Ireland
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Number of homes for sale across Ireland falls by a fifth in past year, new report shows

The number of homes available to buy across the country has fallen by 20% over the past year, standing at just under 12,200 at the beginning of the month.

According to the latest Daft.ie house price report for the third quarter, the current stock compares to the almost 15,500 available to buy on the same date a year previously, and remains well below the 2019 average of 24,200.

House prices overall in the third quarter were 1.1% higher than a year ago, with much of Munster overall showing a marked increase.

Daft.ie said prices in Cork City were just 1.7% higher, year-on-year, while in Galway, Limerick, and Waterford cities, the rate of annual increase was higher, between 3.9% and 4.7%.

The typical listed price countrywide in the third quarter of the year was €322,602, 3.7% higher than a year ago and roughly 13% below the Celtic Tiger peak, according to Daft.ie's data.

Author of the report, Trinity College Dublin economist Ronan Lyons, said: “The availability of homes is down over 20% year-on-year, at levels of availability only previously seen during the pandemic. 

"While the flow of properties coming onto the market has fallen, it is down only slightly compared to the last year with the previous 12-month period. 

"With supply only down slightly but availability down a lot, demand is holding up far better than might have been expected given the rise in interest rates."

The number of homes being built in the country has held up remarkably well, with roughly 30,000 homes expected to be built this year, close to last year’s total, he added.

"There is a shift away from private rental and into various forms of subsidised housing, including cost rental. But in the sales segment, the second-hand market remains very tight. This came about originally because of the pandemic but the market has never fully recovered. 

With interest rates outside of the control of local policymakers, the other solution is to continue to increase the rate of completions.”

Covid-19 had led to a seizing up of the market in second-hand homes, Mr Lyons said. 

"By March 2022, there were just 10,000 homes for sale across the country. Over the following six months, there was a brief recovery — culminating in that 17,000 figure from October last year. But that turned out to be a peak. 

"Since then, the number of homes available to buy at any point in time has slowly but steadily fallen. In the following year, it has fallen almost 30%, with just 12,200 homes available to buy in September 2023."

Meanwhile, some 4,534 mortgages were approved in August 2023, falling by 4.5% month-on-month and by 18.2% compared with the same period last year, according to figures from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

First-time buyers were approved for 2,829 mortgages, or more than 62% of the total, while mover purchasers accounted for 1,029, or nearly 23%, BPFI said.

Mortgages approved in August were valued at just over €1.3bn, it added.