New low point for housing stock availability pushes county property prices higher

A new low for housing stock availability has resulted in the escalation of property premiums in County Westmeath, the latest house price report has revealed.

Within the county prices in the first three months of 2024 were six percent higher than a year previously, compared to a rise of four percent witnessed in 2023.

The average price of a home is now €278,000, six percent below its Celtic Tiger peak, while nationally, housing prices rose by an average of 1.8% in the first three months of 2024.

The typical listed price nationwide in the first quarter of 2024 was €326,469, 5.8% higher than in the same period a year earlier and 30% higher than at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

National Outlook

Significant differences in trends across the country persist, with increases in general lower in and close to Dublin. Prices in the capital were 3.2% higher in the first quarter of 2024 than a year previously, while in the rest of Leinster, the increase was 5%. Cork City saw prices rise by 7.3% year-on-year, while Galway city saw an increase of 9.4%.

Increases in Waterford and Limerick cities were both just over 10%. Elsewhere, prices in Munster (outside the cities ) were 10.9% higher and up 6.7% in Connacht-Ulster in early 2024 compared to a year earlier. The number of homes available to buy nationwide on March 1 stood at below 10,500. This is down 24% year-on-year and represents a new all-time low for the series which extends back to January 2007. The number of homes to buy currently is just 40% of the 2019 average. The fall in availability affects all major regions of the country and started in mid-2023, after twelve consecutive months of recovering availability following lockdowns.

“The new low in homes available to buy is driven by the second-hand segment and highlights the very tight conditions in the second-hand market across the country since covid19. The number of homes being built has risen steadily. But interest rate increases have affected the recovery of the second-hand market. As interest rates peak and then fall, and in particular as sitting homeowners roll of fixed rate mortgages, there should be an improvement in second-hand supply. Nonetheless, availability is well below half the levels seen pre-covid19, meaning it may take years for second-hand supply to recover to normal levels," Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and report author, said.


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