REA

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REA Launch Online Auction Platform  22 April 2018

A leading estate agency group have launched a dedicated online auction platform which aims to reduce the time taken to sell the average property from months to weeks.

REA are now the first property group to offer an integrated online and offline property service, allowing vendors to switch between the two.

The REA Online Auctions platform allows all legal documents around a property sale to be uploaded in advance, removing the unnecessary delays that affect many private treaty sales.
 
With the addition of the online platform, REA now allow vendors to choose between selling their property through private treaty or online auction, or an amalgamation of both.

And crucially, because the Contract for Sale is made available online, purchasers and their solicitor can inspect the legal pack and any queries can be dealt with prior to the online auction.

“The typical private treaty route can take an average of six months from instruction to exchange of contracts because the system is not set up for speed,” said REA Chairman Eoin Dillon.

“However, with the REA Online Auction option, transparency and greater knowledge on all sides helps the sales process to be measured in weeks rather than months.

“The auction period can be as long or as short as is desired, ensuring full market exposure to an agreed timeline, and vendors with a house for sale by private treaty can switch to an auction option in order to secure a defined sale date.

“The Contract for Sale and other legal documents are uploaded by the vendor’s solicitor to the online auction platform allowing inspection by interested parties and their legal team.

“The agent uploads all the relevant property details to the online auction platform including the AMV, bid increments, deposit requirements and bidding duration.

“The fact that all legal queries are dealt with prior to the online auction gives buyers greater confidence in the bidding process and, more importantly, assists in bringing the sale to a successful conclusion.

“Bidders are required to provide a refundable Bidder Security Deposit of €5000 prior to the commencement of the online auction and the successful buyer pays the balance of the 10% deposit within a period of two days.

“In a normal private treaty situation, you could go sale agreed after 12 weeks, but by the time the engineers report is completed and the sales contracts issued and exchanged the process can take as long again.

“However, with an online auction, the process is instant, with bidders pre-authorising the REA agent to sign the sales contract on their behalf.

“Signed copies of the sales contract are sent to the both parties’ solicitors.”

The REA Online Auction platform can either handle individual sales or centrally managed portfolio sales.

REA is Ireland’s leading property group of Chartered Surveyors with 55 branches throughout the country, comprising some of the country’s longest established auctioneers and estate agents.

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Q1 2018 - REA Average House Price Survey  26 March 2018

The rate of increase in three-bed semi-detached home prices in Dublin slowed to just 0.5% in the first three months of the year the Q1 Irish Independent REA Average House Price Index has found.
After rising by 12.5% in 2017, the average price in the capital has increased by just €2,000 in the opening quarter and now stands at €440,000 – exactly twice the Central Bank’s €220,000 mortgage deposit threshold.
The rate of increase in three-bed semi-detached home prices in Dublin has now slowed to 2% over the past six months, compared to an increase of 4.5% in the opening three months of 2017.
And while there is both good demand and plenty of funded buyers in the market, REA agents are reporting that prices may have settled to a stable level of affordability.
While most REA agents in the capital reported that prices in Dublin’s postcode zones have been static in the first three months of the year, the only rises that were reported were in areas where prices were more affordable such Dublin 24 (+2% €260,000) and Lucan (+2% €352,000).
“The Dublin market has become quite price sensitive, even though we are seeing healthy demand and good liquidity with plenty of mortgage lending,” said REA spokesperson Barry McDonald.
“What we may be seeing, after the rapid increases of recent years, are the Central Bank mortgage lending restrictions imposing an upper level on purchasing power for some buyers.
“There has been a 3% reduction in cash buyers in the market, with mortgage approved house hunters now making up 74% of purchasers, increasing the effect of the Central Bank rules on the market.
“We are seeing strong demand across the board, and homes are reaching sale agreed in just four weeks in Dublin – which is good news for both buyers and vendors.
“Combined prices in Dublin city and county rose by just 0.7%, driven by increases in north county areas Skerries (+2.8% €365,000) and Balbriggan (+1.9% €265,000), with prices being seen as more affordable than the city.”
The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the property market in towns and cities countrywide to the close of last week.
The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €229,111, the Q1 REA Average House Price Survey has found – a rise of 1.5% on the Q4 2017 figure of €225,806.
Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 9.1% over the past 12 months – indicating that the market is steadying after the 11.3% overall rise in 2017.
The commuter counties continued their recent steady growth with a 1.4% increase in Q1, with the average house now selling for €235,900 – a rise of €3,000 in the first three months of the year.
The country’s major cities outside Dublin recorded a combined Q1 rise of 2.1%, with an average three-bed semi costing €243,750.
Limerick City saw a 4.2% rise, with prices increasing from €192,000 to €2000,000 since December.
Average Q1 selling prices were also 2.9% higher in Galway City, where the typical semi-detached house is now fetching €265,000 and agents REA McGreal Burke reporting strong with ten buyers for every property on the market.
While Cork City registered a €5,000 (1.6%) increase in Q1 to bring levels to €315,000, prices remained static in Waterford City at €195,000.
“Agents in Cork City are returning their first quarter of growth in nine months – on a 3.3% annual increase – due to the difficulties that buyers find in breaching the gap between the deposit threshold and the €315,000 market value in the Leeside city,” said Mr McDonald.
“What Dublin can learn from Cork City’s experience is that there may come a point when the average price can represent a step too far over the €220,000 mortgage deposit limit.
“In Cork’s case, the area does not benefit from the higher wages available in the capital and the average house is taking twice as long to sell (10 weeks) than the national average.”
The highest increases were seen in the rest of the country’s towns, which experienced a 2.9% rise in Q1 to an average of €150,050.
The highest rate of increase in the country came in Cavan Town where prices rose by €10,000 or 12% in Q1.
“Our agent Peter Donohoe reports that prices are being driven by limited supply and competition between owner occupiers and buy to let investors in what is a rising rental market in the town,” said Mr McDonald.
“In Laois, we have seen rises of 6% in the opening quarter based on lack of supply and prices at €175,000 which are attracting the commuter market.
“In commuter counties such as Kildare, the biggest percentage rises are coming in towns such as Newbridge (2.3%) which recorded double the increase of Naas (1.1%) because at €225,000, property is nearer to the Central Bank’s deposit threshold.”

