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Property price growth continuing to cool nationally  05 July 2019





Publication: Irish Independent
Author: Michelle Devane

(PA)2

Property price growth has slowed nationally with Dublin showing the most significant cooling off, new figures confirm.

The latest report from MyHome.ie found that annual asking price inflation fell to 2.4pc nationally in the second quarter of the year - the lowest level it has been in five years.

In Dublin, that figure entered negative territory for the first time since 2013. It is down to -0.6pc.

Despite the downward trend in the annual inflation rate, the report, which is published in association with Davy, found asking prices are continuing to rise.

Asking prices nationally rose by 2.1pc in the second quarter of this year compared with the previous quarter.

In Dublin, prices rose by 0.5pc in the same period, the weakest second-quarter gain since 2012.

Overall, the median asking price for new sales nationally was €276,000, while in Dublin it was €382,000.

Newly listed properties are seen as the most reliable indicator of future price movements.

The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, chief economist at Davy, said that while the price falls may fuel fears of a more damaging downturn, the reason for the price falls this time around were a result of increased regulation.

The Central Bank of Ireland tightened its mortgage lending rules last year.

"The current slowdown in price inflation is largely due to the Central Bank's lending rules and stretched affordability," he said."These factors are preventing the latent housing demand from translating into rampant house price inflation fuelled by rising leverage on mortgage loans. 

"Ireland's economy continues to perform well and the property market will continue to be underpinned by high employment and wage growth.

"While the economy has been driven by strong foreign direct investment, export growth and a slow rebound among indigenous companies, the recovery in home building is still in its infancy."

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Mortgage approvals jump 10pc in May  05 July 2019


Publication: Irish Independent
Author: Ellie Donnelly


1

The number of mortgages granted jumped 10pc year-on-year in May, with 4,926 people getting approval.

Month-on-month, approvals were up 19.9pc.

The market is being driven by first-time buyers (FTBs), which accounted for some 2,520 or 51pc of approvals.

Meanwhile mover purchasers were responsible for 1,297 or 26pc, according to figures from the Banking and Payments Federation (BPFI).

Overall, mortgages approved in May were valued at €1.14bn, of which FTBs accounted for €600m (52.8pc) and €344m (30.3pc) by mover purchasers.

Felix O’Regan, Director Public Affairs at the BPFI, said: "Mortgage approvals in May show a significant increase in both volume and value compared to the previous month as well as the previous year."

"In line with the broad pattern over recent months this uplift in activity is very evident in the first-time buyer segment of the market, which continues to account for just over half of all mortgage approvals."

In the 12 months to 31 May a total of 47,354 mortgages have been granted at a value of €10.5bn.

Commenting on the figures, Dermot O'Leary, chief economist at Goodbody Stockbrokers, said the data suggests an improvement in sales trends as the year progresses after a "lacklustre" start to the year.

"In the three months to May, the volume and value of approvals grew by 14pc year-on-year, suggesting that the weak trends seen through 2018, which we attributed to the impact of changes to the rules for exemptions outside the loan-to-income rules, has now passed," he added.

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HAP falls short for almost every rental in country  05 July 2019



Publication: Irish Independent
Author: Ian Begley


A total of 92pc of private rental homes around the country on Daft.ie were not eligible for social housing supports.

The latest Simon Communities 'Locked Out of the Market' report found 482 properties available to rent during a three-day study in April were above Rent Supplement/Housing Assistance Payment limits.

The report reveals a serious shortage of accommodation available for Rent Supplement/HAP recipients. Only one suitable property was available for a single person.

Galway city centre, Waterford city centre, Athlone and Sligo town had no rented properties available for any household category on the dates surveyed, while just one property was available in all categories in north Kildare, Limerick city centre and Portlaoise.

Three suitable properties were found in Dublin city, and five in Cork city centre.

The analysis conducted over three consecutive days in April found that only 8pc (43) of rental properties were suitable for renting by HAP recipients.

Wayne Stanley, spokesman for the Simon Communities, said the lack of affordable accommodation is prolonging the current housing crisis.

"It's clear the total lack of an accessible private rental sector and limited social housing has driven this increase," he said

"For a sustainable long-term solution, government commitment and investment in social and affordable housing is urgently needed across all tenure types nationwide."

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Irish House Price Report Q2 2019 | Daft.ie  27 June 2019


Publication: DAFT.ie

Author: Ronan Lyons 

New supply is welcome - but mix matters too.
While well-flagged, the evidence of further relief in the sales segment of Ireland's housing market is still to be welcomed. Sellers may, of course, be less happy than most at something approaching normality. However, for the rest of the country, and for policymakers in particular, the belated but by now strong supply response will be taken as a good news story.



The figures in this latest Daft.ie Sales Report are telling. Over 8,200 properties were listed for sale in May 2019, the highest monthly total in over a decade. Indeed, the last time that many properties were put on the market at the same time was April 2008. At that stage, market conditions were hugely different: 8,700 homes were put up on the market, but just 5,600 came off. Supply may have been strong but demand was weak - and, as most of us know, prices fell as a result.

A new addition to this quarter's sales report is a focus on sales of new homes. Indeed, it is something of a curiosity that Ireland's longest running report on the sales market has never really had a new-homes segment to analyse. Supply collapsed shortly after the Daft.ie Sales Report started in 2006 and is only now recovering to anything like the level the country needs.

The new infographic shows that 16% more new homes were sold in 2018 than in 2017 - 10,300 last year compared to 8,900 in the previous year. Despite the increase in the number of homes for sale, prices held up. In fact, the median price rose from €300,000 to €330,000 between 2017 and 2018. So, as supply has improved, demand has been there, ready and waiting.

A contrast between Dublin and Munster is, I think, instructive. In Dublin, nearly 4,600 new homes sold in 2018 - up from 3,900 in 2017. This boost to new supply is obvious when looking at availability on Daft. Over the last 12 months, there have been an average of 5,000 homes on the city's for-sale market at any one point. This is up from just 3,200 in the period July 2016-June 2017.



Unsurprisingly, this huge change has had an impact on prices. Prices in the capital are now just 1.2% higher than a year previously. On the face of it, this may seem similar to mid-2016, when inflation was just over 1%. But then, the market was adjusting to the introduction of the Central Bank rules. Those rules removed the nascent bubble from the equation, but could do nothing to address the underlying lack of supply. That's why, by mid-2017, annual inflation in Dublin was back above 10%. This time, however, the slowdown in inflation is all down to extra supply.

In Munster, the picture is very different. Prices in the province - outside the cities - are 11% higher now than a year previously. And unlike in the capital, availability has hardly improved at all. Over the past 12 months, there have been an average of 7,500 homes for sale in Munster. This is below, rather than well above, the level of availability seen two years ago (8,100). And moving a step further back, the stagnant availability merely reflects weak construction activity. In Kerry, Clare and Tipperary, there were just 369 new homes sold in 2018 - down slightly on the 377 sold in 2017.

Weak construction activity itself reflects the single most pressing issue in the Irish housing market. This is the very high level of construction costs when compared to average household incomes. In a country where the average household income is close to €50,000, it should not cost more than €150,000 to build a home. However, it is very challenging to build a home for anything less than €250,000. This viability gap means that, only where average prices are already well above €250,000 will developers be able to meet demand.

So, is this a good news story then? The new supply is certainly to be welcomed. And the longer it continues, the more likely it is to bring prices down to levels more reflective of incomes in this country. However, as mentioned above, costs are still a huge issue - especially when thinking about anything other than the three-bed semi-d.

The vast majority of new homes built in Ireland over the last couple of years - when supply has improved - have been either estate houses or one-offs. The problem is: the country doesn't need any more of these types of homes. Under no reasonable projection of demographics will the country ever have more than 1.5 million families. And yet, Ireland already more than this in its housing stock and is building lots more.

This mismatch between the type of supply and the type of demand should dominate housing policy over the next five years, much as the mismatch between the scale of supply and demand should have dominated it over the last five. To get a sense of what lies in store, it is worth checking the snapshot in this latest Daft.ie Sales Report.

All told, there are 270 market segments covered in the snapshot. 54 of those are three-bedroom homes - which have been the focus of almost all construction - and more than three quarters of those market segments show prices lower now than a year ago. Indeed, in the Greater Dublin Area, prices of three-bed homes are falling almost everywhere - in 27 of the 29 segments covered in the report. In the rest of the markets around the country, prices are - more or less - still rising. In just 12% of the other 226 market segments are prices falling.
Ireland really needs to learn how to build the full life-cycle of housing. This includes student accommodation and co-living, which - despite all the fuss - remain markets starved of supply. But it also includes medium-to-high rise city centre living and downsizer apartments in suburban areas. And it also includes independent living and assisted living that will take the pressure not only off our housing system but also our health system.
The country has restarted building the only type of home it has ever really known how to build: the three-bed house. We don't need any more of those, though. So housing policy needs a new focus - to reflect the diversity of ways we live today.

The average price of a house in Dublin has increased once again to €388,000  27 June 2019



Publication: The Journal.ie

Author: Conor McCrave


Property under development












Image: RollingNews.ie

THE AVERAGE HOUSE price in Ireland has risen by almost 4% in the past year, according to the latest Daft.ie report.

The average price nationwide, based on the 8,200 properties listed in the last 12 months, is now €263,000 – an increase of 3.7% on the previous year.

Dublin was once again the most expensive county to buy a house in, with the average price of a house coming in at €375,862 in the city centre region – up 1.2% on last year, and €388,135 on average in the Dublin county region – up 0.9% on last year.

In Cork, the average price was €253,033 – up 9.3% on 2017 – while Cork city specifically, was up 4.4% on last year at €285,941.

Elsewhere, in Galway, the average price was €205,400 – up 1.7% on last year, while Galway city saw average prices almost €100,000 higher at €305,549.

The cheapest county to purchase a home in, according to analysis for quarter two, was Leitrim at €137,058.


Infographic comparing most/least expensive areas.Source: Daft.ie

Although the average prices across the country increased, with the exception of Louth which fell by 0.9%, the rate at which they increased year-on-year has fallen.

Ronan Lyons, economist with Trinity College Dublin, and author of the Daft.ie report, said the slowdown in the rate of inflation was a result of more houses being built and entering the market.
The total number of properties up for sale in May was the highest on record for over 10 years.

“The steady improvement in construction activity is finally converting into housing market outcomes.

“Unsurprisingly, with much improved supply, buyers are no longer competing with each other as strongly in the market and inflation has, at least for the moment, largely eased off – especially in the Greater Dublin Area, where construction activity is concentrated.”


Graphic showing year-on-year change nationwide.Source: daft.ie

New Builds

There were 10,300 transactions involving newly-built homes in 2018 – up 16% on the total for 2017.

The typical price for a newly-built home sold in 2018 was €330,000, which was up from the €300,000 price in 2017.

A large majority of the new-build transactions were in the Dublin and commuter areas.

Dublin accounted for 45% of transactions involving new homes in 2018, while commuted counties around Dublin accounted for 26% of new builds.

Lyons said the rate of inflation should continue to slow as long as the supply of new properties entering the market continues.

The report also claimed there was a shortage of some types of homes, which would be needed to address population demographics.

“The expectation would be as long as this continues, and if we don’t expect it to die off anytime soon, we shouldn’t expect to see that much inflation and prices could fall before the end of the year.
It’s not about whether prices are going to come down 10% or 15% because it’s not a bubble that’s burst, it is a shortage of supply that is now being addressed.

“Ireland really needs to learn how to build the full life-cycle of housing. This includes student accommodation and co-living, which – despite all the fuss – remain markets starved of supply,” he added.

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Supply of new homes 'curtailed by Central Bank limits on mortgages'  25 June 2019


Publication: Irish Independent

Author: Donal Buckley



THE Central Bank's limits on home loans are inhibiting the delivery of new homes, Michael O'Flynn, CEO of developers O'Flynn Group told the annual conference of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV) in Mullingar at the weekend.

"While many are celebrating the fact the macroprudential rules have succeeded in capping house prices, hardly anyone is looking at how this is inhibiting housing delivery and how it risks the creation of a welfare state."

"We are also creating a social housing-dependent society," he added.

Nevertheless Mr O'Flynn also called for more social housing, saying Government had abdicated responsibility for the provision of housing for those who cannot afford to buy or to pay market rent.

And he said the answer to the supply of affordable units is to "implement land use policies and fiscal policies to support viability and, in return, requiring delivery at affordable prices as the quid pro quo for that support".

Incoming President of IPAV David McDonnell called for the transfer of responsibility for conveyancing from the Department of Justice to the Property Services Regulatory Authority and the setting up of an independent panel of conveyancers across the country who would be specifically responsible for processing all property sales.

Both he and Mr O'Flynn called for reduced VAT on construction as it is an added cost for home buyers. Mr McDonnell said the private landlord who has been the mainstay of the rental market is being forced out by onerous regulation and lack of any incentives.

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IPAV chief calls for energy ratings to be included on price register  25 June 2019


Publication: Irish Independent
Author: Donal Buckley

David McDonnell, MD of Property Partners McDonnell in Mullingar, and incoming president of IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers

To simplify the case for a Green Mortgage discount for would-be purchasers, David McDonnell, the incoming president of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV), is calling for the Property Services Regulatory Authority to record BER ratings in addition to its sale prices on residential properties.

In this way, buyers would be able to both compare quoted prices on dwellings that they are interested in buying with those prices for previously sold neighbouring properties while also having a better idea of how those neighbouring properties compared in terms of quality with those currently for sale.

The managing director of Property Partners McDonnell in Mullingar, Mr McDonnell says that recording BER ratings for the properties would be a simple means of assessing property values and the contribution that the current BER ratings are having on that value.

"In an era when concern about our environment is deepening, it would highlight the issue and give buyers a more comprehensive picture that would feed into their property intelligence, perhaps enabling them to be a fraction more discerning in their choices," he added.

"It would also simplify the case for a 'Green Mortgage' discount for would-be purchasers."

The IPAV AGM and annual conference will take place at the Mullingar Park Hotel this Saturday.

Speakers will include Kevin 'Boxer' Moran TD, Minister of State at the OPW, and developer Michael O'Flynn.

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Half of the country ‘unaffordable’ for average buyer  25 June 2019



Publication: Irish Times

Author: Fiona Reddan

Wicklow and Kildare are least affordable counties to buy property, according to report

Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

A ‘significant barrier’ to home ownership is saving up a deposit, according to the report.

Nearly half of all counties in the State are unaffordable for first-time buyers on average incomes, as recent property price hikes continue to push home ownership out of reach for many.

While Limerick and Waterford are the two most affordable cities to buy a home for first-time buyers, Wicklow and Kildare top the charts as the most unaffordable counties. Somewhat surprisingly, Dublin is only the fourth least affordable county in the country.

This is according to a new report on housing affordability from EY-DKM Economic Advisory, which has found that the Dublin and urban-centric housing crisis has now spread across the country.

In considering typical first-time buyer incomes – set at 89 per cent of average earnings – the report has assessed affordability in terms of the salary required to qualify for a mortgage, as well as the ability to save enough for a 10 per cent deposit.


‘Significant barrier’

While Central Bank limits on income multiples have hit the headlines in recent days – with Sherry FitzGerald chairman Mark Fitzgerald arguing for a relaxation on the rules which limit mortgages to three and a half times income – the report says the “significant barrier” to home ownership is saving up the deposit.

It finds that in some counties – Meath, Kildare and Wicklow – it can take more than 15 years for someone on an average income to accumulate enough for a 10 per cent down-payment, due mostly to high house prices and rising rents.

