RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY STABILISATION – PRICES TO INCREASE BY 2% IN 2020 – A period of high price inflation appears to be drawing to a close and the property market looks set for a period of price stabilisation as we head into a new decade, according to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. SCSI members believe national property prices are set to rise by an average of 2% in 2020 – down from 4% last year. A slightly higher increase of 3% is predicted for the Munster and Connacht/Ulster regions.

Chartered agents and auctioneers from around the country say the price stabilisation is being driven by more realistic price expectations, affordability constraints and increased supply in certain areas such as urban commuter belts. According to the SCSI’s annual Residential and Outlook report, which has been running since 1983, the number of chartered agents who said sellers’ price expectations have increased, halved from 80% to 40%.

The President of the SCSI, Johanna Gill said the move towards more realistic pricing was to be welcomed. “The double-digit price inflation we saw in recent years was not sustainable and a return to a more stable market with modest price increases will enable buyers and sellers to plan for the future with more certainty While we knew ‘Brexit’ had an effect on the market, the extent to which it undermined consumer confidence around the country did come as something of a surprise. From Donegal to Cork and from Dublin to Galway our members said Brexit and the uncertainty it caused played a greater role than any other issue in shaping the residential property market in 2019.”

“While we may need to temper our expectations about when a new trading arrangement between the UK and EU is announced, our members believe the greater clarity around Brexit has already led to a renewal of confidence,” Gill said. Other issues cited by the 460 estate agents who took part in the survey was the lack of supply of affordable homes, especially in the €200,000 to €300,000 range, the continued flow of investors out of the rental market and delays in conveyancing.

Denise Maguire   Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine