A new study based on an analysis of residential property sales recorded in the Property Price Register during the first quarter 2020 shows the market is now at its lowest level for a first quarter since 2017, while sales in six counties in Leinster are down by at least 6% compared with the first quarter of 2019.
The study, which was carried out by leading property website MyHome.ie, shows that the number of sales nationwide was down by 4.6% in the first quarter 2020 compared to the same quarter the year before (11,161 sales in the first quarter 2020, compared with 11,702 in the first quarter 2019). These are the lowest quarter one sales figures since the first quarter 2017, when 11,053 units were sold.
The analysis also shows mixed results in urban centres – there has been a fall in activity in Dublin, with the number of sales in the capital dipping by 7.2% (3,482 sales in the first quarter 2020 compared to 3,751 sales in the first quarter 2019). In Limerick, meanwhile, sales rose by 7.2% (434 sales in the first quarter 2020 compared to 405 sales in the same period last year).
Across the country, 13 counties reported a fall in sales figures, eight counties experienced rises and five counties stayed flat (Galway at -0.5%, Kerry at 0.7%, Mayo at -0.3%, Offaly at 0% and Waterford at 0.6%).
Dublin, which is responsible for almost a third of sales in the Irish property market, recorded 3,482 sales in the first quarter of 2020. The capital was followed by Cork with 1,267 sales, and Kildare with 567. The counties with the lowest number of sales were Leitrim (89), Monaghan (90), and Longford (91).
Commenting on the figures, Managing Director of MyHome.ie, Angela Keegan said, "Brexit uncertainty had a significant effect on sales activity in late 2019, something which was apparent into the new year. This was compounded by Covid-19 at the start of March, just when we thought we would see an increase in sales. The Government’s roadmap for the easing of Covid-19 restrictions states that construction workers can resume work from May 18th."
She added, "This clarity is welcome as the longer we wait for construction to resume, the greater the fall-off in new homes will be which is something the market can ill-afford at present."