold is down on last year but prices are generally holding up, according to Central Statistics Office data.

Prices were down by 0.4pc nationally in the year to October although they did rise by 0.5pc when compared with the previous month.

In Dublin prices of homes were down 1.2pc in the year to October while outside Dublin they were 0.4pc higher.

Austin Hughes, economist with KBC Bank, said the October property price data suggested the Irish property market has weathered the initial Covid-19 hit.

An encouraging rebound in property transactions was continuing, he said.

"Irish property prices have been notably more resilient through 2020 than we feared," Mr Hughes said. 

Urgency

The lack of housing supply to meet demand has intensified the urgency of home-buying for some, Mr Hughes said.

The official figures showed that outside Dublin the price of houses was up by 0.5pc.

The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the south-west at 3.3pc while the mid-west saw a 4pc decline.

In October, 3,845 residential property purchases were filed with Revenue - a 13.2pc decrease compared to the 4,428 purchases in the same month last year.

But it is up 20pc compared with September's figure.

The total value of transactions filed in October was €1.2bn.

Eight out of 10 purchases were second-hand homes, with the rest new properties.

In the year to October, the purchases of 37,168 were filed with Revenue.

Of these, a third were first-time buyers.

Movers account for around half of purchases.

The rest were acquired by housing charities, local authorities and investor funds.

Demand

Prices were predicted to fall as much as 20pc this year as the expectation was that the pandemic would cause panic selling in the market.

Banks and the Economic and Social Research Institute had predicted large price falls.

But demand has remained strong, with a record number of people approved for a mortgage in October, driven by first-time buyers.

Banks and other lenders said it was the busiest month for mortgage approvals since they began recording such figures in 2011.

Good demand and a shortage of properties is keeping prices from falling.

The number of properties listed for sale is down by almost a third this year compared with last year.

Construction sites were forced to shut down earlier in the year due to Covid-19, restricting the number of new homes for sale.

Property prices nationally have risen 84.6pc from their lowest in 2013, said the CSO.


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