“While incomes nationally have grown, rents have grown much faster, which has resulted in an ever-increasing pressure on first-time buyers’ ability to save,” said Annette Hughes, director with EY-DKM Economic Advisory. In order to ensure greater affordability, the Government needs to achieve a better balance between owner-occupied and build-to-rent developments to deliver affordable rents.

This would “not only increase living standards but free up money to save for a deposit” she said.

The most affordable counties for first-time buyers are Leitrim and Longford, according to the report, requiring two or less years to save enough for a deposit.

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Inheritance tax at record high due to soaring property prices  25 June 2019


Publication: 


Author: Fiona Reddan

Exchequer reaps windfall from inheritances to grandchildren, nieces and nephews



Revenue figures show some €466.3 million in inheritance taxes were collected last year, up by 10 per cent on 2017.

The exchequer reaped an inheritance tax windfall last year, as the amount collected reached a record high of some €466.3 million on the back of soaring property prices and largely unchanged tax free thresholds. More than half of all the tax collected was paid by grandchildren, nieces and nephews who inherited more than €32,500 from a relative last year.

According to Revenue figures, some €466.3 million in inheritance taxes were collected last year, up by 48 per cent on the Celtic Tiger era in 2007, and by 10 per cent on 2017.

The sharp growth in the yield comes following another year of strong growth in property prices, as well as largely unchanged tax free thresholds, which many argue should be substantially increased.

The tax free threshold for inheritances left to children peaked at € 542,544 in 2009, before being slashed thereafter. While the Government is on the record as saying it wants to increase the category A threshold, which refers to parent child asset transfers, to € 500,000 over time, changes have been minimal.

Last year’s budget for example, increased the lifetime amount a child can get via inheritance, or gifts during their parents’ lifetimes, by just € 10,000 to € 320,000. The higher the threshold, the fewer the number of people receiving an inheritance who will be subject to tax, and the lower the total amount of tax that will be paid.

But with a relatively low threshold in comparison to previous years, the figures show that the numbers getting caught by inheritance tax, which is levied at a rate of 33 per cent, is also on the rise, up by 5 per cent on 2017 to a new high of 15,060.

This means that the average amount of tax paid was €30,964. However, the figure is likely to be higher for those in Dublin. A breakdown by county is not yet available for 2018 figures, but figures for 2017 show that while people living in Dublin accounted for 44 per cent of all those paying inheritance that year, the county accounted for more than half of all the tax collected, no doubt a factor of higher house prices in the capital.

The average tax payment for Dublin in 2017 was €35,423, compared to a national average of €29,776.The lowest proportion of inheritance tax in 2017 was collected in Donegal, at just 1.14 per cent of the total yield, or less than €5 million among 326 taxpayers (an average of €15,337 each).

But despite calls for an increase in the parent to child threshold, the figures show that just €160.6 million, or about a third of the total yield, came from taxes paid by children.

The big revenue earner in fact continues to be category B, which refers to other types of relatives such as inheritances from grandparents, brothers or sisters, or aunts and uncles. The tax free threshold from this category is just €32,500. With such a low threshold, the figures show that it accounted for 50 per cent of all inheritance tax receipts in 2018, at some €236.7 million, again a record high. Non-relatives accounted for 15 per cent of all inheritance tax yields.

The figures also show that the total yield from capital acquisitions tax (CAT), incorporating inheritance tax, gift tax, discretionary trust tax and probate tax, also reached a record high, of €522 million in 2018.

This is up by 13.5 per cent on 2017 and by 33. 5 per cent on 2007, and is largely driven by growth in inheritance taxes; gift taxes for example, fell by 25 per cent from 2007 to €52.6 million in 2018.

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Consumers expect more rental hikes: Bank of Ireland’s monthly economic pulse  25 June 2019



Publication: Irish Examiner


Author: Pádraig Hoare
More than two-thirds of consumers are bracing for rent hikes and house prices to rise in the next 12 months, while some businesses are holding back on activity as ongoing global uncertainty continues.

Those were some of the findings of Bank of Ireland’s monthly economic pulse, which measures consumer and business sentiment.

Consumer sentiment was up slightly from last month, but still down sharply from the same month last year, Bank of Ireland said.

Households were more upbeat about the ‘here and now’ this month, but remain worried about where the economy is going next, the bank said.

Group chief economist for Bank of Ireland, Loretta O’Sullivan said: “Having nosedived earlier in the year, consumer confidence was a touch firmer this month, while business sentiment moved sideways.”

Ongoing uncertainty and tensions on the external front has led to caution from businesses, she said.

Yesterday marks three years since the UK referendum on EU membership which set Brexit in train. Thirty-six months on and uncertainty about the leaving process and the future trading relationship is still clouding the horizon.

She said Donald Trump’s protectionist stance back in 2016 “was pure rhetoric but has since turned into policy action, making heightened trade tensions a key risk for the global economy”.

“While things have been going well at home, the openness of our economy means that the Brexit and Trump curve balls have taken a toll on sentiment. And over the coming months, good or bad news on these fronts will likely further buffet consumer and business confidence.”

Over two in five builders are finding it difficult to get workers, and that uncertainty is also holding back housing activity, the pulse found.

“Two in three households still think price increases are on the cards over the next year,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

“This is partly because the number of units coming on stream remains well shy of the number needed. And with our survey of construction firms finding that a shortage of workers and uncertainty is limiting building activity, this gap isn’t likely to be closed any time soon.”

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‘Movers’ are facing their own issues on the property ladder: Bank of Ireland “Mover Barometer”  25 June 2019









Publication: Irish Times

New findings serve to illustrate in stark terms how certain crucial rungs of our traditional property ladder have been removed. File photograph: Moodboard/Brand X/Getty
File photograph: Moodboard/Brand X/Getty

New findings serve to illustrate in stark terms how certain crucial rungs of our traditional property ladder have been removed. 


With most of the media’s attention focused on the plight of first-time buyers frozen out of the housing market due to the shortage in affordable supply, you could be forgiven for thinking that “movers”, ie those looking to trade up or down, are in an infinitely better position; one of choice, at least. 

However, the results of the latest Bank of Ireland “Mover Barometer” show that this group is facing problems of its own when it comes to putting the right roof over its head, and at the right price. 

According to Bank of Ireland’s research, 35 per cent of the 202 property movers it surveyed found the cost of a new home to be their single biggest challenge, while 23 per cent of respondents cited the speed of selling their existing home as their greatest concern. 

The findings serve to illustrate in stark terms how certain crucial rungs of our traditional property ladder have been removed. 

The imposition of tighter mortgage-lending rules by the Central Bank may certainly be saving us all from a repeat of the credit-fuelled catastrophe we experienced in 2008, but it seems the measures continue to limit the ability of first-time buyers to acquire homes that movers are looking to trade up from. 

The knock-on effect of this particular breakdown in the property buying chain is being felt by downsizers or so-called “empty nesters” too, as the pool of movers who might bid for their home is reduced. 

Interestingly the survey, conducted in partnership with Red C, reported that 23 per cent of movers cited a lack of supply in the area they would like to buy in as being the greatest single challenge they faced in finding a new home. 

And lest anyone suggest that movers want bigger homes simply for the sake of it, Bank of Ireland’s research shows that just under half of them (45 per cent) are moving because they need more space for their growing family. Just in excess of one-quarter (26 per cent) are looking to live in a better location, according to the survey, while 13 per cent want to downsize. 

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Revealed: Almost half of properties sold last year were bought with cash or savings  19 February 2019



Publication: Irish Independent
Author: Ellie Donnelly



Approximately 45pc of all properties sold in 2018 were paid for with cash or savings.

This is similar to the level of cash purchases made during the recession years of 2009-2013, when mortgage approvals were at an all-time low.

Overall and growth in the property market remained "sluggish" in 2018, despite a high demand for housing in Ireland, according to the latest Consumer Market Monitor (CMM), from the Marketing Institute of Ireland and UCD Smurfit Business School.

There were 55,000 homes purchased in 2018, an increase of 8pc on the previous year. Almost 25,000 of these properties were bought with cash.

While the residential property market is growing, the number of homes purchased in Ireland in 2018 was approximately half the amount purchased during the height of the last boom in 2005, when 105,000 homes were sold.

In addition, while there was a 12pc increase in the number of mortgages issued during 2018, with 30,629 drawn down, this is a considerably lower level than during the last boom, with 85,000 mortgages issued in 2005 and similar levels in 2006 and 2007, the CMM found.

Professor Mary Lambkin, author of the report, said: "The property market’s sluggish growth does not reflect the large increase in the working population and the rate of new household formation that has occurred over the past five years."

"While the number of homes for sale has increased to about 23,500, the level of property sales should be about double the current level, approaching the level that the market experienced during the early 2000s, when the workforce was about the same level as it is today."

Looking forward, and residential property sales are expected to increase by 5pc this year to 58,000. This will be facilitated by the increasing rate of construction of new homes as well as increasing supply of second-hand properties coming on the market, according to the report.

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Construction activity still ‘solid’ despite slower growth...  12 February 2019









Publication: Irish Times
Author: Eoin Burke-Kennedy




Photograph: Alan Betson


While the rate of growth eased to a three-month low, overall Irish construction activity has increased on a monthly basis since September 2013. 


Irish construction groups experienced solid but slower growth in January as the industry grappled to deal to meet demand for housing.

The latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks activity, fell to 54.6 last month but remains well above the 50 mark that delineates expansion from contraction.

While the rate of growth eased to a three-month low, overall Irish construction activity has increased on a monthly basis since September 2013.

The housing subcategory recorded the fastest rise in activity of the three monitored sectors with new orders continuing to rise sharply on foot of improving customer demand since the start of 2019.

New business has now increased in each of the past 67 months, with the rate of growth quickening from December.

In contrast to the quicker rise in new business, employment growth in the Irish construction industry eased to a four-month low during January, Ulster Bank said.
Strongly positive

Business sentiment, however, improved to a three-month high during January and was strongly positive with nearly half of panellists predicting a rise in activity over the coming year.

Commenting on the survey, Ulster Bank chief economist Simon Barry said: “Housing was the fastest-growing category in January, with this important subsector recording ongoing solid expansion, albeit at a somewhat less rapid pace than earlier in the recovery.”

“Last week’s completions data from the CSO showed that new home construction rose by 25 per cent last year, with the full-year total of around 18,100 units completed representing a nine-year high.

“Early-year trends in the housing PMI – as well as the signals from other indicators - are consistent with further improvements in housing supply in the coming year,” he said.

New orders continued to rise sharply with firms reporting an encouraging improvement in client demand at the beginning of the year, Mr Barry said. “In turn, the ongoing expansion in actual and prospective activity is continuing to underpin employment in construction.”

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Irish Rental Price Report Q4 2018 | Daft.ie  12 February 2019











Publication: Daft.ie
Author: Ronan Lyons

New Year is a time for optimism. The last Daft.ie Rental Report had the headline 'No end in sight for rental sector woes' and focused, in particular, on the lack of availability on the market. All of this was in the context of the tenth consecutive Rental Report where annual inflation in advertised market rents was above 10%.

So how, then, should we interpret the fall in inflation recorded in this latest report? Nationally, inflation fell from 12.4% in mid-2018 to 9.8% by year-end. This fall was seen in Dublin and the other cities, as well as in Leinster outside of Dublin. (Munster, Connacht and Ulster ‐ outside the cities ‐ are going the other way, with inflation at double-digit rates and two-year highs.)



The first thing to note is that we are still discussing substantial price increases, even if in percentage terms the increases in key markets have fallen below a noteworthy threshold. The average Dublin rent rose by €160 during 2018, compared to €180 in 2017. It is unlikely that any new or existing tenants will be celebrating just because the new all-time high is less dramatically above the previous high than it was compared to the figure from two years ago.

Indeed, one possible reason for the slowdown in inflation could be that the market has reached the limits of what tenants can pay. Digging beneath the figures, though, another reason suggests itself: improved supply. If true, this could indicate that the mild improvement in market conditions in Ireland’s rental market may continue.

On January 1st 2019, there were 3,641 properties available to rent nationwide, an increase of over 11% on the same date in 2018, when there were just 3,270 homes on the market. As shown in the graph accompanying this piece, this is still the second lowest start-of-year total on record, going back to 2006. It is also below the 2016 and 2017 totals (both just below 3,900) and well below the previous market crunch in 2006/2007 when there were just under 5,000 homes available to rent.


But an improvement is still an improvement, even if it is off a very low base. When availability improves, it is either due to a fall in demand or an increase in supply. Obviously, with Brexit looming, a fall-off in demand cannot be ruled out. However, that seems at odds with the evidence: employment and incomes are, at least at the moment, still going up.

Not only that, while all major regions of the market showed at least some improvement in availability, two-thirds of these 370 additional homes on the market are in Dublin. This is where the overall effect of Brexit is likely to be least calamitous: significant announcements by, among others, Facebook and Salesforce already in 2019 suggest that ‐ at least as of February 2019 ‐ there is no obvious Brexit effect in the rental market yet.


So, at a time of apparently strong rental demand, especially in the Dublin market, there are some signs that availability is improving and inflation easing, however slightly. A further possibility presents itself. It is possible that the numbers are something of an aberration ‐ one swallow does not a summer make.

There are a couple of examples of this before. In early 2015, and again in early 2017, the Dublin market recorded four consecutive months of improved availability. And in both cases, there was a small dip in rental inflation ‐ three-month increases closer to 1.5% than the 3% that has become normal. The second time, the improvement in availability even spread to a few other regions for a month or two. But in both cases, the gains quickly gave way to further reductions in stock and inflation resumed once more.


This time, though, the improvement in availability has gone on for seven months in Dublin. It has also occurred at a time when supply more generally has improved. It is impossible to separate out new rental supply from new owner-occupied or new social housing supply in the stats. But the segment most likely to be responsible for new supply ‐ apartment construction ‐ appears to be waking up.


Nearly 2,300 apartments were built in the year to September, compared to just over 1,000 in the twelve months to September 2016. And planning permission was lodged for almost 10,000 apartments in twelve months to September 2018. The challenge, of course, will be seeing those permits convert to real homes.


Whisper it, but perhaps the corner has been turned. Next quarter's report will be able to shed a bit more light on whether conditions are indeed set to improve.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE. NATIONWIDE.

20% rise in value of properties sold in Co Cork in 2018  05 February 2019







Publication: Irish Examiner
Author: Seán McCárthaigh

There was a slight increase in activity in the residential property market in Cork last year, with the total number of houses and apartment sales up 1.4%.

However, the total value of all properties sold in the county in 2018 rose by 20% to €1.6bn — up from €1.34bn the previous year — in a reflection of rising housing prices across Ireland.

The median price of all homes sold in Cork city and county increased by 12.2%, from €205,000 in 2017 to €230,000 last year.

An analysis of the Residential Property Price Register shows that a total of 5,646 homes in Cork were sold at full market price during 2018 — an annual increase of 79 transactions. 

The final total may increase slightly due to a number of late filings.

The increase was driven by an increase in the number of new houses and apartments sold last year, while the second-hand property market remained effectively static.

Sales of 928 new homes were recorded in 2018 compared to 840 the previous year.

Average prices paid for new properties in Cork last year was considerably higher than those paid for second-hand homes in the county, due to the concentration of new developments in Cork city and suburbs including Ballincollig and Carrigaline.

The median price of all new houses and apartments sold in 2018 was €329,075 compared to €214,000 for second-hand properties.

The corresponding figures in 2017 respectively were €265,975 and €199,000.

The most expensive residential property sold in Cork last year was the residential element of the 17-storey Elysian Tower in Cork.

Kennedy Wilson, an international real estate firm, paid €67.7m for the 206 apartments in the mixed-use development, which also contains 67,500 sq ft of retail and office space and more than 550 parking spaces in a deal which totalled €87.5m.

Cork developer Michael O’Flynn spent €100m building the landmark tower block which was completed in 2008 just before the collapse of the property market.

The second-largest property deal was the sale of 120 out of the 188 housing units in the Quadrants, another mixed-use development in Ballincollig, which was also built by O’Flynn Construction, for €21.4m.

One of the most valuable individual property transactions was a house at Scilly Hill in Kinsale which sold for €2.55m.

CSO figures show that buyers who were either trading up or down accounted for 44% of all residential property sales in Cork last year.

First-time buyers bought 27% of all properties sold while investors, including institutional investors, accounted for 29% of the total.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE. NATIONWIDE.

Buying a new home in 2019? Here’s what’s coming...  31 January 2019


Publication: Irish Times
Author: Madeleine Lyons

Our list of schemes in Dublin and its environs shows improved supply, particularly in commuter counties where buyers willing to travel will get more bang per new home buck.

A month into 2019 and the new homes market is gearing up for a busy year. The latest housing survey from Goodbody estimates that 18,855 new dwellings were completed in Ireland last year, marking an annual growth rate of 31 per cent for the full year and the largest annual output since 2009. Specifically, it noted an increase of 45 per cent in large new schemes of homes, the bulk of these in Dublin.

This is all good news given the often-cited figure of 35,000 new homes required annually to meet demand, and if planning applications are a further indicator the figures are encouraging. The latest report from Davy Stockbrokers and myhome.ie noted that new planning permissions had been granted for 29,500 units in 2018 – 70 per cent higher than the current level of homebuilding – and the majority of these were for large new homes schemes, mainly in Dublin.

Specifically, planning applications for apartments have risen by 167 per cent in the 12 months to the third quarter of 2018, Goodbody noted. So after years of waiting the trickle of new homes has turned to a flow. The question is for who? And where?

The emergence almost overnight of a booming private rented sector, where apartment blocks are purpose-built for big institutional investors to let over the long term, means the bulk of new apartments coming on stream in city hotspots will never be bought by individual punters. That starter pad for twentysomething professionals in the Docklands is likely to become a thing of the past.

Even beyond the city centre, two hotly anticipated suburban apartment schemes of recent months have also been effectively removed from the open market prior to launch. Last May, Irish Life Investments Managers purchased Park Development’s 262-unit Fernbank scheme in Churchtown, Dublin, for more than €100 million.

And more recently, publicly-quoted builder Glenveagh has indicated that it will ideally sell its Herbert Hill development of 90 apartments in Dundrum, Dublin, to a single institutional buyer. Of course the argument can be made that it’s about time this model was applied in Ireland, and we move away from a national obsession with individual home ownership. But when we see increased volumes of new units being built they will not all be available for individual purchase.

The various new homes schemes coming on stream this year suggest a huge amount of activity. But it’s worth looking too at the volumes of stock being built, and price points.


Building costs and access to finance clearly remain a major issue for developers, as new launches and subsequent phases are frequently limited to less than 20 houses – even in very large developments. It is clear that financial backers are erring on the side of caution, an indicator of how price sensitive the new homes market is.
Early projections

Larger developers who were first out of the traps in recent years would have based early projections on galloping double-digit growth as supply struggled to meet demand.

But the Central Bank’s mortgage lending restrictions and their alarmingly swift impact on house price growth makes some of those early prices look a lot less competitive, in particular as other developments have come on stream and greater choice enters the equation.

This may be a challenge for developers as we move towards a buyer’s market and more second-hand properties also come on stream. Prices in prime locations around the city are set high – site and build costs remain high – and in most cases are beyond the budgets of the traditional first-time buyer.

Irish Life Investment Managers purchased the Fernbank scheme in Churchtown, effectively removing it from the open market prior to launch.

Expect most activity in these areas to remain at the luxury end or to be single-lot private rented sector sales or student accommodation schemes.

The new Land Development Agency announced last September promises to free up 30 land banks around the capital for delivery of 150,000 new homes over 20 years. But the first units won’t be built until 2020, and the fact that they will be delivered in most cases by private sector developers raises little hope that these will be truly affordable city centre homes for buyers. 

The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland’s most recent Housing Market Monitor for the third quarter of 2018 showed a widening of the price inflation gap between Dublin and the rest of Ireland.

This is reflected in a clear rise in first-time buyer activity and demand in the more affordable commuter counties of Kildare, Wicklow, Meath and Louth. And there has also been a marked increase in new homes activity in the regions, in particular in Cork, Limerick and Galway.

Agents are citing a definite surge in interest as first-time buyers rush to avail of the Help to Buy scheme before the window to apply shuts in December. There has been much speculation the scheme will be extended, but Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has made it clear any decision to grant an extension will only be made in Budget 2020 next October.

Meanwhile, developers and builders are hoping to make hay in the starter homes market, where these buyers stand to gain most from the initiative. The launch of a €750 million State loans scheme is likely to provide a shot in the arm to small- and medium-sized developers who until now could not raise funding from banks or other lenders due to prohibitive interest rates and terms. It is expected more than 7,500 new homes will be built over the next five years on foot of the scheme.

Once approved, these developments (which range in size between 10 and 200 homes) should hit the ground running, as a developer will need to have already secured or submitted planning permission for a project.
Greatest demand

Concerns have been raised by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland that the scheme will not apply to the building of new apartments where its research anticipates there will be greatest demand next year for one- and two-bed apartments. Instead the funding model is more likely to apply to homes costing €200,000 to build, typically three-bed semis outside of Dublin.

The new homes sector is into recovery mode and fast-track planning will hopefully accelerate delivery. The greatest concern is that adequate provision will be made to ensure the units coming on stream are affordable and located in well serviced areas to meet the needs of young families and buyers, and not skewed towards the needs of big business.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE. NATIONWIDE.

Landlords to be criminalised for breaching rent caps, AG warns  23 November 2018

Publication: Irish Times
Author: Kitty Holland Social Affairs Correspondent

Séamus Woulfe addresses Lawyers Against Homelessness event in Dublin.


Attorney General Séamus Woulfe: new legislation was “going to provide increased protections for tenants”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Landlords who raise rents higher than the legally allowed limit in rent pressure zones will be criminalised and may be forced to re-let their property at the appropriate price, the Attorney General has warned.

Séamus Woulfe SC told a Lawyers Against Homelessness (LAH) event on Thursday, hosted by Constance Cassidy SC at the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin, that the housing and homelessness crisis was being treated with a “seriousness of the highest order” by Government.

He pointed to “great efforts being made to address the situation”. Among measures on the way was the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill which he described as a “major piece of legislation” that would be “published shortly”.
Rent pressure zones

There had been arguments that some landlords in rent pressure zones were not complying with the rule that rents in these areas could not be increased by more than 4 per cent per year.

A series of reports have shown average rent increases in Dublin in the last year have been double the allowable limits, and individuals have told of facing increases of as much as 20 per cent.

Mr Woulfe said the legislation was “going to provide increased protections for tenants in terms of security of tenure and the rental pressure zones . . . There have been arguments that that is not being complied with by landlords and it’s going to effectively become a criminal offence to breach that legislation.”

This was the fourth occasion the LAH held this event, entry to which lawyers must pay for, to hear solicitors, barristers and judges give updates on legal issues.
Food parcels

All money raised goes to the Capuchin Day Centre, which provides about 700 hot meals a day, and 1,700 food parcels a week, to the poor and homeless.

Among the sponsoring legal firms on Thursday were Reddy Charlton, Byrne Wallace and BLM (Berrymans Lace Mawer).

Mr Woulfe said Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy had to “walk a careful line” between potentially criminalising landlords “in certain areas” and keeping landlords in the rental market.

“If we don’t keep landlords in the market we are going to have less rental properties and that’s not going to help the situation. So in areas like this he has to balance objectives.”

The way we buy and sell houses is about to change  23 November 2018

Publication: Irish Times
Author: Michael Walsh

All property title queries will be dealt with and resolved in advance of contract signing


Buying and selling. Until recently a deed to the seller that was 20 years old or more constituted the point from which a buyer should start the review. 

From January 1st, 2019, the buying and selling of houses and other real estate will move to a pre-contract investigation of title (PCIT) system. This will mean that all sellers, through their solicitor, will need to produce title packs pre-contract. Buyers’ solicitors will need to investigate title pre-contract. The benefit of this change is that all property title queries will be dealt with and resolved in advance of contract signing. Buyers will still need to take extra care not to sign a contract, by private treaty sale or by auction (whether online or not), before getting independent legal advice.

This new system will be more efficient and cost-effective as we should see a reduction in the duplication of work and effort. Subject to availability of finance, the time frame between contract signing and completion of a property sale may also shorten. We should also see borrowers engaging earlier with their lenders to ensure they are satisfied with the title being offered as security for the borrowings before the contract is signed.

Statute of Frauds

Over the millenniums there have been countless dealings in land in various forms. In 1667 the Statute of Frauds required that a contract regarding land be evidenced in writing. Deeds, as the instruments documenting and effecting land transfers, became the basis of the proof of one’s ownership. A system of registration of deeds was established in the 18th century and in the 1960s a registry of land ownership was set up in Ireland.

The vast majority of land transfers (or conveyances) have been effected on foot of investigation by buyer’s solicitors of seller’s deeds. Until recently a deed to the seller that was 20 years old or more constituted the point from which a buyer should start the review. By change of law, in 2010 this period was reduced to 15 years. This has the effect of reducing the number of documents to be produced by the seller to prove title and the extent of a buyer’s title due diligence. In 2011 it became compulsory to register ownership of all “unregistered land” in the Land Registry; however it will be many years before the register is complete.

It is easy to forget how much used to be involved in copying and transmitting information in hard copy before the current digital age

In 1976 the Law Society of Ireland published the first edition of its “standard” land contract for sale. The standard contract has evolved over time and it has been used in the vast majority of conveyancing transactions since. While certain title warranties are provided for, ultimately the principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) underpins it. What that means for the buyer is that he or she has to investigate the title during the conveyancing process. If, ultimately, there is something wrong with the title, the buyer has limited recourse to the seller.

Two-stepped process

Like in many countries, our conveyancing system is a two-stepped process. The first period leads to the signing of the contract. The second period that follows leads to final completion. “Completion” is the point at which the title formally transfers across. The main reasons for the two steps are to give the seller the time to produce the copy title documents and to give the buyer the opportunity to review them. The origin of the former is largely related to the bygone difficulty of document production and transmission.

It is easy to forget how much used to be involved in copying and transmitting information in hard copy before the current digital age. Immediately before the photocopier, handwritten deeds were copy typed, whereas now scanned copies are emailed or posted to online “data sites”. So, the practice was (or rather, is) that the seller would only evidence the title after the contract was signed. This process could only work if the standard contract permitted, as it currently does, the buyer to get out of the contract if the title, on investigation post-contract, is defective. Among the many difficulties with this approach, is that disputes about what is good or defective title are not uncommon and running a dispute when parties are “in contract” can be costly. Obviously, document production and data sharing has moved on considerably, so it was perhaps inevitable that a different approach would begin to take a hold in practice, as it has.

Change of system

Taking notice of these changes, in 2016 the Law Society surveyed the solicitors’ profession on the potential for a move to a PCIT system. A clear majority of those who responded expressed favour for the change. Many practitioners said they were unhappy to leave title due diligence to the post-contract period, and pointed to the inefficiency in the current system of addressing pre-contract inquiries, only for many of the same queries to be raised again in the post-contract title investigation.

The PCIT approach has long been a feature of the new homes market and in higher-value transactions. In recent years receiver sales have been similarly structured; so the solicitors’ profession is familiar with this approach. The buyer market has engaged well with it where used; buyers have shown a clear willingness to undertake title investigation in advance, without the security of a contract for sale. More generally, it seems that sellers are more willing to and they have better practical ability to produce title documentation pre-contract.

Having regard to these factors the Law Society’s conveyancing committee decided to adopt the change fully. The forthcoming 2019 contract for sale addresses this by entirely changing the conveyancing system to a PCIT system.

Title Issues

The new system will also advance any disagreements on title issues. If the buyer and seller are not going to see eye to eye on title issues, it is better that this conclusion is reached before they have become bound by a contract. This approach should lead to overall cost and time savings on post-contract wrangling and potential litigation. It is far better to end the coupling during the engagement rather than after the marriage contract, if you pardon the analogy.

Michael Walsh is partner and head of property at ByrneWallace, Dublin, and he is a member of the Law Society’s conveyancing committee and convener of its pre-contract title investigation taskforce.

Property price inflation falls to less than 6% in Dublin  16 November 2018

Publication: Irish Times
Author: Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Latest official barometer suggests market may be cooling as supply of new homes picks up

The mid-west region recorded the greatest price growth, with house prices increasing by 21 per cent year on year. The Border region showed the least price growth, with prices increasing by 5.8 per cent. 
Photograph: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Property price inflation has fallen to less than 6 per cent in Dublin, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

This was the lowest level of price growth recorded in 18 months and suggests the gradual pick-up in housing supply may be cooling the market.

Nationally prices rose by 8.2 per cent in the 12 months to September, down from 8.9 per cent the previous month and 12 per cent a year ago, according to the latest figures.

The mid-west region recorded the greatest price growth, with house prices increasing by 21 per cent year on year. The Border region showed the least price growth, with prices increasing by 5.8 per cent.

In Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown exhibited the greatest level of price growth at 8.3 per cent while south Dublin recorded the lowest with prices rising by just 4.2 per cent.

The figures show the median price paid for a residential property in the current market was €242,000. Dublin was the region with the highest median price (€364,998), while Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price (€532,000) of the four Dublin administrative areas.

Outside Dublin, the region with the highest median price was the mid-east (€267,499) while the Border was the region with the lowest median price for a dwelling (€120,000).

Eircode area

The figures, which also break down prices by Eircode, show the most expensive Eircode area to purchase a house was D04 “Dublin 4”, with a mean price of €797,181.

The second most expensive Eircode area was D06 “Dublin 6”, where the mean price was €732,974. The least expensive Eircode area within Dublin was D10 “Dublin 10”, with a mean price of €226,465.

Since early 2013, prices across the Republic have increased by 82.8 per cent, while Dublin prices are up by 96.1 per cent from their February 2012 low.

Prices outside the capital have been slower to recover but are still 77.8 per cent higher than their trough in May 2013.

IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, said the continuing tapering in the level of house price growth marked a “price correction” in the market in the most expensive areas.

Chief executive Pat Davitt said despite today’s CSO figures it is still the case that properties across many areas of the country are being sold for less than the price of constructing them.

“That is part of the reason why last week’s CSO new dwellings data for Quarter 3, while going in the right direction, is still anaemic, likely to be below 20,000 for the full year,” he said.

Rebuilding costs

Separately the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) on Wednesday released its latest “Guide to House Rebuilding Costs” which average building costs have increased by 5.5 per cent in the past 12 months.

The guide, which is used by homeowners to calculate the rebuilding costs of their home for insurance purposes, suggested the cost of rebuilding a three-bed semi in Dublin, the most expensive area, is €227,000, while the cost of rebuilding a similar house in the northwest, the cheapest area, is €154,000, a difference of €73,000. SCSI member Mark Bourke said the rise in costs is mainly associated with increased activity within the sector.

“The construction sector is experiencing high demand and this increase in activity is having an inflationary effect on prices,” he said.

Unwanted new records as rents surge 30pc higher than during Celtic Tiger  16 November 2018

Publication: Irish Independent
Author: Ryan Nugent
Rents have risen 30pc above Celtic Tiger rates and reached a record high for the 10th consecutive quarter, according to a new report.

The findings by Daft.ie don't expect the rental hikes to stop any time soon.

Nationally, there has been a rise of 11.3pc on last year, with the average monthly rental cost coming in at €1,334.

Rents in Dublin are 10.9pc higher than last year.

In Dublin the average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment ranges from €1,215 in north county Dublin to a high of €1,981 in Dublin 4.

Limerick and Waterford city have each seen a jump of more than 16pc in rental costs for a the likes of one-bedroom apartment. Meanwhile, the rental cost for five-bed homes in these cities are 26pc higher than 2017.

Economist Ronan Lyons. Photo: Damien Eagers

Rents in the capital are now 36pc higher than they were at their previous peak.

Daft.ie economist, Ronan Lyons said: "A problem that started to emerge nine years ago in Dublin has not only not been resolved, it has spread to the rest of the country".

"Once again - for the 25th consecutive quarter - rents have risen. Once again - for the 10th consecutive quarter - both a new record high for rents has been set and the year-on-year rate of inflation is above 10pc," he said.

Mr Lyons said the reason rents were rising countrywide is "because demand far outstrips supply". He said the country needed to build far more homes than it was currently and that these should be predominantly urban apartments, based on the research.

The report found that the average market rent has risen by some 80pc in the past seven years, since it bottomed out in in 2011.

FEWER houses are being bought as property prices continue to rise  16 November 2018


Publication: Irish Independent
Author: Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

However, Dublin recorded lowest level of price growth for almost two years

Prices were rose by 8.2pc nationally in the year to September, but the rises in Dublin have continued to ease off.

Economists said the surge in prices in the past few years and Central Bank lending limits are taking the steam out of the market.

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also show a drop in the number of property transactions.

The CSO said 3,821 property transactions went through in September, down almost 300 from two months previously.

Dublin recorded the lowest level of price growth for almost two years.

Prices rose by 6pc in the capital, the CSO said.

The strongest price rises were in the mid-west region, with prices increasing by 21pc in the last year.

The Border region showed the least price growth, with prices increasing by 5.8pc.

When it comes to Dublin the largest increases were in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown with price growth at 8.3pc.

In contrast, south Dublin recorded the lowest with prices rising by just 4.2pc.

The median, or middle, price for a property nationwide at the moment is €255,000, up €5,000 in the last month.

House price hikes set to slow amid Brexit concerns and 'lack of value'  08 November 2018

Publication: Irish Independent
Author: Gareth Morgan

House price growth is expected to slow down in the coming years amid concerns about Brexit and a lack of perceived value in the property market.

Supply is finally increasing as new developments come on stream, and asking prices are being cut back accordingly.

The new property price survey from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) and the Central Bank indicates further slowdown in the rate of house price inflation.

Only 59pc of estate agents now expect house prices to increase nationally in the next 12 months - this is down from 78pc just three months ago.

In addition, the predicted national increase in house prices over the coming year has fallen from 5pc to 2pc.

It follows recent data published in the Irish Independent which showed house prices nationwide beginning to flatline - with a semi-detached home now beyond reach for ordinary families.

Estate agent and SCSI member John O'Sullivan said it was clear from the new survey findings that affordability is now affecting house price inflation. He said this was welcome news for the market and the general economy.

"While price inflation has waned for high-value property, it's likely that it will also slow for other property classes over the short term. That said the entry level, where demand is very high, is the most active and the least impacted," he said.

"The main reason the rate of inflation is slowing is due to an increase in supply which is down to new developments coming on stream."

He also noted the number of buy-to-lets being offered for sale as landlords continue to exit the rental market.

Mr O'Sullivan, who is a Director with Lisney estate agents in Dublin, said another factor was that in some cases asking prices have been set too high based on vendor and agent expectations.

"If prices are pushed beyond buyers' ability to pay, its inevitable prices will come back," he said.

"That said, the market is reasonably active and one of the main challenges the sector faces is the time it takes to close a sale due to the protracted legal process."

He added: "Agents report that for every three investors selling only one investor is buying, which given the very low levels of supply, particularly in urban areas, is not good news for the rental market."

In Dublin, price rise expectations have actually increased from 2pc to 3pc for the coming year.

But over a three-year period, expectations of price rises fell from 6pc to 5pc.

Survey respondents in the capital viewed the construction of new units and the Central Bank's mortgage lending rules as the joint primary factors for this.

The SCSI/CBI survey is a sentiment survey of chartered auctioneers and estate agents as well as industry stakeholders such as economists, market analysts and academics.

It comes weeks after the Irish Independent/Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average House Price Index also revealed signs of prices slowing.

Overall, the price of a semi-detached house in Dublin averages €443,333, which is well above the generally accepted maximum borrowing range of up to €320,000 for a dual-income couple with average salaries.

New mortgage lending jumps 49pc at Permanent TSB  08 November 2018

Publication: Irish Independent
Author: Ellie Donnelly



Permanent TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding. Photo: Collins

New mortgage lending at Permanent TSB has jumped 49pc year-on-year in the nine months to 30 September.

As a result, the bank’s market share of drawdowns increased to 14.7pc from 13.8pc, according to a trading update from the group.

"Whilst the mortgage market in Ireland continues to grow steadily, it remains competitive. We continue to carefully manage our offering maintaining price discipline and credit underwriting standards," Jeremy Masding, CEO of Permanent TSB, said.

Overall, and the banks said its performance continues to trend "in line with expectations."

Its new lending volume of €1bn represented a 48pc increase year-on-year.

On the matter of non-performing loans (NPLs), PTSB said that they had reduced by €0.1bn to €2.9bn from the first half of 2018 primarily due to some loans returning to a performing status.

The bank added that the completion of the sale of €2.1bn of NPLs announced in July, and known as Project Glas, continues to progress in line with management expectations.

When completed the sale will reduce the NPL ratio down to 16pc from 25pc.

"We continue to manage the remainder of the NPL portfolio and are committed to reducing the NPL ratio to single digits in the medium term, as per regulatory guidelines, whilst protecting capital," Mr Masding said.

Customer deposits of €17.1bn were broadly unchanged from the first half of 2018.

Meanwhile performing loans amounted to €15.3bn, a marginal increase from the first half of 2018.

The bank’s pro-forma Common Equity Tier 1 (CET 1) ratio on a fully loaded basis and transitional basis increased to 13.9pc and 16.7pc respectively compared to 13.4pc and 16.2pc at the first half of 2018. This is a measurement of the bank's core capital compared to its total risk weighted assets.

The increase is mainly due to profits earned in the third quarter of 2018, and a marginal reduction in risk weighted assets.

Majority of estate agents expect house prices to keep rising in 2019  08 November 2018

Central Bank and SCSI survey finds expectation of slower rate of property inflation

Publication: Irish Times
Author: Colin Gleeson




The agents surveyed expect national price inflation to be 2 per cent in 2019.

Six out of 10 people working in the property sector expect the pace of house price increases to slow in the coming year, research by the Central Bank and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has found.

The number who expect prices to remain steady or decline in the next 12 months also increased, according to a “sentiment survey” of chartered auctioneers, estate agents and industry stakeholders such as economists, analysts and academics.

Some 59 per cent of respondents said they expected house prices to increase nationally in the coming year, down from 78 per cent in the last survey.

The agents surveyed expect national price inflation to be 2 per cent for the coming year – down from 5 per cent in the second quarter – and 5 per cent over the next three years, down from 8 per cent.

This is the third survey in a row in which the predicted rate of price inflation has eased.

Regarding Dublin, respondents expected house prices to rise by 3 per cent over the next year and for increases over the next three years to be 5 per cent, down from 6 per cent.
Value and Brexit

A number of factors – specifically the perception of value and Brexit – were deemed to be the primary drivers behind the anticipated price changes at national level. Respondents viewed the construction of new units and the Central Bank’s mortgage measures as the main factors for their views on the Dublin market.

John O’Sullivan, an estate agent and SCSI member, said it was clear from the survey findings that affordability was now impacting house price inflation and, as a result, the rate was moderating.

“The cost of accommodation whether as a purchaser or tenant is the single biggest challenge faced by those in areas of high demand,” he said.

“While price inflation has waned for high-value property, it’s likely that it will also slow for other property classes over the short term. That said the entry level, where demand is very high, is the most active and the least impacted.”

Mr O’Sullivan, a director with Lisney in Dublin, said another factor was that in some cases asking prices have been set too high based on vendor and agent expectations.

“If prices are pushed beyond buyers’ ability to pay, it’s inevitable prices will come back,” he said. “That said, the market is reasonably active and one of the main challenges the sector faces is the time it takes to close a sale due to the protracted legal process.”

Almost two-thirds of people believe house prices will rise in next 12 months  30 October 2018

Source: Irish Times, Tuesday 30th October 2018

Most say Government is not doing enough to address housing crisis, finds MyHome.ie

Some 31 per cent of first-time buyers were aged 25-30, according to the MyHome.ie survey. Photograph:  Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some 31 per cent of first-time buyers were aged 25-30, according to the MyHome.ie survey. 
Photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Almost two-thirds of people expect house prices to rise in the next 12 months, but one in five expect prices to stay the same and 15 per cent think they will fall, a survey by MyHome.ie found.

Among those who believe house prices will increase further, the largest cohort (some 42 per cent of all respondents) believe they will do so by up to 5 per cent, according to the survey of 1,700 people.

Only 18 per cent think prices will rise by 5-10 per cent, with just 4 per cent expecting a surge of more than 10 per cent.

Respondents were in agreement on the question of whether the Government was doing enough to address the housing crisis: some 93 per cent said it should be doing more.

“Given that the Taoiseach has already said the Government would be judged on how it deals with the housing crisis, the fact that the overwhelming majority of people believe they should be doing more, will no doubt be a concern,” said Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie, which is owned by The Irish Times.

Scheme awareness

Ms Keegan said it was interesting to see that awareness of the Help to Buy scheme was quite high among first-time buyers at 72 per cent, but awareness of other Government schemes such as Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans and the Mortgage Allowance scheme were much lower at 12 per cent, while awareness of the Shared Ownership scheme was lower again at 4 per cent.

According to the property website’s survey, some 31 per cent of first-time buyers were aged 25-30, while 29 per cent were aged 31-35 and a further 16 per cent were aged 36-40.

The rising age profile of the group has been a recurring feature of surveys in recent years, Ms Keegan noted. This is mainly the result of the shortage of affordable housing.

Some 40 per cent of those surveyed said they expected to buy a new home in the next 12 months, with 34 per cent indicating that they were undecided and 26 per cent saying they had no plans to buy.

MyHome.ie Q2 2018 Property Report in association with Davy  25 September 2018

Main Findings


  • Annual rate of house price inflation slows in Q2 due to Central Bank lending limits
  • Annual price inflation nationally is up 7.2%, the slowest pace in two years
  • "Slowdown in house price inflation should be welcomed"
  • Dublin housing stock has risen by 25% to 5,000 since last year


While house prices are continuing to rise the rate of inflation is slowing due in the main to tighter bank lending according to the latest house price report from MyHome.ie.
Asking prices rose 7.2% in the year to Q2 2018 – the slowest pace of inflation in two years – and down from 9.5% in Q1. In Dublin, asking price inflation has slowed to 6.8%, down from 11% at the turn of the year.
The report, which is published in association with Davy, found that the prices of newly listed properties nationally rose by 3% in Q2 while prices in Dublin rose by 2.2%. Newly listed properties are seen as the most reliable indicator of future price movements.
The median asking price for new sales nationally is €270K while in Dublin it’s €384K.
The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at Davy, said that the slowdown in house price inflation should be welcomed as double-digit price growth could not be sustained over the long term.
"The Celtic Tiger years demonstrated the folly of allowing rising leverage in the mortgage market to drive double-digit house price inflation indefinitely. This time round, the Central Bank's 3.5 X loan-to-income (LTI) threshold is preventing households from chasing prices higher by taking on excessive mortgage debts.”
"We would normally expect the slowdown in asking prices to feed through into transaction prices within the next three to six months. For now, we are seeing stronger price gains in less expensive areas of Dublin and among the less expensive property types. For example, one-bedroom apartments in Dublin are up 11.4% on the year but four bedroom detached houses are only up 2.3%"
"Of course, Ireland still faces an acute housing shortage but unlike the past there is a more sensible debate on how to solve the problem. Short-term ineffectual measures from the early 2000s such as allowing increased leverage on mortgage loans, tax breaks or mortgage interest relief have been left by the wayside. Instead the debate has focused on planning reform, housing density and efficient use of state land and infrastructure funds" MacCoille concluded.
Angela Keegan, Managing Director of MyHome.ie said the improvement in stock levels, particularly in Dublin was most welcome.
"Our data shows that stock levels nationally are up 3.7% on the year to 21,600, the first positive growth since 2015. In Dublin where the housing shortage is most acute, stock has risen by 25% to 5,000 homes which is very positive. With few homes now in negative equity transactions among existing homeowners with mortgage debt are on the rise. There are also now 409 new housing developments listed for sale on MyHome – well up from the 342 in mid-2017”
"While some thought the lending rules would hold back activity, figures from the Property Price Register show transactions in the first five months of 2018 were up 6% and that the increase for the year may well be closer to 10%, bringing the level of transactions for the year to 60,000. While we are still clearly in the midst of a housing crisis, all the key indicators are moving in the right direction as we inch closer to a normally functioning property market" Keegan said.

3 bed semi-detached asking prices

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New data shows house prices nationwide flatline - with a semi-D now beyond reach for ordinary families  25 September 2018


Author: Mark Keenan
September 24 2018 2:30 AM


House prices are flatlining in Dublin and Ireland's other cities.

In postcoded Dublin, the price of average three-bed semi showed almost no increase (0.1pc) in the past three months 

Data released today shows average home in Cork city has also stopped increasing in price 



House prices are flatlining in Dublin and Ireland's other cities - with even an average 'semi-D' out of ordinary families' price range.

In large tracts of Dublin, the past three months have seen barely any increase in the price of a typical family home.

That's despite the huge shortage of property in the capital and an estimated 18 months' worth of pent-up demand for accommodation.

Other cities are also flatlining as families cannot afford to reach any higher, with strict limits on mortgages in play.

Workers are now having to travel to the far fringes of the commuter belt in order to get a foot on the property ladder, according to the Irish Independent/Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average House Price Index.

In postcoded Dublin, the price of an average three-bed semi showed almost no increase (0.1pc) in the past three months, with South County Dublin prices exactly the same as three months ago.

North County Dublin is showing an increase of 0.8pc over the quarter.

Over the year, South County Dublin recorded a rise of just 2.4pc with the North County hitting 7.5pc - largely because there are more relatively affordable homes there.

Overall, the price of a semi-detached house in Dublin has increased by just 2.7pc over the year, with the inability of potential buyers to get a mortgage keeping prices down. A semi in the capital now averages €443,333, which is well above the generally accepted maximum borrowing range of up to €320,000 for a dual-income couple with average salaries.


The data released today shows that the average home in Cork city has also stopped increasing in price at €317,500, the same as it was in June.

Galway city semi-Ds are up 0.9pc over three months with inflation now slowing.

Meanwhile, Limerick city semi-Ds have seen their prices frozen at €200,000, with zero inflation over the previous three months.

In contrast, strong increases in prices were experienced in locations where city commuters are now tending to head in search of affordable homes which are within their mortgage range.

Cork County had some of the strongest increases nationwide in three months with homes up 4.7pc in the quarter while Galway County saw a 3.2pc rise.

Limerick County prices soared by 6.7pc, the second highest in the country and a startling increase of more than 2pc per month.

Commuter locations where mid to low-earning Dubliners are heading to find affordable homes also showed inflationary spikes.

In Laois, a county in which agents are reporting big interest from Dubliners, prices rose by 5.4pc in just three months to €195,000.

This shows that many city dwellers, fearful of surging rents and the insecurities of tenancy, are opting instead for ownership with long-distance commutes attached.

The Real Estate Alliance bases its data on actual sales, as opposed to asking prices, of three-bed semis, the country's most common home type.

"There is no doubt that the Central Bank [mortgage lending] rules are having an effect in the market, and are achieving what they set out to do in terms of keeping a lid on prices," said REA spokesperson Barry McDonald.


"In the Celtic Tiger years, all prices rose across the board, but in 2018 the system is actually working and the only price inflation is in a new homes market that is concentrated in pockets."

There has been a 3pc reduction in cash buyers in the market in the past three months, with mortgage-approved house hunters now making up 78pc of purchasers.

This trend further increases the effect of the Central Bank rules on the market.

"The second-hand market has become extremely price- sensitive, not just in Dublin, and when we look across the country it is the areas with quality housing stock available for under €270,000 that are achieving highest growth," added Mr McDonald.

The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €234,824 - a rise of 1pc on €232,441 three months ago.

A warm summer also played a cooling role in the market, according to Limerick agent Michael O'Connor.

He said: "September appears to be the month when we caught up on lost time.

"Once the kids returned to school, the market accelerated with a noticeable increase in transactions."

The highest rate of increase in the country overall was experienced in Carrigallen in Leitrim.

Leitrim prices were up 7.5pc, making it the fastest-inflating county.

Source: Irish Independent

Couples earning up to €90,000 may avail of new affordable housing scheme after Budget  21 September 2018

Author: Philip Ryan
Date: 20 September 2018

House-hunting couples who earn up to €90,000 a year may be able to avail of a new affordable housing scheme after the Budget.

Fianna Fáil is demanding the introduction of an affordable housing scheme which will see homeowners enter into a shared-ownership arrangement with local authorities.

The scheme, which is central to Budget negotiations, will see local authorities buy houses from developers before offering them at significantly subsidised rates to first-time buyers. Local authorities will retain a stake in the properties until the home is sold or bought out by the property owner.

The scheme will be targeted at people earning between €30,000 and €90,000.

It is envisaged that Dublin local authorities would subsidise houses by as much as 50pc under the scheme which aims to provide houses priced between €160,000 and €200,000. Fianna Fáil is insisting on the scheme being introduced next year to ensure there is no delay in the roll-out of affordable housing.

The party is also proposing a more comprehensive long-term affordable housing scheme that would involve local authorities building new homes. This would see €200m earmarked to build 4,000 affordable houses.

Photo: Darragh O'Brien / Photographer: Tom Burke

The two schemes form the backbone of Fianna Fáil's demands ahead of the final budget of the confidence and supply arrangement.

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Darragh O'Brien, along with the party's budget negotiator Barry Cowen, yesterday met Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe and Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to discuss the proposal.

A Fianna Fáil source said it was "making slow progress" on affordable housing but insisted the two new schemes are at the centre of its budget demands.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will meet over the coming weeks to determine how much funding is available for social housing.

Source: Irish Independent

New State agency to free up land for ‘150,000 homes over 20 years’  13 September 2018

Land Development Agency will designate 30 zones in Dublin and 10 in Cork for building

Date: 13.09.18
Editor: Fiach Kelly Deputy Political Editor

Photograph: Alan Betson

The agency “will demand” that almost a third of homes built on its sites must be affordable houses. 

About 30 zones in Dublin city centre, and 10 in Cork city, are to be designated as special regeneration areas within which State lands will be released for housing, under a new agency to be announced on Thursday.

The areas to be identified by the Land Development Agency are a mix of previously announced schemes and new zones. The Government says the agency will pave the way for the construction of 150,000 homes over 20 years.

Among the areas in the capital to be designated “regeneration areas” is the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum, which is earmarked for the construction of 1,500 homes. In Cork, the regeneration of the docks would provide a further 15,000 homes, it is claimed.

It is also understood that areas to the west of Dublin city centre, along the Naas Road, will also be earmarked for development.

The new agency, which will have compulsory purchase powers, will build land banks by both releasing State lands for development and acquiring private land holdings nearby.

A memo brought to Cabinet on the issue yesterday said it would highlight “key privately held, underutilised lands with strategic development potential, such as those subject to the vacant site levy and the holdings of religious orders”.

Consistent flow

The agency, to be announced by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, will have €1.25 billion in funding and will seek to further assemble land banks into the future to ensure a consistent flow of house building.

Initially, some 30 zones in Dublin will be identified for “significant regeneration opportunities”. The Cabinet heard a “consolidated approach provides the opportunity to drive the regeneration of urban quarters in the city”.

Among the Dublin city centre zones are Grangegorman; Broadstone; O’Devaney Gardens; St Bricin’s Hospital; Infirmary Road; holdings by CIÉ, such as the rail works in Inchicore; St Teresa’s Gardens; Newmarket Square; Meath Hospital; Dublin Institute of Technology sites; Cathal Brugha Barracks; Harold’s Cross Greyhound Stadium and Portobello GAA pitch; the Irish Glass Bottle site; Bridgefoot Street; Arbour Hill prison; Collins Barracks; Boland’s Mills; the North Dock of Dublin Port; East Wall and St James’s Gate.

The sites in Cork city are the Tivoli Docks; Páirc Uí Chaoimh; the “old Ford site and centre park road”; a site formerly used by the National Oil Reserves Agency; an ESB site at the Cork marina; two holdings around Kent Station; Campfield and Marina Park.

Drive down cost

It is claimed the agency will seek to remove land speculation and drive down the cost of land, which it is hoped will lead to cheaper house prices and increased availability. It will “smooth the peaks and troughs of Ireland’s land and housing market”, the Cabinet was told.

The agency will, however, demand that almost a third of homes built on its sites must be affordable houses.

The price of an affordable home – or the income of those who would qualify to purchase such a property – is yet to be defined by the Government.

Sources pointed to other State housing schemes that roughly allowed a single person on up to €50,000 a year or a couple with a joint income of up to €75,000 a year to qualify for affordable housing.

Cost of building a new family home rose 7.5% in past year  11 September 2018

Cost of building a new family home rose 7.5% in past year

Linesight estimates building 100sq m dwelling costs between €126,000 and €161,000

Author: Barry O'Halloran


A new report estimates that the construction industry will be worth €21 billion to the economy this year. Photograph: Frank Miller

The cost of building a family home has risen 7.5 per cent to as much as €161,000 in the past year, according to new figures from a leading quantity surveyors group.

A report published by Linesight on Tuesday estimates that the construction industry will be worth €21 billion to the economy this year.

The surveyor firm’s figures show the pure construction cost of an average estate home now runs at between €1,260 a sq m to €1,610 a sq m.

Linesight bases its calculation on a 100sq m (1,076sq ft) dwelling, implying a total building cost of €126,000 to €161,000 for the average family home.

Rising wages, fuelled by demand for workers, and more expensive raw materials, have pushed the cost of building a home up by 7.5 per cent over the past year from the €117,000 to €150,000 range.

Linesight – previously known as Bruce Shaw – is publishing its figures in an update to its yearly handbook, which gives a detailed snapshot of the state of the Republic’s construction industry.

Growth

The data shows a similar rate of growth in the cost of building apartments, from €2,200 a sq m last year to €2,380 a sq m now.

Listed Irish house builder Glenveagh said, when publishing results for the first six months of this year, that it was seeing costs rise at about 4 per cent a year.

Rival Cairn Homes, meanwhile, calculated that “annualised build cost inflation” was 2.9 per cent when it released its interim numbers recently.

Linesight’s calculations are based on an extensive database and the construction industry regards its handbook as a reliable benchmark for costs.

The surveyors’ figures only give the cost of actually building a home, which is mainly the price of labour, raw materials, heating, plumbing and electrical installation.

The total cost of a family home can be twice that outlined in the company’s report. Other expenses, including buying the land on which the house is built, VAT, finance, professional fees, and local authority charges and taxes, can push the expense past the €330,000-mark.

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office last month showed that the average price of a home – new or second-hand – was €291,579 in May.

Demand

However, prices breached the €500,000 mark in Dublin local council areas, such as Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. On average, people were paying €345,000 for a home in the capital in June.

Linesight indicated that the squeeze on housing is likely to continue as the rate at which builders are completing new homes has yet to catch up with demand.

“The number of dwellings completed for the first half of 2018 was 7,909, which is 30 per cent more than were built in the same period in 2017,” it said.

The Government’s development plan, Project Ireland 2040, estimates that 550,000 homes will needed over the next 20 years.

Meanwhile, Linesight indicates that the recovery in construction is set to continue. Its report notes that while there are indications of demand growing in areas outside the capital, such as Cork, the greater Dublin area remains the focus of the industry’s return.


Source: Irish Times

The complete guide to new homes  11 September 2018


Author: Fran Power
Sate: Tuesday 11 September 2018

Latest figures reveal mixed news for house and apartment hunters, writes Fran Power

Stock photo: Bloomberg

Figures are translating into more homes for first-time buyers, in particular, who have been waiting to get a foot on the property ladder. 

The autumn new homes season gets well and truly underway this weekend. And at last there is welcome news for house hunters as the number of developments launching is up and the trend looks set to continue.

However, those hoping to secure an apartment to escape the heat of the rental market or to downsize from a larger property, will find little to celebrate.

Latest figures from the CSO show an increase in new homes completed of 34.1pc year-on-year to June 2018, with a total of 7,909 new homes in the first half of this year. Of these, new homes schemes made up a total of 4,794 - a 54.4pc increase on the previous year.

In contrast, apartments showed an increase in completions of just 6.2pc on the same period last year, a total of 980 in total.

In all, a total of 14,446 new homes were completed in 2017, and Central Bank projections are for numbers to reach 17,500 this year and continue upwards in 2019 to reach 22,000.
Most new homes aimed at FTBs

On the ground, those figures are translating into more homes for first-time buyers, in particular, who have been waiting to get a foot on the property ladder.

The sales for new homes in the first half of the year with selling agent Sherry FitzGerald illustrate the buying power of FTBs. Of 1,100 new homes, says Ivan Gaine, head of new homes, "80pc of transactions were under €500,000; 40pc of these were below €365,000 and 40pc between €365,000 and €500,000."

All would potentially qualify for the Help to Buy scheme and it has spurred developers on to deliver to this end of the market. Gaine believes the figures are an accurate reflection of how the market as a whole is divvied up.

However, while supply is inching upwards, estimates put the actual number of houses needed each year at between 30,000 and 35,000 - to match demand from population growth, immigration and smaller household sizes. "Unfortunately," says Ken MacDonald, managing director of selling agent Hooke & MacDonald, "supply is just not meeting the demand. It's way short."

Activity is up, says Gaine, but from a very low base. Construction may be up by 30pc, but figures fell short of demand by 20,000 houses last year, and will be short by 25,000 next year, and maybe by 15,000 the following year.

"With so many stakeholders, the delivery time from consent - even with the new fast track planning system - to delivery, with the best will in the world, can be anything from 24 to 36 months," he says. And it may be five years before that shortfall is met.
Price slowdown

Perhaps the next most important concern for new homes buyers is affordability and whether the price inflation seen since 2013 will continue.

The average asking price of a house in Dublin from March to June this year was €374,885 according to the latest House Price Report by property website Daft.ie. This is a rise of 1.5pc over the previous year. The average price nationwide was €254,000, a rise of 5.6pc. In other words, the rate of increase in Dublin prices is slowing, while prices outside the city are playing catch-up.

MacDonald says: "Prices haven't gone up in the new homes market over the last 18 months like they have in the second-hand market. That is probably what has caused some of the second-hand market prices to come back a little bit. The new homes pricing has been pretty consistent. The only increases have been increases required for complying with new regulations or increases in materials or wages. As a result, we're finding the new homes market very strong, particularly for FTBs."

Another factor in price increases in existing developments, according to David Browne, head of new homes at Savills, is the fact that each phase may release a different type or size of house: "You might come out with three-beds first in phase 1; then Phase 2, the way the site is laid out, you could have more four-beds coming in."

However, he does see some price inflation, "It's modest. It might be €5,000, €10,000 in some cases. And it would very much depend on how many were sold in Phase 1. There's nothing mad, there are no huge jumps."

"Prices depend on development and location really," says MacDonald. "Some developments are still being sold this year at the same price as last year."

By year end, expect to see rises of no more than low single figures, says Ivan Gaine, who points out that in the FTB market, prices are being constrained by the upper limit of €500,000 on the Help to Buy scheme and stringent Central Bank mortgage ceilings.

"The new homes market is very different in that we have very clear caps on affordability," says Browne. We have caps in terms of the land costs so it's much stricter in terms of what we can do and what you can produce."

Demand for apartments sky high

While choice has improved for house purchasers, those seeking an apartment in Dublin are faced with few options.

"What we don't have coming to market is apartments," says Browne. "We've Lansdowne Place [a luxury development in Dublin 4], we've high-end apartments, but other than that a lot of the apartment schemes have been sold off to the private rental sector so there's a gaping hole in the market for people trading down.

"If you look at Clontarf or Blackrock or Monkstown or any of these mature markets that are looking to trade down into stock, there is nothing," he says. "No one is looking at the people with four-bed semi-detached houses and where they are moving down to, they don't want 1,600 sq ft, they want 800sq ft, and they have nowhere to go to."

"A lot of the FTBs would love to buy a small two-bed or even one-bed apartment," says Browne, "but they don't exist new. The viability in apartment construction needs to come back to the market so that, in a site of three- and four-bed semis, you can deliver the more affordable smaller units that just don't exist at the moment."

Commmuter belt grows

Lack of supply, coupled with tighter mortgage lending has seen a shift to the greater Dublin area and outer commuter belt in the last 18 months.

"We're seeing more people in the Dublin rental market buying here because the rent they're paying is more than they would pay in a mortgage, and they get more space and value for money," says Will Coonan of Coonan New Homes, who handles sales for many schemes in Kildare and Meath.

The average house price in Kildare is €263,729, or €259,696 in Meath, according to Daft.ie, still well below the Dublin South City average of €411,959.
Regional city homes

There are signs too that Cork, Galway and Limerick are finally seeing the number of new homes coming to market increase - though many schemes are releasing subsequent phases rather than brand-new developments.

Galway, however, sees two new schemes arrive this autumn, one in commuter hotspot Moycullen and one closer to the city at Monivea Road, which are bound to be snapped up in a city that has seen little development since the crash.
Buyers know their limits

In the meantime, David Browne is seeing a more informed buyer out in the market.

"It's very different now. The buyers know exactly what they want, they have a number in their mind, they have a limit they will pay, they have loan approval and everything ready to go. So it's very solid and a very good indicator of how the market will go." 

Source: Irish Independent

A 'soft landing' again predicted: House prices to rise rapidly through 2019 before easing - S&P  04 September 2018

A 'soft landing' again predicted: House prices to rise rapidly through 2019 before easing - S&P

Charlie Weston
September 3 2018 12:32 PM
Irish Independent

House prices in this country are to keep rising rapidly this year and next, according to the latest report from international ratings Standards and Poor’s.

This is in contrast to a string of other reports that indicate price rises are slowing down as buyers come up against Central Bank lending limits, which are restricting what they can borrow.

Standard and Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings predicts house prices are set to grow by 9.5pc this year and 8pc in 2019.

