The housing market was making a recovery in the first quarter of 2020 after a lull sparked by Brexit, but its progress has been swept away by the Covid-19 crisis, according to the latest quarterly report by property site Myhome.ie.
The report by Myhome, owned by The Irish Times DAC, found that across the State the average asking price of €273,000 rose by 1.9 per cent in the first three months of the year, when compared to the three months at the end of 2019.
The average in Dublin was €380,000, up 1.5 per cent over the previous quarter, while outside of the capital the increase was 1.6 per cent to €226,000.
The market had been showing “significant signs of recovery”.
“However, signs of green shoots coming after a difficult 2019, in which activity was depressed by Brexit uncertainty, could well be killed off by the onset of the coronavirus and the measures to fight it,” said Conall MacCoille, the chief economist of stockbrokers Davy, which produces the report with Myhome.
“Residential property transactions in January were up 6 per cent year on year, while agreed sales and mortgage approvals in Q1 were both up 10 per cent annually,” he said. “For now, the immediate outlook is an illiquid market with depressed pricing among the very few transactions that do take place.”
Myhome data shows that there were 12,170 agreed sales in the first three months of the year, up 10.3 per cent on the same period the prior year.
The stock of homes for sale on Myhome was 19,100 in March, down 10 per cent on the year.
“This trend was particularly acute in Dublin with 4,141 properties listed, down 21 per cent on the year,” said the report. “We don’t believe this reflected weak activity; rather, stronger demand pushing down the stock listed for sale.”
Angela Keegan, the managing director of Myhome, said estate agents were using technology to try to get around Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
“Technological advances mean that online viewings are now being utilised en masse and have become hugely important for agents, sellers and buyers – perhaps signalling a future trend,” she said.