House sales fall almost 5% in first quarter due to Covid-19, says

Sales decline 7.2% in Dublin as worst first-quarter figures are recorded since 2017

Residential property sales in the first quarter were at their lowest in three years, new figures from property website MyHome. ie show.

Overall residential sales declined by 4.6 per cent nationally versus the same quarter a year earlier, with 11,161 properties changing hands, compared to 11,702 in the same three months in 2018.

This marks the lowest number of transactions in the period recorded since the January to March period in 2017.

Six counties in Leinster showed record declines of at least 6 percent, while the number of sales in the capital Dublin were down 7.2 per cent to 3,482 as against 3,751 a year earlier.


Half the counties in the State reported a fall in sales, with a further five unchanged. The biggest decline was in Wexford, where transactions fell 17.8 per cent. Other big declines were recorded in counties Kildare and Kilkenny, where transactions were down 16 per cent and 15.2 per cent respectively.

In contrast, Monaghan saw a 28.6 per cent rise in sales during the first three months, albeit on small volumes. In fact even with an increase in transactions the county recorded the second lowest level of sales in the State, with just 90 deals closing. The lowest was Leitrim with 89 sales in the period., which is owned by The Irish Times, said the coronavirus outbreak negated any potential bounce back in activity following the Brexit uncertainty of last year.

Managing director Angela Keegan welcomed the fact that construction work is due to resume shortly having shut recently due to lockdown restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

“Brexit uncertainty had a significant effect on sales activity in late 2019, something which was apparent into the new year. This was compounded by Covid-19 at the start of March, just when we thought we would see an increase in sales.”

The Government’s road map for the easing of Covid-19 restrictions states that construction workers can resume work from May 18th. Ms Keegan said this clarity was welcome as the longer the shutdown in construction the greater the fall-off in new homes being built.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist