Estate agent Lisney has warned home sellers to price their properties “realistically” if they want to sell them quickly or else risk damaging purchase interest.
In a report on the Irish property market, the company said it expected house prices “to hold firm in early 2021” but the current lockdown had restricted viewings and made prospective buyers more sensitive to asking prices.
“For vendors, properties quoting realistic asking prices from the start of the sales process will garner the greatest attention,” it said.
“Likewise, damage will be done to purchaser interest in homes quoting overpriced figures,” Lisney said.
Despite predictions that the pandemic would trigger a major decline in property values, prices have held up strongly and may yet end the year up overall.
Lisney said price changes in the coming year, particularly in Dublin, would depend on the economy, employment and consumer confidence.
“For 2021, the first and second half of the year will be different,” it said.
“In the short-term, supply will remain the key issue, and combined with pent-up demand and good market sentiment, prices will likely hold firm,” Lisney said.
“ As the year progresses and a vaccine is hopefully rolled out in stages, vendors will become more confident. Those holding off selling will move to put their properties on the market, but it will take time for stock levels to build up,” it added.
Much of the demand in Dublin was being driven by expats returning home, mainly from London as a result of Brexit, it said.
"For these, the pandemic has prompted a lifestyle change, particularly if they have parents and family in Ireland, and if they have children of school-going age," Lisney said.
“While a return was always on the agenda for most, Covid-19 has accelerated the decision,” it said.
Demand from this cohort was focused on the upper end of the market and not reliant on mortgage finance.
Lisney’s report said the Irish property investment market registered a market turnover of €3 billion last year, which is described as a strong performance in light of the pandemic.
“While this was half the previous year’s record-breaking €6 billion, supply was more limited from April onwards as several potential sales processes were put on hold,” it said.