Property market advice from SherryFitzGerald

“Moderation in house price correction continues in third quarter” - Statement by Marian Finnegan, chief economist, Sherry FitzGerald Group.

The correction in the residential housing market continued over the summer months; however the rate of decline moderated further on the quarter two results, according to Sherry FitzGerald, Ireland's largest estate agents.

The results from the Sherry FitzGerald index reveal that the average price of a second-hand property in Dublin fell by 4.5 per cent in the third quarter of the year compared to a drop of 5.5 per cent in the previous quarter and 9.5 per cent in the opening months of the year.

The comparable figures for the national market saw that the average price of a second-hand house in Ireland fell by 4.5 per cent in the quarter, compared to 5.2 per cent in the second quarter and 8.3 per cent in the opening months of 2009.

From the peak of the market in 2006, Dublin house prices have fallen in real terms by 44 per cent, while the national market has corrected by 39 per cent.

This in effect means that prices are back at levels achieved in quarter one 2004.

Some 90 per cent of the homes transacted in the market were purchased by owner occupiers.

Notably, first time buyers bought 53 per cent of the properties traded in that period, compared to only 38 per cent during the same period in 2008.

An analysis of the profile of vendors who sold their property through Sherry FitzGerald in the first nine months of the year revealed that 26 per cent of vendors were selling investment properties, which compares to 25 per cent in the same period in 2008.

Approximately 22 per cent of vendors sold with the intention of purchasing a larger property, which is interestingly the same proportion as 2008.

Approximately 18 per cent of vendors were selling their home to relocate to a different county within Ireland.

Commenting on the results, Marian Finnegan, chief economist, Sherry FitzGerald Group said;

“The pace of price correction has moderated notably from the beginning of the year. Transaction levels in the market were stronger than anticipated during the summer months, a period which is traditionally very quiet. Consumers are more value conscious, and have researched the market extensively, and as a result appropriately priced properties are trading well. The stock of available second-hand properties is continuing to decline with limited new properties coming on the market in the autumn season. There will undoubtedly be many challenges in the months ahead but the first indications of a gradual stabilisation in the market are emerging.”

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