US buyers flock to REA New York Property Expo  13 March 2018

American buyers’ interest in Irish property is growing very strongly, according to Real Estate Alliance who held their third US Property Show in New York last week.
The strength of the US market, which now forms over 22% of overseas enquiries for Irish property, was reflected in generating over 500 leads around the well-attended show.
“Increased wages in Ireland and the lure of better opportunities for returning emigrants has seen US property buyers flocking to secure homes and investment properties in Ireland,” said REA Chairman Eoin Dillon
“Many attendees were Irish people in their fifties who were enquiring about returning home due to the high price of education and health.
“We also met many young Irish people who were returning home to work, Irish families looking to return home and retirees looking to downsize.
“Enquiries from the US are now increasing hugely year-on-year, highlighting the return of emigrants who feel the time is right to come home.
“We also had a high number of enquiries from people interested in investment and holiday properties, and from siblings looking to group together to buy property in Ireland.”
This was the third successful US business trip for REA, who held an event in Boston last year, and is part of an overall plan to reach out to overseas buyers who represent an important market for Irish property.
“As part of our overall strategy to build up a network in the US, and engage with American purchasers, we also met with a number of buyer agents over the course of the week,” said Mr Dillon.
“During our time in New York, we met with many pre-registered buyers, buyer agents, investors, lawyers and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
“We expect many of those conversations to very quickly convert into sales, with a number of customers planning to talk further over the next two months and inspection trips already planned for specific properties.
“The average house price in the US in January, 2018 was $382,700 (€311,324), compared to our Average House Price survey national value of $277, 697 (€225,806) for quarter four, 2017, so there is obvious value for American buyers in Ireland.
“Education costs in America compared to Ireland were a constant topic in our conversations with potential buyers.
“As children grow towards college age, parents in the US may be facing costs of approximately $70,000 per year, with even secondary education costing a minimum of $15,000 per annum.”
Real Estate Alliance (REA) is Ireland’s leading property group of Chartered Surveyors with over 55 branches nationwide, comprising many of the country’s longest-established auctioneers and estate agents.
To register to list with REA and be included in ongoing promotions to the US see www.realestatealliance.ie/NewYork2018

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For further information: Eimer O'Keeffe, Marketing Manager, REA, 086 8249040, eimer@rea.ie

Media enquiries:
Darren Hughes, MediaConsult, darren@mediaconsult.ie, 086 293 7037



Picture enclosed:
Sample caption:
***NO REPRO FEE***
REA board members Eamonn Spratt, Anthony McGee, Eoin Dillon (Chairman), Darina Collins and Des O'Shea pictured at the Real Estate Alliance New York Property Show last week at the Fitzpatrick Hotel Grand Central.

