Dublin house prices pushing would-be buyers to other counties

Property sales in Meath up 43%, Wicklow up 21% in first half of 2017, MyHome.ie finds

House sales nationally climbed by 8.4 per cent in the first half of 2017 when compared with the same period last year. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

House sales nationally climbed by 8.4 per cent in the first half of 2017 when compared with the same period last year. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

The high price of Dublin homes has seen would-be buyers working in the capital casting their net ever wider in their search for places to live, leading to a dramatic spike in the number of houses bought and sold in the commuter belt , new figures show.

The Irish Times-owned property website, MyHome.ie, has analysed the Property Price Register for the first six months of the year and found that sales nationally climbed by 8.4 per cent in the first half of 2017 when compared with the same period last year.

Overall there were 23,148 sales nationally in the first half of this year with the value of those transactions increasing from €5.1 billion to €5.8 billion, up 15 per cent year-on-year.

Unsurprisingly, Dublin led the way in the first six months of the year with 7,455 sales, an increase of 11 per cent on the 6,717 sales recorded for the same period last year. The amount of money spent in the capital also grew by 13.2 per cent, from €2.7 billion to more than €3 billion.

Sales in Cork reached 2,532; Kildare, 1,212 and Galway, 1,138. Meath recorded sales of 970, an increase of 43 per cent year-on-year, with the value of transactions climbing by 47 per cent. In Wicklow, sales were up 21 per cent and values climbed 25 per cent.

“The rise in sales and values in the commuter belt is the standout feature in these figures and indicates that the lack of supply of affordable houses is pushing buyers out of Dublin,” the managing director of MyHome.ie Angela Keegan said.

“In 2016, there were over 48,000 house sales and we think that if current trends continue we should comfortably exceed 50,000 sales this year.”

She said the downside of the trend “is the increase in commuting times for people working in Dublin”.

The impact of rising prices was, she said, also evident even in counties which recorded small increases in the number of sales.

The number of sales fell in Galway by 1.4 per cent but the value of those transactions was up 9 per cent. Similarly in Limerick the number of sales was down 0.1 per cent but the value of the transactions in the county climbed 16.7 per cent.

Volume of sales

Up to 55,000 homes could change hands this year as the property market recovers but the volume of sales is still significantly less than in a properly functioning property market, it is claimed.

Sales of that level would represent around 2 per cent of the total housing stock, significantly less than the 4 per cent level of transactions in a normal housing market.

Ms Keegan said speculation around the future of the Help-to-Buy scheme had caused unnecessary uncertainty in the property market.

“This initiative was introduced as a supply-side initiative to encourage the construction of affordable homes. We are seeing a lot of new developments coming on stream now and that is something which really needs to continue if we are to get to grips with the current housing crisis. Help to Buy on its own won’t solve the crisis, we need a co-ordinated package of measures for that, but abolishing it would be a retrograde step,” Ms Keegan concluded.