There was slow but steady growth in Ireland’s residential property market last year, with 55,000 homes purchased in 2018, an increase of just 8% on the previous year.
This is according to the latest quarterly Consumer Market Monitor (CMM), published today by the Marketing Institute of Ireland and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
Excluding mortgages from the 2018 figures, there were almost 25,000 homes purchased with cash or savings last year. This represents 45% of all the properties sold, similar to the level of cash purchases made during the recession years, 2009-2013.
The report shows the number of homes purchased in Ireland last year was approximately half the amount purchased during the height of the last boom in 2005, when 105,000 homes were sold.
The Consumer Market Monitor (CMM) also shows that there was an increase of 12% in the number of mortgages issued during 2018, with 30,629 drawn down, but again 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.
While market growth was sluggish, demand remains high for housing in Ireland. The CMM shows that there has been a rapid expansion in the workforce - since 2012 there have been 430,000 new jobs created and the annual rate of new household formation is at approximately 35,000.
The author of the report, Professor Mary Lambkin says, "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."