One-in-five property enquiries from overseas - survey  29 January 2018

One-in-five enquiries into property for sale are now coming from abroad as the economy strengthens, a national estate agents survey has found.
However, Brexit, allied to the fall in the value of sterling, caused an 8% drop in the amount of property enquiries from the UK over the past year, according to the Real Estate Alliance nationwide survey on overseas enquiries and sales.
Enquiries from the UK now make up just 28% of all overseas calls to agents nationally – down from 36% a year ago.
However, some agents in Dublin have reported a rise in young Irish professionals making plans to leave the UK after spending a decade or so working in London.
Over 22% of overseas enquiries about Irish property are now coming from the United States, from a negligible base two years ago, while emigrants returning from Dubai and the Gulf States are featuring strongly on the annual survey for the first time.
“Property buyers from the US are increasingly securing homes and investment properties in Ireland, buoyed by a strong dollar and the lure of a resurgent economy for emigrants,” said REA spokesperson Healy Hynes.
Real Estate Alliance are offering Irish property vendors the chance to take advantage of this mini-boom by registering for the Alliance’s upcoming Irish Property Exhibition in New York.
“The average house price in the US in December 2017 was $398,900 (€320,520), compared to the REA Average House Price survey national value of $281,024 (€225,806), so there is obvious value for American buyers in Ireland,” said Mr Hynes.
“Our agents report that enquiries from the UK have dropped by 40% since the Brexit vote, and the subsequent drop in sterling value, in June 2016. Prior to that, UK calls made up over 50% of our enquiries.
“Our agents in Dublin and the inner commuter areas such as North Wicklow have noted an increase in young Irish professionals looking to secure properties after spending a decade or so working in London.
“But while the UK still forms 28% of our overseas business, 22% is now coming from the US, 16% from Australia, 17% from mainland Europe and 17% from other locations – especially Canada and Dubai.
“75% of our members report an increase in enquiries from overseas in the last year, with the average agent seeing a 20% rise in calls from outside Ireland.
“The biggest rises were seen in calls from Irish emigrants planning to return from Dubai and the Gulf States, which increased from 8% in 2016 to 12% in 2017.
“This has been a growth market in the past year as Irish ex-pats who have lived and worked in the Gulf States for the past number of years are starting to return home having saved sufficient deposits for housing.
“The resurgent economy is having a positive effect on the market with the number of overseas buyers enquiring about moving to live and work in Ireland rising by 20% over the past year.
Overseas calls now make up 20% of all enquiries across the REA group.
The survey showed a rise in overseas buyers purchasing homes in Ireland for investment purposes from 15% to 20% over the past year.
22% of buyers are purchasing a home for their eventual retirement while 8% cite a change of lifestyle as their reason for purchase.
The number of overseas buyers purchasing property as a holiday home has fallen from 20% to 16% in the past year, with agents citing sterling value and Brexit uncertainty as the chief reasons.
37% of sales to overseas purchasers are now for properties valued above €250,000 – a rise of 8% on the 2016 figure.
“Last year, sales of properties under €150,000 made up 45% of the market to overseas buyers, but this has fallen to 29%, reflecting the decrease in supply of suitable properties nationwide,” said Mr Hynes.
The first group to pioneer Irish sales in the US, REA are bringing thousands of properties to New York, giving a host of US buyers the chance to browse in comfort and talk to the experts on the ground.
The exhibition takes place in Fitzpatrick’s Hotel, Manhattan, from 5-8pm on March 8.
“Last year we brought our second Irish property exhibition to the US and met with over 400 potential buyers.
“We saw many Irish families looking to return home, retirees looking to downsize, and young Irish people who were returning home to work.
“We had a high number enquiries from siblings looking to group together to buy property in Ireland, as well as people interested in investment and holiday properties.”
Real Estate Alliance (REA) is Ireland’s leading property group of Chartered Surveyors with over 55 branches nationwide, comprising many of the country’s longest-established auctioneers and estate agents.
Further details on the REA US Property Exhibition, and a list of local agents, can be found on www.realestatealliance.ie/NewYork2018 or send an email to register for the event at info@rea.ie.
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Available for interview:
Healy Hynes, REA spokesperson, healy@hynes.ie 087 263 2295
Other media enquiries:
Darren Hughes, MediaConsult, darren@mediaconsult.ie, 086 293 7037

