Ireland likely to see double digit house price growth in 2017

The annual rate of house price growth in Ireland rose to 9% nationally in the first quarter of 2017 and over 10% in Dublin, the latest figures show.

The price of newly listed property prices, regarded as the most reliable indicator of the future, rose by 5.5% nationally in and 6% in Dublin, according to the house prices survey from MyHome in association with Davy with the index report saying that the Help to Buy scheme, looser lending and lack of supply means double digit growth overall is now more likely for 2017

The mix adjusted asking price for new sales nationally is now €239,000, an increase of €12,000 on the previous quarter while the corresponding figure for Dublin is €347,000, an increase of €19,000.

‘Credit conditions are clearly supporting the market. The average mortgage approved to first time buyers in February was €206,500, up by 15.2% on the year, and this must in part reflect the relaxation of the Central Bank rules, eliminating restrictions on the availability of 90% loan to value mortgages,’ said Conall MacCoille, chief economist at Davy.

‘In addition, would be first time buyers are now also armed with the Help to Buy scheme which is likely to push up the price of newly built homes. Indeed, on price inflation on newly built homes has now accelerated to 12%, well above the 5% rise in the asking price on the stock on second hand homes,’ he pointed out.

He explained that while home building activity is clearly stepping up, it is clearly not happening fast enough. The 14,900 homes completed in 2016 was still the lowest number since 1970, excluding the recent past.

Angela Keegan, MyHome managing director, pointed out that the stock of homes listed for sale has fallen to a new low of 19,430, down 10% on last year and the shortage of supply is particularly acute in Dublin with properties listed for sale in the capital down 19% on last year.

‘The lack of supply will only make first time buyers ever more desperate, intensifying the competition for the limited number of homes for sale and encouraging would be buyers to take on higher mortgage debts,’ she said.

The Property Price Register indicates there were 47,399 transactions in 2016, down from 48,932 in 2015. This is the first calendar year since 2012 that transaction volumes have failed to rise, and Keegan says that this suggests the lack of housing supply is now holding back the market. ‘However, we estimate that transaction volumes in the first two months of 2017 were up at least 7%, and this is heartening,’ she added.

A breakdown of the figures show that prices are rising on other cities. In Cork asking prices were up 9.3% year on year to €235,000 and in Limerick saw one of the sharper prices gains, up almost 15% to €155,000 while in Galway prices have increased by 12.5% to €225,000, in Waterford they were up by 13.6% to €125,000.

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