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Landlords selling up account for almost one in four home sales

Average house prices rose by 2.24% nationally in the last three months of year, slower than increases recorded earlier in the year.

LANDLORDS LEAVING THE market have accounted for almost one in four home sales over the past three months, the latest survey has found.

Average house prices rose by 2.24% nationally in the last three months of year, half the figure recorded between June and September as demand eased and the market calmed, the Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average House Price survey has revealed.

While investor properties are adding to supply in urban centres, selling prices in commuter areas saw three times the growth experienced in the major cities.

The data also reveals some agents have seen a significant slump in demand for “do-er uppers” due to a spike in the cost of building materials and labour.

The survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland’s typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an accurate picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house nationally rose by €5,900 over the past three months to €269,963 – representing an annual increase of 13%.

Selling prices rose in commuter areas and the country’s large towns as buyers continue to move further from Dublin in anticipation of long-term remote and hybrid working situations.

The price rises in commuter areas are treble those seen in Ireland’s major cities, with Dublin increasing by 1% and Cork, Limerick and Galway rising by an average of 0.8% as agents reported a quieter quarter.

In Dublin city, house prices rose by over €4,000 in the final quarter, compared with more than €10,000 in Q3, increasing from €467,000 in September to a present rate of €471,667.

However, there were exceptions such as the Dublin suburb of Clontarf, where values continued to soar with low supply driving rises of €25,000 this quarter to €740,000, according to local agents REA Grimes.

This represents an annual increase of 18.4%, with interest staying strong in high-value properties in good locations.

Three-bed semi prices rose by €30,000 to €390,000 in the past three months in the north County Dublin town of Swords, with an annual increase of 27% driven by low supply of quality family homes.

REA spokesperson Barry McDonald said: “There is definitely a calmer market at the end of this year, with less frenzied activity among buyers.

“In my own area of Lucan, three-bed semis have been stable in value since late summer, and throughout the country, agents are reporting a decrease in viewings after a very busy Q2 and Q3,” he said.

Our survey also found that 24.2% of all second-hand house sales in the past quarter have been due to landlords exiting the market.

“This is a nationwide phenomenon, but is most keenly felt in the urban areas.”

McDonald added that with price increases continuing, values are now at an acceptable level for many investors to sell and exit the market.

“It is also clear that the changing legislation associated with the residential rental market is becoming a deterrent to non-institutional landlords.

“There is no doubt that investors leaving the market and selling to owner-occupiers will put further pressure on the pool of property available for tenants.

“Increasing costs for building materials and labour is closing off another avenue for buyers, with our agents REA O’Brien Collins in Drogheda reporting a noticeable fall-off in demand for ‘do-er uppers’.”

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