The number of homes available for sale in the State is now at its lowest level in more than a decade, according to estate agent Sherry FitzGerald.
Based on data taken from property websites Daft and MyHome.ie, the company estimates there were just 15,500 second-hand properties listed for sale in January this year.
This is 24 per cent down on the same month last year – or 4,850 fewer properties. The headline figure is also a fraction of the 53,000 properties that were for sale in January 2011.
Sherry FitzGerald, the State’s largest estate agent, said the supply of existing homes – as opposed to new homes – coming to market has been falling by approximately 10 per cent a year for most of the last decade.
However, the onset of coronavirus, which has disrupted sales and viewing activity, has accelerated this trend.
The total volume of properties currently advertised for sale represents just 0.8 per cent of the total private housing stock.
"We came into 2020 with a housing crisis that has been magnified by the impact of the pandemic," Sherry FitzGerald managing director Marian Finnegan said. " The stock of property available for sale is now at an historic low.
" To put this in context, there were more properties for sale in Munster in 2010 than in the entire country today. Supply levels have fallen by 70 per cent since the start of the decade," Ms Finnegan said.
Sherry FitzGerald said the decline in stock has been “near ubiquitous” across the State with all four provinces seeing supply fall by at least 20 per cent.
In Dublin, where supply pressures are most acute, supply was down 14 per cent, with about 520 fewer second-hand properties for sale compared with 12 months ago. Overall, there were just 3,150 second-hand properties available for sale in the capital in January.
South Dublin saw the largest decline in supply at 31 per cent followed by Fingal, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and Dublin City at 21 per cent, 16 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.
Across those four local authorities, the stock of second-hand properties advertised for sale equalled just 0.6 per cent of the total private housing stock in Dublin, Sherry FitzGerald said.
Supply in Cork, Galway and Limerick fell by 20 per cent, 18 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, it said.
“This exacerbation in supply levels is maintaining upward pressure on prices,” Ms Finnegan said. According to company’s own house price barometer, average values in the second-hand market grew by 0.7 per cent in Dublin in January. This is the strongest rate of monthly growth since 2017.
The latest Residential Property Price Index, which is collated by the Central Statistics Office and based on actual transactions, suggests house prices rose by an average of 2.2 per cent last year despite predictions that the pandemic would trigger a decline in property values.
Prices in Dublin, which had been declining, also ended the year higher – up 1.2 per cent.