Home sales volumes down as prices jump 9.7%

Pace of house price inflation continues to show signs of cooling

The number of homes sold in the final three months of 2022 was more than 7 per cent lower than in the same period of 2021, with an almost 10 per cent jump in sales prices in the year, analysis of the Property Price Register (PPR) has indicated.

Some 16,881 residential units, both new and existing, were sold in the fourth quarter of last year, 3,332 of which were new homes, according to a report from property tech start-up Geowox. This represents a 7.4 per cent decline in overall sales from the fourth quarter of 2021, when some 18,225 units changed hands.

The figures are based on sales data rather than asking prices, with the reporting of a sale to the PPR often lagging behind the transaction itself.

But despite the apparent drop in volumes, house prices climbed 9.7 per cent across the State between October and the end of December last year, with the median price of a home increasing by €27,000 over the 12-month period to €304,000, according to the data.


On a county-by-county basis, Dublin had the highest volume of sales in the last quarter at 4,763, representing 28.2 per cent of the total, Geowox’s analysis showed.

Dublin, where the median price of a property sold in the final three months of 2022 was €420,000, also remained the most expensive county in Ireland. Dublin and its commuter counties Meath, Kildare and Wicklow were the only counties where prices were above the Statewide median.

The data for the Republic as a whole indicates that property price inflation, which cooled throughout the year amid rising borrowing costs and cost-of-living pressures, remained relatively stable in the second half of 2022. The annual rate of increase was 9.5 per cent in the year to the end of September 2022, according to Geowox’s last report, compared with a 14 per cent increase in the 12 months to the end of June.

The figures broadly tally with Central Statistics Office data, published last week, which indicated that the cost of a home rose 8.6 per cent in the 12 months to the end of November, down from a 9.7 per cent increase in the year to October.

The property industry here is still predicting positive growth in prices in 2023.

Gareth McKeown, head of valuations at Geowox, said the resilience of the Irish housing market was “set to be tested” further this year.

“Price growth may well be exacerbated by the Central Bank’s decision to ease mortgage lending rules to four times’ income,” he said.

“Worrying trends” had also been observed in the construction sector, Mr McKeown said, with recent data indicating a slowdown in the rate of output.

While it is clear that house price growth continued to cool in the fourth quarter, he said: “It remains to be seen how much of this is seasonal, and how much is fundamental. This will become clearer in the busy spring selling season.”

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times