A new survey of chartered estate agents has found that Covid-19 has had little impact on property values to date and that activity levels are now at higher levels than they were prior to the economic lockdown.
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) carried out the survey of over 260 agents nationwide to measure the true impact of Covid-19 on activities across the property sector.
Sixty-six per-cent of agents reported that property values had remained unchanged compared to pre-Covid-19 times with 28% reporting that values had declined and 6% saying they had increased. This largely supports figures published by the CSO last week showing a 0.3% increase in property values nationally to June 2020.
Three out of four agents (73%) reported that purchase enquiries had increased or remained the same compared to pre-Covid-19 while 63% of respondents said there had been an increase or similar number of property viewings.
While the residential rent sector has largely been protected from the worst impacts of the virus by a variety of income and rental supports, SCSI say it is clear many tenants – and landlords – are finding it a challenge to meet their financial obligations.
The survey found that on average 8% of tenants had not met their monthly rent obligations due to Covid-19 and that just over a third of this group had provided satisfactory evidence of inability to pay to their landlord. SCSI Vice President and Cork based agent TJ Cronin said the findings underlined the resilience and the adaptability of the property sector, but he warned that the outlook remained challenging.
This survey indicate one in ten property sales were renegotiated with the newly renegotiated price amounting to a 3% reduction on average on the original sale agreed figure. TJ Cronin said over half of respondents (54%) experienced renegotiations of sales due to Covid-19.
Commenting on the survey, TJ Cronin said, "Clearly Covid-19 introduces a range of new variables to property purchasing, chief among them right now being the mortgage approval process. While we don’t have accurate figures for the total number of renegotiated sales, we think it’s fair to conclude that due to the knock-on effects of Covid-19 there has been an increase in the region of 10% in renegotiated sales."