Q4 2017 Property Index - Kilkenny  17 January 2018

Average three-bed semi price rises in Kilkenny County outstripped the rest of the country with a 23.3% increase in 2017, according to a national survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance.
The price of the average three-bed semi in rose to €203,500 in the last 12 months, and after prices increased by 3% between September and December 2017, local agents are predicting that property values will rise by a further 10% in the county in the coming year.
House prices in Kilkenny City alone rose by 27.4% in 2017, driven by a lack of supply of suitable homes on the market.
And REA Boyd in Kilkenny City are predicting that the continuing shortage of supply will increase prices by about 15% in the next year.
REA Grace in Callan predict that the market will get stronger with an increase in first-time buyers at viewings and more mortgages available.
The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the property market in towns and cities countrywide.
The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €225,806, the Q4 REA Average House Price Survey found – a rise of 1.8% on the Q3 figure of €221,861.
Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 11.3% over the past 12 months – compared to 7.7% nationally in 2016.
The survey also found that agents throughout the country expect prices to rise by 7.5% on average in the next 12 months.
“The heated market that we saw throughout much of 2017 has cooled somewhat and we are now in a period of more certainty,” said REA spokesperson Healy Hynes.
“A lack of supply is still the main driver of the market, with listings of second hand properties at a low level around the country.
“Anything that does go on sale is reaching sale agreed in a short period of time – five weeks on average and four weeks in Dublin city.
“However, this is not normal in a properly functioning market, where time periods of eight weeks to sale agreed are more common.”
The rate of increase in three-bed semi-detached home prices in Dublin slowed to 1.5% in the fourth quarter of the year as buyers look to new homes on the horizon.
The commuter counties also returned a restricted growth of 1.5% in Q4, and 10% overall for the year, following a relatively static 2016, with the average house now selling for €229,300.
The lowest increase in Q4 was reflected in the country’s cities outside of Dublin, where the grouping of Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway returned 1% growth, with average prices increasing by €2,375 to €238,625.
Towns throughout the rest of the country saw rises of 2.6% in the fourth quarter with the average three-bed semi now costing €146,633, up 12.3% from €130,600 in December 2016.
An increase in mortgage-approved buyers and the Help To Buy Scheme saw first-time buyers return to viewings in force over the past 12 months.

However, a shortage of suitable supply caused prices to appreciate, and REA agents in the capital are predicting that new homes will drive a bright outlook for the new year, freeing up some supply of second hand stock in the market.


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Available for interview:   

Robbie Grace, REA Grace, Callan, 086 8297189
Michael Boyd, REA Boyd’s, Kilkenny, 087 2611699


Media information: Darren Hughes, 086 293 7037, Darren@mediaconsult.ie










REA Predictions for House Prices 2018  02 January 2018

The emergence of new homes as a real option for buyers for the first time in a decade is  set to drive a less-heated property market in 2018, estate agents have predicted.
A survey carried out for the Irish Independent by the Real Estate Alliance Group has found that agents throughout the country expect prices to rise by 7.5% on average in the next 12 months.
Many new developments concentrated on the east coast, with Dublin agents predicting that prices in the capital will rise by 8.2% next year.
This comes off the back of a 2017 which saw prices increase by 11.3% nationally and 13% in Dublin city and county before slowing down somewhat across the country in Quarter Four.
Agents in two of the three main cities outside Dublin are optimistic about 2018, with rises of 8% predicted in Limerick (8.5% in 2017) and 7% in Galway, which experienced 9.6% growth in 2017.

Galway agents REA McGreal Burke are expecting a lot of new developments which are almost at construction stage to dominate the market in the back end of the year, easing the poor supply level in the city.

However, Cork is looking at a more modest 5% increase, on a par with that achieved in 2017.

REA O’Donoghue Clarke report that the Leeside city is suffering from a lack of second hand supply, fuelled by the effects of the Central Bank’s €220,000 deposit limit in a city where average house prices are €310,000.

The outlook for the commuter areas surrounding the capital is continuing to improve after a cautious 2017, which saw prices rise by 10%.

Counties around Dublin are predicting a rise of 7.2% on average after two years which saw Kildare and Wicklow lag behind national rates of increase on 7%, but Meath outstrip the country on 14% due to the lower average house cost relevant to the Central Bank limit.

An increase in mortgage-approved buyers and the Help To Buy Scheme saw first-time buyers return to viewings in force over the past 12 months.

However, a shortage of suitable supply caused prices to appreciate, and REA agents in the capital are predicting that new homes will drive a bright outlook for the new year, freeing up some supply of second hand stock in the market.
The Luas has proved to be a huge driver of interest with the Cross City line and extension to Broombridge opening up a new range of commuting and living options.
There is still less appreciation anticipated in the upper ends of the family home scale as serious issues around the income multiplier and the deposit rates put the brakes on many second-time buyers trading up.
“Our members anticipate that there will be an increase in new homes on the market in 2018, which will have a positive effect on a market that is under-supplied at the moment,” said REA spokesperson Healy Hynes.
“As an example of supply driving inflation, Kilkenny was Ireland’s highest rising county in 2017, with an increase of 23.3% in the price of the average semi-detached house.

