Around the Block

Surveyors give reason to be cheerful


There have been many reports issuing from within the residential property industry that reflect the same trends: upwards of 15 per cent growth in Dublin, and about 6 per cent growth outside the capital; cash buyers account for around 50 per cent of buyers; and stock levels in some areas remain a serious concern. But the annual property report from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland gives some interesting extra insights as it feeds through the experiences of property professionals working on the ground.

Based on an annual survey throughout Ireland there’s a clear message coming back that the market is in recovery outside Dublin, and consumer confidence is at its highest level since the market collapsed. While respondents said they were seeing more mortgage finance coming through for loans, this wasn’t consistent across the country. Seventeen per cent of respondents in the Leinster region said they had actually seen a decrease in the availability of mortgage finance.

More than 90 per cent of those surveyed said they had seen an increase in the investor sector for buy-to-lets, with international investors comprising a good portion of this number. The report called for a review of planning and density requirements to accommodate family homes over apartments; and for measures to be introduced to ensure stock held by Nama and the banks is released to the market in the short term.

Citing factors contributing to a recovery in confidence, respondents said they believed positive media reports have a major role to play. In his assessment of the findings Dermot O’Leary, chief economist with Goodbody Stockbrokers made the rather salient response that “the media can only report more positive news if there is more positive news to report”. We couldn’t agree more heartily.