Number of second-hand homes for sale falls to record low

Historically low housing stock levels hitting market, says Sherry FitzGerald

The number of second-hand properties listed for sale in the Republic has fallen to a new low, according to Sherry FitzGerald. The company said there were just 13,750 used properties – excluding newly-built homes – available to buy across the State in July, the lowest since it started keeping records in 2009.

The figure represents just 0.7 per cent of the private housing stock here. In a normal functioning market experts say approximately 3 per cent of the existing stock should be in a state of churn.

Sherry FitzGerald said the figures revealed “a critical shortage in available housing stock”. It said the stock of available properties had fallen by 10 per cent since July last year, and by 24 per cent since the summer of 2020 and the start of Covid-19.

“This scarcity in housing options further exacerbates the ongoing imbalance between housing demand and supply within Ireland. Moreover, it further intensifies the challenges faced by individuals and families seeking suitable housing,” said managing director of Sherry FitzGerald Marian Finnegan.


“Of particular concern is the shortage of housing in the lower price categories, with the sub-€200,000 range experiencing the most significant decline,” she said, noting that just 2,900 properties within this price bracket were available for purchase nationwide, reflecting “a sharp” 55 per cent drop in just three years. “This shortage disproportionately affects those with single or lower incomes, underscoring the pressing need for affordable housing solutions.”

The figures comes as home ownership rates among individuals aged 25–34 have plummeted from 60 per cent in 2004 to a mere 27 per cent in 2019. “This alarming trend underscores the necessity of establishing accessible housing options across the country,” she said.

Sherry FitzGerald’s latest biannual review of the property market here highlighted “substantial declines” in housing stock across all four provinces since 2020. Ulster experienced a 34 per cent reduction, Connacht saw a 32 per cent decrease, Munster encountered a 28 per cent decline, while Leinster witnessed an 18 per cent drop over the three-year period, the company said.

Rural areas, it said, were being “disproportionately impacted”, with counties like Carlow, Donegal, Mayo, and Westmeath all experiencing stock decreases exceeding 40 per cent within a three-year span. “It is essential to recognise that Carlow, Mayo and Westmeath collectively completed fewer than 1,500 new dwellings in the same period up to the end of Q2 2023,” the report said.

In Dublin the available stock for sale in July this year stood at 3,542 units or 0.7 per cent of the entire private housing stock, marking a 3 per cent reduction from 2020. While stock levels vary across the four Dublin authorities, Fingal experienced the sharpest decline with an estimated 13 per cent decrease over the three-year period. South Dublin experienced a 3 per cent reduction, while Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown remained stable. Dublin City conversely had a 1 per cent increase compared to summer 2020.

“As the housing market grapples with unprecedented challenges collaborative efforts are crucial to ensure sustainable solutions that meet the housing needs of all segments of the population in all locations,” Ms Finnegan said.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times