“The increase was even higher in Kilkenny city where REA Boyd reported a 27% upturn in 2017, and is predicting a further 15% rise in 2018 – completely due to lack of supply.

“In areas such as Laois, prices are still 10-15% below breakeven for new developments, and low supply led to 18% rises in 2017, while some counties are predicting that it could be five years before they see new developments.
“Figures from the Property Services Regulatory Authority show that 2017 (47,000 units to date) is just about on a par with 2016 (49,720) in terms of property transactions.
“That is 40% below what it should be in a normal market, which should see 80,000 properties changing hands.
“While the Help To Buy Scheme has had a positive effect, we would like to see the banks taking a more pragmatic view of people’s long-term rental payments in terms of mortgage applications.
“The provision of social housing by county councils is one of the major keys to increasing supply and relieving pressure on rental markets.
“The lack of local authority house building is driving an ever-upward spiral in rental demand, which in turn is locking people into a cycle where they cannot save for their own property.”

The return of investors to the market has been reported in Dublin, particularly on the southside of the city where REA Ed Dempsey in Clonskeagh is predicting a 10% rise in 2018, with the market slowing down due to an increase in supply.

REA McGee in Tallaght are predicting 8% growth in Dublin 24 due to an abundance of first time buyers entering the market and a high volume of non-Irish buyers opting for apartment living.

While agents in Donegal are predicting a 5% increase generally, REA McElhinney in Bundoran feels that uncertainty over Brexit and the poor sterling exchange rate will lead to no growth in 2018.

REA Seamus Carthy in Roscommon is predicting that supply may well dry up if the State does not act to aid the development of new homes.

We are going to hit a brick wall with supply as developers can't get back in at an average price of €145,000 in this area. Supply is going to totally dry up as the Government is taking too much off the costs of building,” said Seamus Carthy, who reports that values for any property under €150,000 is increasing at speed.

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Q4 2017 REA Average House Price Index  02 January 2018

The rate of increase in three-bed semi-detached home prices in Dublin slowed to 1.5% in the fourth quarter of the year as buyers look to new homes on the horizon, the Q4 Irish Independent REA Average House Price Index has found.
While prices in the capital’s postcode areas have risen by 12.5% in 2017 and stand at €438,000, the Q4 increase of €6,500 is over 60% down on the Q3 rate of 4.1%.
With more new homes developments coming to market, REA agents in the capital see buyers opting to pay a premium for modern build standards and the certainty of a selling price.
"With housing commencements expected to reach 15,000 this year for the first time since 2008, we are seeing real progress in the delivery of new home developments,” said Paul Grimes of REA Grimes who operate in Dublin City Centre, Skerries and Ashbourne and have a good overview of the north Dublin and East Meath markets.
“We are entering a less heated phase in the second-hand market because many buyers are now opting to put deposits on new homes that may not be completed until mid-2018.
“This, in turn, will play a part in freeing up the stock of second hand housing on the market."
New homes are proving very popular as they are A-rated and there are no difficult bidding wars which can be very stressful for buyers in an under-stocked market said agent Barry McDonald of REA McDonald in Lucan.

“New developments are typically not bought by investors, which means there is a greater concentration of owner occupiers in new estates, which means better kept homes and more stability,” he said.
The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the property market in towns and cities countrywide to the close of last week.
The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €225,806, the Q4 REA Average House Price Survey has found – a rise of 1.8% on the Q3 figure of €221,861.
Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 11.3% over the past 12 months – compared to 7.7% nationally in 2016.
“The heated market that we saw throughout much of 2017 has cooled somewhat and we are now in a period of more certainty,” said REA spokesperson Healy Hynes.
“A lack of supply is still the main driver of the market, with listings of second hand properties at a low level around the country.
“Anything that does go on sale is reaching sale agreed in a short period of time – five weeks on average and four weeks in Dublin city.
“However, this is not normal in a properly functioning market, where time periods of eight weeks to sale agreed are more common.”
The commuter counties also returned a restricted growth of 1.5% in Q4, and 10% overall for the year, following a relatively static 2016, with the average house now selling for €229,300.
However, once again the influence of house pricing relative to the Central Bank’s €220,000 deposit threshold is illustrated in a 14.7% annual rise in Meath where the average is €238,000 – almost twice the percentage increase registered in Kildare (7.3%) and Wicklow (7.5%) where average house prices are above the €260,000 mark.
Agents in Trim report that the because their market is comprised of mostly mortgage buyers, they saw a slowdown in Q4 after a year of almost record 24% price rises.

