The stock of second-hand homes for sale in the Republic is now at a record low, with the availability of property in lower price categories "particularly tight", according to data compiled by estate agent Sherry FitzGerald.
It said on Tuesday there were only 14,400 second-hand properties listed for sale nationwide last month, which represented a 6.7 per cent fall over the previous 12 months, with more than 1,000 fewer properties available for sale.
Since January 2020, immediately prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the stock of second-hand properties for sale has fallen by nearly 30 per cent.
Following this further deterioration in stock, the total volume of properties advertised for sale in January represented just 0.7 per cent of the overall total private housing stock.
Sherry FitzGerald managing director Marian Finnegan said the imbalance between supply and demand remains "the foremost obstacle" facing the housing market.
“This is crystallised by the fact that in January, the lowest number of second-hand properties were advertised for sale nationwide since we began recording in 2010,” she said.
“With just 0.7 per cent of stock available for sale nationwide and only 0.6 per cent in the Dublin market, upward pressure on prices is likely to persist in the months ahead.”
In Dublin, supply was down by 1 per cent year on year, with about 3,150 properties available for sale.
Supply across the four local authorities varied, as Dublin city, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and South County Dublin recorded increases in supply, while Fingal saw stock advertised for sale fall by more than 12 per cent.
Overall, levels in Dublin remained “severely constrained”, with just 0.6 per cent of total stock available.
Stock was particularly tight at lower price categories. Houses priced below €200,000 saw the greatest contraction in supply with just 4,500 such properties available across the Republic. That represented a fall of over 40 per cent in just two years, with the largest deterioration in the capital.
That price category saw supply levels fall by 33.5 per cent year on year, with just 109 properties of this type available in Dublin as of January. Dublin also saw a 9 per cent decline in the availability of properties for sale in the €500,000-€750,000 price category.
The regional cities saw variation in supply levels, as Cork city experienced a 12.3 per cent reduction in stock, while increases of 9.6 per cent and 3.7 per cent were recorded in Limerick and Galway city respectively.
Sligo saw the largest decrease in supply of any county, down 24.5 per cent, closely followed by Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow with decreases of just over 23 per cent each.
All four provinces saw supply diminish over the year, with stock falling by 9.6 per cent in Connacht and 6.7 per cent, 6.2 per cent and 3.7 per cent in Munster, Leinster and Ulster respectively.