It cites housing supply catching up with demand, and the labour market tightening even further as reasons for the property price rises.

The report implies that we are heading for a soft landing.

It says once supply improves however, “excessive pressure on house prices should gradually subside”.

House prices have continued to increase at double-digit rates in 2018 so far. In June, they were up 12pc on a year earlier.

S&P analysts wrote in a report on Europe’s housing market that Ireland is suffering from a chronic lack of properties to buy.

“Ongoing supply shortages will continue to be a factor underpinning house price inflation.”

It adds that increased activity by institutional investors, both domestic and international, has also underpinned house price growth.

In 2017, almost one-fifth of all residential property transactions were by institutional investors, including small-scale buy-to-let buyers, S&P noted.

S&P says the ongoing shortages of properties to buy will underpin house price inflation

The report states that even if house completions were to continue to grow at their “extraordinarily strong current rates” it will still be 2021 before supply meets demand, which is estimated at around 35,000 units needed a year.

House building was up 30pc in the first half of this year, which works out at an annualised figure of 7,950 units, S&P says.

As supply improves, excessive pressure on house prices should gradually subside.

Property price peak in Ireland is in sight   28 August 2018

Property price peak in Ireland is in sight

Author: Charlie Weston
Date: August 22 2018 2:30 AM

File photo2
The pace of the surging property market will ease off as prices have now hit the very outer limits that families can pay, experts predict.
Buyers are now being restricted in what they can bid due to Central Bank lending limits - while prices have risen so much they are now increasingly beyond reach.

The latest official figures show property prices were up 12pc in the past year.

But most industry experts now expect prices to rise by 5pc over the next few months, according to a survey carried out by the Central Bank and the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland.



Archive: House hunters queuing for five days before new homes go on sale

The survey involved estate agents, economists, academics and surveyors.

Central Bank lending limits are being cited as the reason why price increases are slowing down, with some evidence of greater supply of properties for sale.

The fall in price growth expectations is particularly marked in Dublin, where the one-year expectation fell to just 2pc.

Just over half of the experts expect to see price growth in the capital, down from an overwhelming 98pc at the end of last year.
|According to the report: "The availability of bank credit was deemed to be the primary factor behind the anticipated price changes both nationally and in Dublin." Other issues, including level of interest rates and the perception of value, were also cited.

This is a reversal of the findings of previous surveys, where a lack of supply was cited as the main influencer of house price developments.

One of those who contributed to the survey, economist Dermot O'Leary of Goodbody Stockbrokers, said the market is being affected by the Central Bank's mortgage rules.

He said some banks are refusing to accept mortgage applications from borrowers looking for exemptions from the Central Bank mortgage rules on loan-to-value and loan-to-income.

"This is consistent with the slowdown in the growth of mortgage approvals over the past few months," Mr O'Leary said.

The median, or middle, value of a property nationwide has risen by €27,000 in the year to June compared with the same month last year. The median price paid by households for a home this year is €237,000.

A 5pc price rise would add close to €12,000 to the price of a property nationwide. That would take median prices to almost €249,000 nationally.

If Dublin prices rise by 2pc it would mean the median price going from €360,000 to €367,000 by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, new figures show that 4,419 new homes were completed in the April to June period, according to the Central Statistics Office.

This represents annual growth of 34pc.

This takes the year-to-date total to 7,945.

The Greater Dublin Area continues to represent the lion's share of new housing output.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "I'm pleased to see that in the last three months 4,400 new homes have been completed in Ireland. That's a 34pc increase on the same period last year.

"I think it puts us in a good position to meet our target of building 20,000 new homes in Ireland this year.

"We have a housing crisis in Ireland. The ambition is to build new homes and more homes.

"It is going to take time but we are getting there."

Source: Irish Independent

Dublin homes over-valued by 25pc as report warns global boom is ending  28 August 2018

Dublin homes over-valued by 25pc as report warns global boom is ending

Author: Charlie Weston
Date: August 28 2018 2:30 AM




Property prices in Dublin are over-valued when compared with the incomes of people in the capital city, according to international research.

It has been calculated property in Dublin is 25pc over-valued when set against incomes.

The research conducted by 'The Economist' magazine also found that price growth in Ireland's capital has out-paced growth in 22 other global cities over the past five years.

The publication found property prices in Dublin rose by 62pc following the property crash that started a decade ago.

'The Economist' looked at median household incomes, or middle income levels, and compared them with house prices.

This is in an effort to analyse whether market dynamics are being driven by "fundamentals or froth".

After comparing house prices to long-run median disposable household income, the study found prices in Dublin are 25pc over-valued.

The latest median, or middle, value of a property in Dublin is €360,000, according to the Central Statistics Office.

A 25pc over-valuation would imply the average property in the capital should be €270,000.

In Hong Kong prices were said to be 94pc over-valued, and by 65pc in Vancouver.

London prices were found to be 50pc over-valued when compared with median incomes.

The publication found prices across these cities may now be at a turning point.

Demand, supply and the cost of money could mean the international boom is ending: "As demand weakens, supply strengthens and mortgage rates rise, the bull run in housing may be drawing to an end," it said.

The new research comes as experts have predicted price rises are due to slow down sharply because prices have risen so much they have now hit the limits people can afford.

Buyers are being restricted in what they can bid due to Central Bank lending limits.

Property experts predict a sharp slow-down this year.

Most expect prices to rise by just 5pc over the next few months, according to a survey carried out by the Central Bank and the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland of estate agents, economists, academics and surveyors.

The latest official figures show a 12pc rise.

Central Bank lending limits are being cited as the reason why increases are slowing, while there is some evidence of more properties for sale.

The fall in growth expectations is particularly marked in Dublin, where the one-year expectation fell to just 2pc.

Just over half of the experts expect price growth in the capital - down from 98pc at the end of last year.

Source: Irish Independent

Investment in residential property far exceeded commercial in 2017  28 August 2018


Investment in residential property far exceeded commercial in 2017

Falling investment in commercial came as residential spend increased to €14.4bn

Written by Peter Hamilton, Irish Times 27th August 2018
Residential capital spending in Dublin rose 23 per cent to €7.5 billion last year and represented more than 52 per cent of the overall market. Photograph: iStock

Spending on residential property rose by 24 per cent to €14.4 billion last yearwhile investment on commercial property fell, a new report has found.
The analysis of the Republic’s overall property market by commercial real estate agent Cushman & Wakefield also predicts that capital spending on residential property will rise again in 2018.

The breakdown of residential versus commercial investment bucks the trend between 2014 and 2016, where capital spend on residential was around 67 per cent of the total property spend.

Spend

The overall spend across both property types only increased 1 per cent to €17.9 billion, the report says. The relatively small percentage increase comes after the volume of capital deployed on commercial transactions dipped almost 43 per cent. The report flagged 2016 as an “exceptional year” and noted that Dublin absorbed 67 per cent of the investment.

But it also said anecdotal evidence is suggesting investors are becoming increasingly comfortable with the regional commercial market on the back of strengthening regional economies. Over €266 million of commercial properties were transacted in Cork in 2017, compared to €111 million the previous year. In Galway, activity rose by 15 per cent, resulting in €107 million worth of deals completing.

The picture in residential showed investment in every county increasing, with double digit growth recorded in all but three counties.

Capital spend in Dublin rose 23 per cent to €7.5 billion and represented over 52 per cent of the overall market. With €1.3 billion transacted, Cork was the second strongest county in terms of activity. Meath, Wicklow and Kildare also recorded strong annual growth rates of 55 per cent, 30 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

Cushman & Wakefield’s chief economist Marian Finnegan said 2018 looks set to be “another solid year”.
Investment

“Commercial investment alone for the first half of the year is significantly higher than the same period last year. Notably, led by a number of larger value transactions and an uplift in overall development land transactions, the commercial property market looks set to exceed 2017’s performance,” she said.

Growth in residential is also forecast to continue this year with a 12.5 per cent uplift already recorded in the volume of home purchases annually to the end of the first quarter.

Given the ongoing supply constraints in the Republic’s residential market, the report flagged as a positive the fact that around 50,800 transactions were recorded on the property price register last year, an increase of 14 per cent on 2016.

This year will likely see institutional investors continue snapping up residential properties, the report said, buoyed by a positive economic outlook, a growing population and strong residential rental growth.

The ‘Economist’ says Dublin house prices are 25% overvalued  28 August 2018

The ‘Economist’ says Dublin house prices are 25% overvalued 

Dublin still more affordable than Vancouver, Paris and London, according to publication

Written by Irish Times Fiona Reddan, on 27th August 2018

House prices in Dublin have rocketed on the back of a lack of supply


House prices in Dublin are 25 per cent overvalued against income, according to the Economist, which also finds in a new survey that property price growth in the city has outpaced growth in 22 other global cities over the past five years.

The finding from the influential newspaper comes on the back of continued price growth in Dublin and across the country, with prices nationally now up 79.6 per cent from their 2012 lows, with Dublin prices almost doubling, up 92.7 per cent.

Earlier this month the newspaper published its new house price index which covers 22 of the world’s “most vibrant” cities, including Sydney, London and San Francisco. It found buoyant price growth across these cities, noting that the average price of a home has risen 34 per cent in real terms over the past five years, while in seven cities (including Dublin) it rose by more than half.

Now it says that global house prices – which in 14 cities are above their pre-crisis peak by an average of 45 per cent – could be near a turning point. The average rate of house-price inflation across 22 cities has slowed, it found from 6.2 per cent annually 12 months ago to 4.7 per cent now, while in six cities prices have fallen from recent peaks.

But the prospects for the Dublin market may be less bearish than elsewhere.
House prices driving Londoners out of capital
Irish consumers and firms subdued amid no-deal Brexit fears
Central bankers struggle to understand modern economics
Dublin Prices

Back in 2003 the newspaper made its famous pronouncement that Irish house prices would fall by 20 per cent to the disbelief of almost everyone; in fact they ultimately fell by a multiple of that.

This time around, however, the Economist is not suggesting that house prices in the capital are set to fall. Rather, in an effort to analyse whether market dynamics are being driven by “fundamentals or froth”, the Economist has compared them with median household incomes. If prices rise faster in the long run than the earnings that service mortgages, they may be unsustainable – unless incomes rise also.

In comparing house prices to long-run median disposable household income, it finds that prices in Dublin are 25 per cent overvalued. This is considerably less than its estimates for other cities, which include Hong Kong (+94 per cent); Paris (+70 per cent); Vancouver (+65 per cent); and London (+50 per cent), but higher than Zurich and Madrid (+15 per cent). Just four cities in the survey have prices at or under fair value: Tokyo, Milan, New York and Singapore.

Turning point


The newspaper says that prices across these cities may now be at a turning point, as the three reasons why cities have experienced a property boom – and why it may now be ending – are demand, supply and the cost of money.

“As demand weakens, supply strengthens and mortgage rates rise, the bull run in global cities’ housing may be drawing to an end,” it says.

The Economist points to potential falling demand, as the growth in globalised cities’ population will soon start to slow – for example, London lost 100,000 people to the rest of Britain in the year to June 2017, while foreign capital – not so much an issue in Ireland – is also on the wane elsewhere. Secondly, supply – in Ireland as elsewhere – is finally ticking upwards, even if it still isn’t sufficient.

Finally, the magazine cites an end to cheap mortgages, and bonds becoming attractive again, as interest rates advance.

Growth factors behind the Irish market may be slightly different, but with everyone describing the latest upturn in prices as a boom driven by lack of supply, it’s still worth noting a point made by the Economist editor who made that famous prophecy back in 2003. Speaking in Dublin in 2005, then economics editor Pam Woodall noted that some economies rely on “common fallacies” to convince themselves that everything was going to be all right.

And one of these fallacies? Believing that a fixed supply of land and rising population mean house prices will always rise.

Commercial Property Market To "Pause For Breath"   04 July 2018

Written by Robert McHugh, on 2nd Jul 2018.
 
Commercial property specialists CBRE today released their latest bi-monthly report focusing on the latest trends and transactions in all sectors of the Irish commercial property market. 
The report shows that particularly strong take-up was recorded in the Dublin office market in the first six months of 2018 with take-up in second quarter significantly boosted by the recent acquisition of 22,146m2 of office accommodation at the Boland’s Quay development in the south Docklands of the city.
In addition to strong volumes of take-up, a number of significant transactions are currently in negotiations and there are several unfulfilled mandates prevailing.
New research from CBRE shows that Dublin currently ranks 27th in a survey of global office occupancy costs, up from 29th place this time last year. With office rents in the suburbs of Dublin remaining at levels that are at least half that prevailing in the heart of the CBD, CBRE believe there is now tangible evidence of occupiers looking to move to more cost-effective locations such as the suburbs.
In addition to a notable increase in lettings to co-working and flexible office providers over the last 12 months, CBRE are increasingly seeing organisations introducing flexible working strategies in an effort to lower costs, improve employee engagement and increase productivity within their existing office buildings.
Following the completion of almost €1 billion of investment transactions in the Irish market in the first quarter of 2018, activity has continued at pace over recent months. Although a somewhat lower investment outturn is anticipated in the second quarter of 2018, there are several sizeable assets being marketed at present which will boost transactional activity further in the third and fourth quarters of 2018. Some further Asian investment is expected to materialise in the second half of the year.
CBRE say investors from a range of jurisdictions continue to be attracted to real estate investment opportunities in the Irish market, attracted by buoyant economic fundamentals and the relative strength of occupier market activity as well as comparatively attractive pricing. 
The commercial property specialists envisage a further shift in the sectoral split of investment spend over the coming months with an increasing proportion of investors seeking ‘alternative’ investment opportunities. PRS/Build to Rent continues to evolve as a mainstream sector of the Irish investment market in its own right. Indeed, according to CBRE, the volume of capital chasing residential investment opportunities in Ireland’s main cities continues to escalate with several investors who heretofore focussed primarily on traditional investment sectors such as offices and retail now also willing to consider investment opportunities in the residential sector. 
To some degree, this is a diversification play on a sector that is generally less susceptible to cyclical patterns, but investors are also attracted by the attractive yield profile and rental growth prospects in an Irish context. According to CBRE, most of the capital targeting the PRS/Build to Rent sector in the Irish market is looking to invest over a long-time horizon.
Commenting on the bi-monthly report, Executive Director & Head of Research at CBRE Ireland, Marie Hunt said, "Activity in each of the occupier markets remained strong throughout the first half of 2018, buoyed to a large degree by continued job creation in the Irish economy. The months of July and August will now see the pace slow a little with the focus shifting towards closing out many of the transactions that are either in legals or in negotiations at present before the next wave of activity commences in Autumn. Prime rents and yields in all sectors remain relatively stable at this juncture although further rental and capital value growth is anticipated in all sectors of the market in the second half of 2018."
She added, "Considering the strength of both the domestic Irish economy and occupational activity, demand for core real estate investment opportunities in the Irish market remains strong although there has been a notable sectoral shift in investor appetite over recent months with focus on the Build to Rent/PRS sector becoming increasingly evident. Another trend that has become evident over recent months is that an increasing proportion of transactions in the hotel, development and investment sectors are being conducted off-market."