“Demand is strong in Trim for starter homes and with no new homes for sale in the area, REA TE Potterton report that the second-hand market has been buoyant, with commuters moving prices from €195,000 to €242,000 in 12 months,” said Healy Hynes.
“The lowest increase in Q4 was reflected in the country’s cities outside of Dublin, where the grouping of Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway returned 1% growth, with average prices increasing by €2,375 to €238,625.
“Agents in Cork City are returning their third quarter of flat growth – on a 5% annual increase – due to the difficulties that buyers find in breaching the gap between the deposit threshold and the €310,000 market value in the Leeside city.
“Cork city does not benefit from the higher average wages available in the capital and an the average price represents a step too far over the €220,000 mortgage deposit limit cap for some buyers, with our agents reporting properties taking up to 10 weeks to sell, double the national average.
“Galway agents have seen prices grow by 9.6% annually, but just 1% in Q4, with prices at €257,500.
“Limerick has seen 8.5% growth in the year (1.1% to €192,000) in Q4 which Waterford saw prices rise by 2.6% in the quarter to €195,000 and 8.3% on the year, driven by scarcity in supply according to local agents.”
Towns throughout the rest of the country saw rises of 2.6% in the fourth quarter with the average three-bed semi now costing €146,633, up 12.3% from €130,600 in December 2016.
Three-bed semis in Cavan town appreciated in value by a massive 33% in 2017, according to local agent REA Peter Donohoe.
Three-bed semis in the town came from a base of €105,000 a year ago to €140,000 now, with prices increasing by 12% (€15,000) in Q4 alone – again fuelled by a combination of low supply of suitable housing and pricing within affordable levels.
The rise of mortgage-financed non-national buyers is playing an increasing role in the housing market, especially on the east coast in markets as diverse as Dublin 24 and Wexford.
REA McGee in Tallaght has reported a 20% increase in non-national buyers, who are especially interested in apartment living.
REA McCormack Corish in Wexford have reported a 40% increase in the number of non-national buyers who are extremely well organised and always have their mortgage in place and deposits ready to go, according to Robert McCormack.
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Available for interview:
Healy Hynes, REA spokesperson
healy@hynes.ie 087 263 2295
Media information: Darren Hughes, 086 293 7037, Darren@mediaconsult.ie










Electronic measures would reduce vacant properties - AGM 2017  04 December 2017

A host of electronic measures need to be implemented in an effort to reduce the number of vacant properties in the State, according to national estate agency group Real Estate Alliance.

It is now taking five weeks on average to reach sale agreed on a second-hand property, with houses in Dublin taking a week less, the recent Q3 REA Average House Price Survey has found.

However, Real Estate Alliance (REA) members are reporting big delays once sale is agreed on a property.

The AGM heard that there are a number of simple steps that the Government could take – including electronic conveyancing – which would speed up the sales process.

This, in turn, would decrease the number of vacant properties and increase the housing stock.

“When a sale is agreed, it is now taking between three and six months to get the legal process completed and the sale actually closed,” said incoming REA Chairman Eoin Dillon from REA Eoin Dillon in Nenagh.

“There are many instances of sales being agreed within two weeks of coming to the market.

“What we should be aiming for is having sales completed within another four weeks.

“In other parts of the world, electronic conveyancing is allowing sales to complete within two weeks – in Ireland, this process can take between three and six months.

“We need to embrace electronic conveyancing as a starting point, which will then lead to follow-on services also being completed electronically.

“We as agents, and our clients the vendors, also have a responsibility to ensure all paperwork is in order prior to bringing the property to market.

“A home buyers pack, equivalent to the UK model, would be a step in the right direction.

“In the same vein, banks should be able to issue the equivalent of a tax clearance validation number for prospective buyers to prove that they are mortgage approved prior to bidding on a property.

“This issue of probate is one where an electronic system could make a huge difference.

“Where the homeowner has passed away, it is necessary to take out grant of probate on their estate prior to the house being sold.

“And depending on geographic location, it could take six months to get this from the Revenue Commissioners – an area which could be vastly improved with an electronic system.

“It is also taking up to three months to get certification from Irish Water that water bills have been paid.

“Similarly, Local Property Tax and NPPT/Household tax receipts or Property ID numbers should be available online instantly.

“Where a borrower is selling a house that may be in negative equity, banks should give a vendor who is voluntarily selling the house a form of approval which will last for six months consenting to the sale at an agreed price.

“The Central Bank should insist that the same has to be issued within four weeks of a request being submitted by a borrower.

“This is not about auctioneers being frustrated with time lapses – it is a fundamental need in a housing market that is experiencing huge shortage of supply.

