Property transactions jump 12% as market defies slowdown

Davy says mortgage lending is likely to hit €9.5bn this year despite the pandemic

Davy is forecasting prices to rise by about 3 per cent this year. Photograph: Photocall

Davy is forecasting prices to rise by about 3 per cent this year. Photograph: Photocall

 

The volume of residential property transactions rose by 12 per cent to 13,100 in the first quarter of 2021 as the market continued to shrug off the impact of the pandemic, according to Davy Stockbroker.

While the official Residential Property Price Index for March, which includes transactions data for the first quarter, has not yet been published, Davy made its calculation using data from the the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA).

The value of the transactions were put at €4.2 billion.

“Estate agents have clearly adapted to the third lockdown, maintaining activity levels despite restrictions on viewings and travel, via virtual viewings and other initiatives,” Davy chief economist Conall MacCoille said.

“Furthermore, we estimate that transaction volumes in January were down 10 per cent on the year but up 21 per cent and 22 per cent in February and March respectively. So there appears to have been little disruption from Covid-19 restrictions,” he said.

Mr MacCoille said the delayed summer trading season in 2020 may be one reason activity has held up in 2021.

Sales agreed in the final months of last year may also have been finalised in early 2021.

“However, the very latest transaction data for April still show no fall off,” he said.

Davy is forecasting prices to rise by about 3 per cent this year and mortgage lending to be in region of €9.5 billion, up from €8.4 billion last year.

Mr MacCoille said the key factor driving price growth was the dearth of supply.

Lowest level

According to data taken from property websites Daft and MyHome.ie, there were just 15,500 second-hand properties listed for sale in January this year, the lowest level recorded in 10 years.

Mr MacCoille also highlighted the hiatus in construction over the first three months of the year, which is likely to curtail the supply of new homes to the market.

Mortgage lending had also been less badly affected than analysts had forecast at the outset of the pandemic, he said.