MyHome.ie Q2 2018 Property Report in association with Davy  04 July 2018

MyHome.ie Q2 2018 Property Report

Main Findings

  • Annual rate of house price inflation slows in Q2 due to Central Bank lending limits
  • Annual price inflation nationally is up 7.2%, the slowest pace in two years
  • "Slowdown in house price inflation should be welcomed"
  • Dublin housing stock has risen by 25% to 5,000 since last year


While house prices are continuing to rise the rate of inflation is slowing due in the main to tighter bank lending according to the latest house price report from MyHome.ie.
Asking prices rose 7.2% in the year to Q2 2018 – the slowest pace of inflation in two years – and down from 9.5% in Q1. In Dublin, asking price inflation has slowed to 6.8%, down from 11% at the turn of the year.
The report, which is published in association with Davy, found that the prices of newly listed properties nationally rose by 3% in Q2 while prices in Dublin rose by 2.2%. Newly listed properties are seen as the most reliable indicator of future price movements.
The median asking price for new sales nationally is €270K while in Dublin it’s €384K.
The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at Davy, said that the slowdown in house price inflation should be welcomed as double-digit price growth could not be sustained over the long term.
"The Celtic Tiger years demonstrated the folly of allowing rising leverage in the mortgage market to drive double-digit house price inflation indefinitely. This time round, the Central Bank's 3.5 X loan-to-income (LTI) threshold is preventing households from chasing prices higher by taking on excessive mortgage debts.”
"We would normally expect the slowdown in asking prices to feed through into transaction prices within the next three to six months. For now, we are seeing stronger price gains in less expensive areas of Dublin and among the less expensive property types. For example, one-bedroom apartments in Dublin are up 11.4% on the year but four bedroom detached houses are only up 2.3%"
"Of course, Ireland still faces an acute housing shortage but unlike the past there is a more sensible debate on how to solve the problem. Short-term ineffectual measures from the early 2000s such as allowing increased leverage on mortgage loans, tax breaks or mortgage interest relief have been left by the wayside. Instead the debate has focused on planning reform, housing density and efficient use of state land and infrastructure funds" MacCoille concluded.
Angela Keegan, Managing Director of MyHome.ie said the improvement in stock levels, particularly in Dublin was most welcome.
"Our data shows that stock levels nationally are up 3.7% on the year to 21,600, the first positive growth since 2015. In Dublin where the housing shortage is most acute, stock has risen by 25% to 5,000 homes which is very positive. With few homes now in negative equity transactions among existing homeowners with mortgage debt are on the rise. There are also now 409 new housing developments listed for sale on MyHome – well up from the 342 in mid-2017”
"While some thought the lending rules would hold back activity, figures from the Property Price Register show transactions in the first five months of 2018 were up 6% and that the increase for the year may well be closer to 10%, bringing the level of transactions for the year to 60,000. While we are still clearly in the midst of a housing crisis, all the key indicators are moving in the right direction as we inch closer to a normally functioning property market" Keegan said.

3 bed semi-detached asking prices

PRICE DROP Irish house prices could start to fall over next two to three years – but we must be prepared for economy overheating, Central Bank Governor warns  11 May 2018

The regulator told politicians at the Oireachtas Finance Committee there is now a 'material risk' that home valuations will go into reverse by 2020 or 2021

10th May 2018, 1:50 pm
Publication: Irish Sun
Author: Kieran Dineen, Public Affairs Correspondent

HOUSE prices are likely to begin to fall in price over the next two to three years, according to the Governor of the Central Bank.

Philip Lane also believes we need to be prepared for the economy overheating – which could hamper Leo Varadkar’s plans to reduce income taxes further.
Central Bank Governor Philip Lane
Central Bank Governor Philip Lane
At the Oireachtas Finance Committee, the regulator told politicians there is now a “material risk” that home valuations will go into reverse by 2020 or 2021.

And he said anyone thinking of buying a property now needs to bear this in mind.

Mr Lane said this was due to a buildup of housing coming on stream along with other global factors.

Senator Kieran O’Donnell asked him about the “escalation in the price of houses for starter homes” which are now “outside the gambit of the ordinary person”.
Mr Lane said there is now a ‘material risk’ that home valuations will go into reverse by 2020 or 2021
Mr Lane said there is now a ‘material risk’ that home valuations will go into reverse by 2020 or 2021
Mr Lane said he fully recognised the “affordability crisis in the housing market” and insisted: “The only answer is to further increase the supply of housing.”

He had earlier pointed out the projections of 23,500 new units in 2018 and 28,500 in 2019 are “below current estimated housing demand of 30,000-35,000 per annum outlined in Project Ireland 2040”.

But the Governor later revealed: “I do think there is a material risk of a reverse of house prices… as supply builds up that will put downward pressure on houses in coming years.

“This is why we have our mortgage rules, in order to stop excessive debt coming on at the wrong time. Only those financially prepared can take on a mortgage at the moment.”
Lane said anyone planning to take out a mortgage now and upgrading in a few years should ‘recognise that risk’
Lane said anyone planning to take out a mortgage now and upgrading
in a few years should ‘recognise that risk’
He believes the deposit and income rules for taking out mortgages are “beginning to bite more severely” which will help slow down the house market.

Pressed on a possible decline in house prices, Mr Lane told the committee: “If you are planning on taking out a mortgage now, and trading up in two or three years time, you need to recognise that risk.

“If you are planning to live in that house for a substantial period of time then that should not be a matter of overriding concern.

“The system is a lot more resilient now but I am troubled by the temptation that it is one direction only. Over time there will be a natural increase… it is not a one way bet.”

Residential property prices rise by 12.7% in year to March  11 May 2018

Official figures show property values are increasing by 12.1% in Dublin

Wed, May 9, 2018
Publication: Irish Times
Author: Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the most expensive Eircode area to buy a house is Dublin 4, with an average price of €762,913. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the most expensive Eircode area to buy a house is Dublin 4, with an average price of €762,913. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The property market is showing no signs of cooling with prices accelerating by 12.7 per cent in the year to March. This compares to an annual increase of 12.5 per cent in February.
The latest official figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) are at odds with recent reports from property websites MyHome.ie and Daft.ie, which both reported a slowdown in headline inflation.
The CSO figures show annual price growth in Dublin, where demand is greatest, is now running at 12.1 per cent, down from 12.7 per cent the previous month.
The highest house price growth in the capital was in Dublin city, at 14.2 per cent while the lowest growth was in south Dublin, where house prices increased 9.6 per cent.
In Dublin, prices have risen by 90.8 per cent since the low point of the crash in February 2012, and are now 23 per cent off their 2007 peak.

The most expensive Eircode area to buy a house was Dublin 4, with an average price of €762,913. The CSO figures show the 10 most expensive Eircode areas by mean or average price were in Dublin.

Property prices in the Republic, excluding Dublin, were 13.4 per cent higher in the year to March.

The west region showed the greatest price growth, with house prices increasing 18 per cent while the Border region showed the least price growth, with house prices increasing 8.8 per cent.

Outside Dublin, the most expensive Eircode area to buy a home over the last 12 months was Greystones, Co Wicklow, with a mean price of €424,534 while the least expensive Eircode area was Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo, with a mean price of €75,415.

Responding to the latest price figures, Brokers Ireland warned that unless supply of properties ramps up more quickly in the near future a whole generation now in their late 20s and 30s, and even beyond, may never be able to recover the financial loss of not being able to acquire a home at an affordable price.

Rental Crises - A Ticking Timebomb  30 April 2018

By Philip Farrell – 1st May 2018 

The Irish rental market is a ticking time bomb akin to a Bond film, rolling down to zero however, in this instance there will no ‘007’ to save the day. We now have a situation where an ever increasing 34% of the Irish population are renting, some by choice, most by necessity. There are currently less than 3,000 properties available to rent in Ireland, just 0.15% of the total housing stock. Demand is at least four times that level. Rental values having increased over 65% in some urban areas over the last 4 years. Currently, less than 5% of newly constructed homes are being bought by investors. At the height of the Tiger’s roar, this figure exceeded 45%. So where are these rental properties going to come from? Take a regional town of 5,000 people. A town of this nature would have a demand for least 200 privately rented properties. Who is going to service this market in the future? Due to its’ fragmented nature, it holds no appeal for the large investor. Most one-off investments are now purchased with cash. Servicing a loan at rates north of 4% is simply a non-runner, in addition to paying income tax, USC, LPT and increasing RTB compliance costs. What this means is the only real potential upside for the investor is capital appreciation however, values have increased by up 50% in many urban areas over the last four years which will make investors more cautious when investing. 

The government recently announced that they had exceeded their 2017 target by housing 23,000 people. The devil is in the detail. Delve a little deeper, less than 1,000 new social homes were built in 2017 with a further 500 provided through Part V. 

Many people understandably have little or no sympathy for landlords, believing they played an integral part in both inflating house prices during the noughties, and the subsequent crash. Herein lies the problem. With property values currently increasing 10% per year, additional homes must be provided for the increasing number who cannot afford or secure a mortgage or the ever increasing number who simply choose to rent. 

It is a responsibility of government to provide housing for those who cannot secure a home. Our current rulers, in their wisdom, decided following the crash, that the private sector would deliver the homes needed. This was never going to happen. An industry which had been forced to take a long lunch (6 years) was always going to take some time to reinvent itself. On top of this there is the archaic planning process to contend with. The construction industry has returned to growth, but only in the large urban areas where values are now making it profitable again to build. 

‘Rebuilding Ireland’ was launched in mid-2016 by the government to much fanfare. While it can be applauded for success with the ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ and the introduction of fast track planning permissions, it has failed to deliver in a number of areas. At one point, ‘modular housing’ appeared to be the answer to all our prayers! This was short lived. The recent announcement of the home purchase scheme through local County Councils should be cautiously welcomed as it will only assist a small percentage of home buyers. Also, a note of caution, historically, similar type schemes have proven to accrue arrears issues. 

Rent controls have had varied success internationally. It is to early to say how they have fared since their introduction here in Dec 2016 however, they do not seem to have stemmed increases in average rents. A downside is they have punished many landlords who had a good relationship with their tenants, and this was reflected in the agreed rent. Many of these landlords are now leaving the market as they cannot legally charge the market rent once they are located in one of the 21 electoral Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) 

Solutions? Two areas of focus - the supply side and the taxation side. As is now happening in the UK, the government must attract back the smaller, buy-to-let investor. Our cities will be well served by professional investors like REITs and pension funds for decades to come with large ‘Built to Rent’ type developments comprising of hundreds of rental properties is desirable areas which offer all day to day amenities, on-site. 

What about the regions? Incentives for the small-time investor should include lower income tax from rental income, extra allowances for capex (capital expenditure) and reduced CGT on exit, which currently stands at 33%. 

On the planning side, the level of social housing in Ireland currently stands at 10% of the total housing stock, with a further 24% of residential homes privately rented. This figure is higher in cities. In addition to Part V, introduce a requirement that 10% of the total number of units in new developments must be sold to private investors. Currently, investors cannot compete with the FTB for starter homes. For the FTB, this is to be welcomed however, for those requiring somewhere to rent, it is limiting their options. Some would claim that this move would just increase pressure on the FTB. To alleviate this, housing densities could be increased by one unit per acre, for a limited period. 

The rental market needs rental properties or else it is just a market! People need to recognise that landlords play a fundamental role in the property food chain and for those who find it hard to accept will need to accept them as a necessary evil.

MyHome.ie Q1 2018 Property Report in association with Davy  30 April 2018


Main Findings
  • Annual rate of house price inflation cools in Q1, as prices slow in Dublin
  • Asking prices nationally rise by 4.8% - in Dublin the figure is 3.3%
  • "Affordability is beginning to bite in Dublin, but outside the capital house price inflation is continuing to rise and now stands at 10% year on year"
  • Number of €1m plus house sales rose 25% in 2017


House prices are continuing to rise but the rate of increase is moderating due to tighter bank lending and stretched affordability in Dublin, according to the latest house price report from MyHome.ie.

The report, which is published in association with Davy, found that the prices of newly listed properties nationally rose by 4.8% in Q1 while prices in Dublin rose by 3.3%. Newly listed properties are seen as the most reliable indicator of future price movements.

The median asking price for new sales nationally is €260K while in Dublin it’s €345K. The figure for outside Dublin is €210K.

Nationally, asking prices are up 9.5% on the year, while in Dublin price inflation is 8.2%.

For the entire stock of properties listed for sale on the website prices rose by 1.9% nationally and by 1.8% in Q1.

The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at Davy, said that while house price inflation would remain close to 10% outside Dublin for 2018, stretched affordability in the capital and a pick up in housing supply suggested the rate of inflation would continue to moderate.

"The tightening of the Central Bank mortgage lending rules coupled with stretched affordability was always likely to be first felt in Dublin. The house price -to-income ratio for first-time buyers in Dublin was 4:1 at the end of 2017 and this compares with 3.5:1 recorded in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford."

"Inflation in Dublin is now 8.2%, down from just over 11% in Q4 2017. The cooling off is already evident in more expensive areas and property types. The median asking price in Dublin South City was flat year on year at €275K but was up 12.8% in Dublin North City to €225K. The median one-bedroom apartment price in Dublin increased by 13% over the past 12 months to €190K; in contrast four-bedroom detached house prices have been flat at €650K."

"The other key trend we are seeing is that house supply is finally picking up. Although the number of properties listed nationally on MyHome.ie is largely unchanged at 18,800 the number of properties in Dublin is 3,900, up 20% on last year"

"Furthermore, the number of new developments on MyHome has increased to 423, up 24% on the 342 recorded in mid-2017. While two thirds of these developments are in the greater Dublin area there has also been a sharp increase in some other areas – in Cork for example the number is 64, up 68% on mid-2017. Although moving in the right direction the current level of homebuilding – circa 12,000 per annum – remains well short of the natural demographic demand of at least 35,000 each year MacCoille concluded.

The Managing Director of MyHome.ie Angela Keegan said that while first time buyers would continue to be concerned at the rate of inflation, there were some positive trends in the new figures.

"Transactions levels are up 10% in the first two months of the year and at this stage we would be predicting an 11% increase on last year’s figure of 54,000. Given that the level of transactions was 18,400 in 2011 it is encouraging to see that we should be in or around the 60,000 mark this year."

"Meanwhile activity at the very top end of the market shows little sign of slowing down. Our analysis of the Property Price Register shows that the number of house sales above €1m rose to 826 in 2017, up 25% on the previous year. There are currently 506 properties with an asking price exceeding €1m listed for sale on MyHome.ie" Keegan said.


Download Report

BREAKING...Mortgage approvals fall 8pc in March  30 April 2018

Journalist : Ellie Donnelly
Publication: Irish Independent  
The number of mortgages approved fell by 8pc year-on-year in March, according to data from the Banking and Payments Federation.

Mortgages approved in March 2018 were valued at €763m – of which first time buyers accounted for €390m (51.1pc) and €234m (30.7pc) by mover purchasers.

Overall, the value of mortgage approvals fell by 2.9pc year-on-year, but rose by 10.4pc when comparing month-on-month.

The decline in approvals was impacted by bad weather, reduced supply and and new lending rules.

In addition, according to Dermot O’Leary, chief economist with Goodbody, March 2018 figures came off a very tough comparison in the first three months of 2017 when mortgage approvals increased by 77pc year-on-year.

"Annual comparisons will become easier as the year progresses," Mr O'Leary said.

Drawdowns

Despite the cooling, the trend in drawdowns remained strong in the first quarter of 2018.

The value of loans drawn down in the first three months of 2018 was up 22pc year-on-year, almost matching the fourth quarter 2017 growth rate of 23pc year-on-year.

This is made up of a 14pc year-on-year increase in mortgage volumes and an 8pc increase in the average loan. Remortgaging, up 59pc year-on-year, was the fastest growing component by far, reflecting increased competition and rising levels of equity in the system.

Overall remortgaging accounted for 13pc of new lending, the highest level since 2009. While first-time buyer drawdowns increased by 29pc year-on-year.