“We have to do everything possible to reduce the period where homes are being left idle while the sale is being processed.

"Everyone involved in the business of housing people, from the State down, needs to embrace the technology that would allow more people to be homed in a timely fashion.”

REA is Ireland’s leading property group of Chartered Surveyors with over 55 branches nationwide, comprising many of the country’s longest-established auctioneers and estate agents.

New REA board: Chair: Eoin Dillon (REA Eoin Dillon, Nenagh), Vice Chair: Liam Browne (REA Paddy Browne, Ennis), Eamonn Spratt (REA Spratt, Dungarvan), Michael Gunne (REA Gunne Property Dundalk), Des O’Shea (REA O’Shea O’Toole, Waterford), Michael Donoghue (REA O’Donoghue and Clarke, Cork), Anthony McGee (REA McGee, Tallaght), Seamus Browne (REA Seamus Browne, Roscrea), Darina Collins (REA O’Brien Collins, Drogheda).

Ends
Available for interview: Eoin Dillon, Chairman, Real Estate Alliance, edillon@readillon.ie or chairman@rea.ie 087 2052716
Media enquiries: Darren Hughes, MediaConsult, Darren@mediaconsult.ie, 086 293 7037


Incoming Real Estate Alliance Chairman, Eoin Dillon of REA Eoin Dillon, who was appointed at the Alliance's AGM in Nenagh

Renters Paying Twice as much as paying mortgages  26 September 2017

Renters are moving home to their parents in ever-increasing numbers in an effort to get on the property ladder, according to a national group of estate agents.

With rents exceeding average monthly mortgage costs around the country, tenants are finding that the only way they can raise finance is to abandon independent living in the short term and return home.

“It is increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to save deposits and purchase properties due to the combination of high rental and childcare costs,” said Anthony McGee of REA McGee in Dublin 24.

“There are lots of instances where we are seeing people moving home to parents to save deposits.

“Even though the rents they are paying are in excess of a mortgage on the same property, they can’t seem to attain a mortgage due to their inability to raise money for a deposit.”

The rental market is being squeezed ever upwards by a perfect storm caused by tenants renting on a much longer basis according to REA spokesperson Healy Hynes.

“Tenants traditionally moved around in the hunt for better and cheaper accommodation, but this is no longer the case, and tenancies are becoming much longer,” said Hynes, a specialist in the area.

“This means that there are less rental properties on the market, and those that come up are very often being converted to Airbnb usage.

“All of this has heated a rental market where average rents nationwide are now €1,017.15, having risen 2.8% in the past quarter.

“In contrast, the cost of servicing a €200,000 25-year mortgage on the REA Average Three-Bed Semi price of €221,843 would be €969 at current rates.

“This difference is made even starker when you consider that the average rental price is based mostly on two-bedroomed apartments, not three-bed semi-detached houses which obviously command a higher rent.

“Although 60% of rental properties in the country are now covered by rent pressure zones, they are simply a fire-fighting exercise as it will be 2020 before we can evern hope to see a sufficient supply of new homes coming on to the market.

Dublin agent Ed Dempsey believes that the rental market is a huge problem in Dublin, fuelled by the migration of properties in the capital to Airbnb.

“There are currently 3,000 properties available to rent on Airbnb that would otherwise be in the rental sector. In contrast, there are just 1,000 properties available to rent on the long-term market,” said Dempsey.

REA agents in Balbriggan are finding that in some cases prospective buyers can halve what they are paying rent if they purchase a property in the area.

“If renters can obtain mortgages they are willing to buy sooner rather than later, as in many cases they are halving their rental payments,” said John Cumisky from REA Cumisky.

“Rents have gone through the roof in the area fuelled by an all-time low of supply of suitable rental properties, with many prospective buyers trying to escape from rents of €2,000 a month in Dublin.”

In commuter areas, buying is still far preferable to renting according to Brian Farrell of REA Brophy Farrell in Naas.

“Assuming that an average house priced at €260,000 in Naas will rent for €1,500 per month, a mortgage of 90% loan to value (LTV) will cost 75% of that amount to service, at €1,132 per month.

“When you factor in the cost of mortgage protection insurance, house insurance, property taxes and general repairs and maintenance these figures work out at a similar amount on a month to month basis.”

The traditional investor who buys a three-bed semi and rents it out appears to be retreating from the market on a monthly basis to be replaced by the ‘Air Investor’ according to Robert McGreal of REA McGreal Burke in Castlebar.

“If we take Westport, for example, there are 14 properties listed to rent, 166 for sale, but 250 listed as currently available on Airbnb,” said the Mayo auctioneer.

In Tipperary a significant number of renters, mainly people who have settled in the area over a long term from Eastern Europe, are now opting for the security of home ownership.

“This category of buyer now makes up 50% of our three-bed semi sales. Many of them have substantial savings and recognise that mortgage payments are now significantly less than the rent that they are currently paying,” said Eoin Dillon of REA Dillon in Nenagh.


Ends

Available for interview:
Healy Hynes, REA spokesperson
healy@hynes.ie 087 263 2295
Media information: Darren Hughes, 086 293 7037, Darren@mediaconsult.ie





Q3 2017 REA Average House Price Survey  25 September 2017

The average three bed semi-detached house nationally has risen by 3.1% to €221,843 since June, the Q3 REA Average House Price Survey has found.
The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the up-to-date actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving a real-time picture of the property market in towns and cities countrywide to the close of last week.
Overall, the average house price across the country has risen by 11.2% over the past 12 months – just under twice the 6% increase registered to the full year to September 2016.
The average three-bed semi-detached home in Dublin city’s postcode districts has jumped in value by €17,000 in the three months to the end of September, and now costs an average of €431,500.
The 4.1% rise over the last quarter means that prices in the capital’s postcode areas have increased by 15.6% over the past year, with properties selling in an average of four weeks after hitting the market.
“Supply is the main driver of these continuing price rises with our agents reporting that the volume of listings is down around the country,” said REA spokesperson Healy Hynes.
"In what is becoming a vicious circle, families looking to trade up are not seeing the larger homes becoming available while empty nesters looking to downsize do not have a ready supply of smaller homes emerging on the market.
“To complete the equation, first-time buyers are not seeing the three-bed semis coming through in sufficient numbers.
“Although planning permissions rose by 55% year-on-year in Q2, the 3,630 houses approved will not be on the market for the next two years, and even then this year’s overall figure will be less than half is what is required on an annual basis.
“Looking at the supply figures, it could be 2020 before we see any normalisation in the marketplace.
“Our agents are reporting that where there are new builds coming on stream, the market is extremely active and the first-time buyer is opting to pay a premium of 15-20% higher than the second-hand rate.
“This is having a knock-on effect into the second-hand market with a more discerning buyer now concentrating heavily on energy ratings.
“Where the price is right, we are seeing a good flow of credit into the market, with cash buyers now just making up 20% of the commuter market and sales in Dublin and surrounding counties closing in just four weeks – down from an average of seven a year ago.”
The commuter counties continued to rebound after a relatively static 2016 and saw an increase of 2.7% this quarter, with the average house now selling for €229,300.
However, once again the influence of house pricing relative to the deposit threshold is illustrated in a 4.7% rise in Meath where the average is €234,375 almost twice the percentage increase registered in Kildare (1.8%) and Wicklow (2.4%) where average house prices are above the €260,000 mark.
The commuter flight has once again spread as far as Laois where REA Seamus Browne reports a €10,000 increase in average prices over the past three months as buyers leave Dublin and Kildare in the quest for suitable housing at the right price.
The slowest growth nationwide was registered in the main cities outside of Dublin, as while Galway at €255,000 (up 4.1%) and Limerick at €190,000 (up 2.7%) showed growth, Cork city prices remained static over the three-month period, and just 5.1% up on the year.
The country’s smaller rural towns situated outside of Dublin, the commuter belt and the major cities out-performed the national index with prices rising by an average of 2.8% over the quarter to €142,867.
House prices in Longford have risen by 32% in the past year – but the county still has the cheapest semi-detached houses in the country at an average of €90,000, up from €68,000 in September 2016.
Longford, Leitrim (€97,000) and Donegal (€93,750) are the three counties where properties can be still be purchased for a five-figure sum.
Despite the absence of sterling buyers because of Brexit and the exchange rate, prices in some parts of Donegal have risen by an average of €6,250 since June, fuelled by an acute lack of supply of suitable properties.
Brexit is having an unusual effect on the rental market in West Cork where former sterling buyers are now opting to rent on a long-term basis, creating added pressure on an under-supplied market, according to REA Celtic Properties.

Ends

Available for interview:  
Healy Hynes, REA spokesperson, healy@hynes.ie, 087 263 2295
Media information: Darren Hughes, 086 293 7037, Darren@mediaconsult.ie

Message from Chairman

Eoin Dillon 
REA Eoin Dillon

Under the REA banner, our clients have access to a national network with an international dimension, and we have recently linked up with the UK’s largest property website www.rightmove.co.uk, who now list our properties directly to overseas buyers.

We move people not just property.

Eimer O'Keeffe, Marketing Manager REA