Restrictions for first time buyers

While a quarter of first time buyers received exemptions from the Loan-to-Income ratio threshold of 3.5 times income in 2017, under new lending rules, this is now restricted to one in five first time buyers.

"Lack of available housing stock remains the major issue holding back faster growth in mover-purchaser mortgages," Mr O'Leary said.

"This is reflected the widening gap between mortgage approvals and drawdowns over the past twelve months."

Buying a new home in 2018? Here's what's coming  30 April 2018

Our new homes listing of schemes in Dublin and its environs indicates improved supply, but rising prices will drive first time buyers into commuter counties

Stamp duty increase fails to slow commercial property growth  30 April 2018

JLL index finds overall returns of nearly 11% in the past year, as market stabilises

Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 06:15

Ireland’s commercial property market continues to report stable growth as the JLL Property Index, to be released on Wednesday, shows that overall returns increased by 2.7 per cent in the last three months and by 10.7 per cent over the last year.
The good results are all the more surprising as the market has had to absorb the effects of a stamp duty increase in December.
Capital values grew by 1.5 per cent in the last quarter and by 5.5 per cent over the past 12 months. The growth was predominantly led by the industrial sector. The capital value index has increased by 90.4 per cent since the trough in 2013 but remains 37.5 per cent below the peak in 2007.
Overall income increased by 2.1 per cent in the last three months. The index portfolio showed an income yield of 4.6 per cent across all sectors.
Rental values across the index portfolio increased by 1.7 per cent in the last three months and by 7.5 per cent in the last 12 months. Offices have had the greatest increases over the last 12 months (up 9.6 per cent) followed by retail (up 5.6 per cent) and industrial (up 3.7 per cent).
John Moran, JLL’s head of investment, said the index had shown steady performance in the first months of 2018. It had reverted to normal growth following the stamp duty increase in the last months of 2017, which virtually cancelled out capital growth in the previous quarter.
Investors had achieved strong overall returns, increasing by 10.7 per cent in the year to March 2018, and the yield remained steady at 4.6 per cent. Of particular note was the strong growth in industrial capital values, which was primarily a result of strong occupier market fundamentals.

Irish House Price Report Q1 2018 | Daft.ie  30 April 2018

The figures in this latest Daft.ie Sales Report are unlikely to surprise many who have an interest in the housing market. Comparing prices in the first three months of 2018 with those in the final three months of 2017, they rose in 53 of the 54 markets covered in the report, with only Monaghan recording a slight fall. Compared with prices a year ago, only Donegal has seen a fall.
It is, in other words, a market that continues to see almost across-the-board strong increases in prices. Looking at the national average, the annual rate of inflation was 7.3% in the first quarter of the year. The optimist will point out that this is the slowest rate of inflation in almost two years.

However, in a healthy housing system, housing prices increase at the same rate as prices in the rest of the economy, no faster. According to the official measure of the price level, general prices in the Irish economy are no higher now, in early 2018, than they were five years ago. This is a remarkable achievement in recovering the lost cost competitiveness of the Celtic Tiger years. It is all the more remarkable considering that one of the single largest components of the CPI is private rents - so in truth, leaving the housing market aside, consumer prices in Ireland have fallen over the past five years.
In the same time, though, the purchase price of housing has risen by one half, on average. In Dublin the increase is slightly above 60%, outside urban areas, the increase is closer to 40%. But overall, this is a collection of geographical markets more defined by their similarities than their differences.
The reason that prices are rising is not complicated: the growth in demand far exceeds the growth in supply. The fundamental barometer of a healthy housing system is that, where new demand occurs, new supply follows quickly. This should be true for the housing system as a whole - i.e. both market and social housing segments. But a closer look at the figures reveals just how dysfunctional Ireland's housing system is.

Turning to demand, first, Ireland's population is rising by over 50,000 people a year. About two-thirds of that increase - between 30,000 and 35,000 - is down to a natural increase in the population. The remainder - a far more volatile number in Ireland but 20,000 in 2017 and on average that amount over the last two decades - is net migration.
Of course, it's a little more complicated than births exceeding deaths. A population increase of 50,000 does not mean the country needs 50,000 new homes a year. At a very basic level, not every individual - and certainly not new-borns - has a household by themselves.
So, in order to understand housing demand, we need to look at household formation. But the picture here reinforces the stats above. There are about 330,000 women in Ireland aged between 25 and 34, compared to about 110,000 aged 75-84. This gap of between 20,000 and 25,000 per year gives a good measure of the underlying demand for new housing in Ireland each year.
But in addition to the increasing population, there are two further elements that need to be factored in. The first is obsolescence: even in countries with a declining population, new homes need to be built to replace stock that falls out of use. Even if every home lasts on average 200 years, that's still 0.5% of the housing stock - or in Ireland's case, 10,000 homes.
And lastly, there is household size. While at first glance, this appears to have been static in recent years, or indeed even increasing between the 2011 and 2016 Censuses, this is merely because household formation is what economists call endogenous. Simply put, if you can't find a dwelling, you cannot form a household. Looking at the bigger picture, including long-run trends in Ireland and elsewhere, it is clear that the bulk of new households formed will be 1 or 2 persons.
This has implications for both how many new dwellings are needed and what type. If Ireland adds 2 million people in the coming decades, but they are in households of 4 persons on average, this is an additional 500,000 dwellings. But if - as is overwhelmingly likely - they are closer to 2 persons on average, Ireland needs twice as many new homes to cover the same increase in population.

And not only that, Ireland is urbanising. Dublin and the other major cities are likely to account for 80% of the country's population by mid-century. This is not some anomaly, with Dublin far too big - indeed, if anything, Ireland is anomalous in not having this process happen already.
Ireland is in the middle of a century-long process of moving from rural households of roughly 4 persons to an urban society of 2 persons per household. This has huge implications for what we build and how. Supply will be needed in and around the cities - and predominantly in apartment form.
What is clear is that this is not happening. Planning permission was granted for a little over 5,000 apartments, nationwide, in 2017, and for 20,000 dwellings in total - less than half the likely demand. It is often said that the mantra in the housing market is "location, location, location". For housing policy in Ireland, it needs to be "supply, supply, supply".

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  • Tax Obligations for Non Residents!  30 April 2018


    Do you own a property in Ireland that you’re renting out but you don’t live in the country? There’s a few tax obligations that you need to be aware of, but also, there’s some tax deductions you need to be taking advantage of!

    So, what exactly is a non-resident landlord?

    You are classed as a non-resident landlord if you rent a property in Ireland but you reside in Northern Ireland or another country. Any money you make from the renting of your Irish property, comes under Irish taxation law and must be taxed the same as if you were a resident.


    How exactly do you pay your tax to the Revenue Commissioners?


    It works slightly differently than if you were a resident of Ireland. One method is when the tenants of your property actually withhold the income tax and pay it to the nearest tax office in their location on your behalf.

    At the end of the tax year, the tenant then fills out a Form R185 and gives this to the landlord as a record of the tax paid. This may seem a quite roundabout way of organising your tax affairs but it is a lot cleaner than trying to pay money to the Revenue Commissioners from overseas.

    But, what if you don’t want to put the responsibility of paying your tax on your tenants? Your tenants may not be willing to do this for you, or you may not trust your tenants to pay the correct amount. There could be a number of reasons why you wouldn’t want to go down that route, but luckily there is an alternative


    Using a Collection Agency

    A tax collection agent is an Irish resident who collects and files income tax on your behalf. The handiness with this option is that they are provided with a second PPS number to be used exclusively when dealing with your income tax. They can be a company, individual or even a family member, trusted friend or tax advisor.

    This is normally the preferred method of dealing with income tax, as it takes the burden away from the tenants. Then, you, the landlord is able to receive your full monthly rent and can sort out your own taxes and know that you are completely compliant with local taxation laws. Even if you use a collection agent it would be advisable to use the help of a tax consultant to ensure you are fully tax compliant and have claimed all the deductions you are entitled to so that your tax bill is kept to a minimum. They can also advise you on your PRSI and USC position and their fees for completing the rental computations are tax deductible.


    But it’s not all doom and gloom!


    Did you know that, even though, you may be a non-resident of Ireland, you are still entitled to the same deductions as resident landlords!


    PRTB – Private Residential Tenancies Board


    You will have to register with the PRTB at €90 per tenancy. You are entitled to claim this as a deductible expense for tax relief though!


    Mortgage Interest Relief

    If your tenants are registered with the PRTB you are entitled to claim tax relief of 80% on the mortgage interest of your rental property from 1 January 2017. For certain tenancies the interest deduction is 100% where the property is let out for 3 years for social housing use.


    Repairs and Maintenance

    If you need to carry out repairs or maintenance to your rental property you can claim these back as expenses in your tax return. Included in the repairs or maintenance is the cost of hiring a third party for labour, which is extremely helpful in the case of non-resident landlords who cannot do the repairs or maintenance themselves.


    Management Fees

    Are you paying a management company to collect rent and overall manage your property? Did you know you that these fees as tax deductible? If you didn’t, you need to get that sorted! Hiring an agent or company to manage your property is something a lot of non-resident landlords opt for, due to peace of mind, but so many of them don’t know that these fees are completely tax deductible!


    Insurance Premiums

    Have you purchased insurance to cover and protect your rental property? You guessed it, your insurance premium on the rental property is deductible in your tax returns!

    10 Reasons to live in Longford  30 April 2018



    Longford often describes itself as a hidden gem, meaning most people don’t know about it. However if you are seeking a high quality of Life, Longford has a lot to offer.

    Property is cheap
    Your money goes a long way in Longford. Whether it’s buying or renting, prices are still recovering from the economic crash and Longford is one of the most affordable locations in the country. A large country house can be purchased for the price of a ‘shoe box’ townhouse elsewhere in the country. Prices are rising quickly but there are still amazing opportunities. Your dream home is possible in Longford.


    Longford Town & Rural living
    The county is principally a rural area with Longford town being the main urban centre with a population of over 10,000. There are a lot of vibrant villages throughout the county including three former tidy towns’ winners, all within a maximum of 20 mins drive from Longford Town. A lack of traffic congestion means a morning commute is short & stress free.


    Jobs … yes really
    The recession hit provincial Ireland hard. Construction came to a halt and in Longford unemployment soared. However, Longford is fortunately home to a number of very prominent businesses such as Abbot Laboratories, Green Isle foods, Finesse Medical, Tool & Plastic all competing for third level graduates. The Irish prison service is headquartered in Longford and the department of social welfare has substantial offices here. Centre Parcs are starting construction of a holiday resort just outside Ballymahon in spring 2017, which will employ 1000 when fully operational. A lot of speculatively built commercial property built in the boom year’s means setting up a business is much cheaper in Longford with modern office space and industrial units and low retail rents giving easy opportunities to expand.


    It’s an education
    When raising a family one of the greatest concerns is getting children into good schools. While third level courses are more restricted in the county with most students travelling to nearby Athlone IT. Longford is blessed with a number of great national schools including a Gaelscoil, where waiting lists are not a massive issue. There are 10 secondary schools in the county all with excellent academic reputations.


    Shopping
    Despite the downturn and a number of vacant retail shops in the town, Longford has somehow remained a great shopping destination with a number of unique local award winning shops & boutiques. The quality of coffee shops has improved dramatically in recent years and the car parking is amongst the cheapest in the region. All the major supermarkets are represented and the current trend is for more multiple retailers opening in the town.


    Eating, Drinking, Culture & Dancing
    During the economic boom Longford did not have the variety of restaurants it does now. The Aubergine bistro, Indian Spice, Mekong & Rising Sun Chinese restaurants in the town have all thrived in recent years. Viewmount house with celebrity chef Gary O’ Hanlon has brought some high acclaimed fine dining to the town. In Ballymahon, Nine Arches is a new welcome addition. Crossing the Shannon into Tarmonbarry Keenan’s Pub & the Purple Onion add to the variety and are just 5-10 mins drive from Longford town. Afterwards you might want to hit the Pubs, which creates a dilemma, the village local or into the town. Catch a film in the Omniplex or up to the Backstage for a play, I hear the St. Mel’s Musical Society’s latest one is hilarious. Either way, you will probably still end up in the Spiral Tree Night club or Luigi’s for the chips at the end of the night.


    Sports
    Living in Longford you will probably not be celebrating Leinster GAA titles a lot… but what is seldom is beautiful and our Club sides often punch well above their weight in the Leinster championship. Twice holders of the FAI cup Longford town got relegated from the premier division last year but intend making a swift return. Longford’s Rugby club is the envy of all provincial towns with top class facilities and the popular Sin bin bar & restaurant. These three most popular sports have a huge youth aspect with high quality coaching. The mall sports complex hosts five a side on Astro & indoor and has a 25 meter six lane swimming pool & Gym. Longford Cycling & Tri clubs are very active and growing fast. Longford Golf club is a parkland golf course close to the town centre and within 30 mile radius there are championship courses such as Mullingar, Glasson and Sliabh Russell. The Tennis club features fine savannah courts and has a popular mixed doubles night on a Friday. Due to the Shannon and lakes around Longford water skiing, wakeboarding & Canoeing / kayaking are common pursuits.


    Attractions
    While we are on the subject, the River Shannon runs all along the western border of the county where Leinster, Ulster and Connaught all converge. This is intersected by the Royal Canal at Clondra which now features a cycle & walkway path all the way into Longford Town. The River Inny also flows into the Shannon and this is particularly renowned for the short rapids just North of Ballymahon that make it an ideal white water canoeing spot. Longford’s St. Mels Cathedral is a modern day phoenix rising from the ashes, dominating the town skyline it was almost completely destroyed by fire Christmas morning 2009 rebuilt & restored within 5 years the modern interpretation and craftsmanship is fascinating. The north of the county is dominated by Cairn Hill (a torture spot for the enthusiastic cyclist) and the beautiful countryside around the Lough Gowna system of lakes. This is a popular area for fishing and Derrycassin Woods hosts one of Ireland’s finest old estate walkways. The south of the county is dominated by Lough Ree and the Bogs, in which the Corlea trackway visitor centre shows off the Iron Age trackway dating back to 148 bc. Also coming out of the Bog are the amazingly beautiful bog oak sculptures created by Michael & Kevin Casey which operate out of a studio in picturesque Barley Harbour in Newtowncashel. But then again there are ‘Hidden gems, throughout the county. The Granard Motte with commanding views of the surrounding countryside, the ‘hot water stretch’ in Lanesboro is renowned amongst fisherman throughout Europe. The heritage & tidy town winners of Ardagh Village, Newtowncashel & Abbeyshrule (also known for its airfield). All a bit boring for you? Time to go to Edgeworthstown for Go-Karting on a championship track or paintballing. This section is getting too long…. too many to mention!


    In the heart of Ireland
    Situated along the N4 Dublin – Sligo Road & N5 Dublin Castlebar Road, Longford is just c. 90 km from the Dublin M50, or an hours’ drive. My friends often joke with me ‘Longford, convenient to other places’, but it is true. Commuters and businesses are finding that getting to Dublin is pretty easy Monday to Friday there are 10 rail services with commuter and intercity trains to Dublin along the Dublin-Sligo line and 9 return services starting as early as 5:40am. Sligo on the Wild Atlantic way is just an hour’s drive. Did I put Surfing in the sporting section? From this north Midlands location whether it’s getting to Cavan and across the border, west to Mayo or Galway, south to Athlone. These areas are all within easy reach.


    You will be welcomed
    Longford is a very welcoming place, being a smaller county it easy to get to know people and make friends. In selling houses its notable the number of people not originally from the county, but spent time here due to work or relationships, that end up returning settling in a place they felt at home.


    You won’t be made feel like a ‘blow in’ in Longford, we’re just happy you decided to live here.