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Why Springtime is best time to sell your home

January is a tough sell for many people. The twinkling Christmas lights have been packed away, the bills are imminent and cold and darkness abound, but Spring is just around the corner and it brings with it the best conditions for those who want to sell their property.

If you buy a home in springtime, chances are good that you will move in during the summer. Almost all buyers want to be in their new homes before the chaos of the schools starting back in September. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that, for that reason, house sales tend to decline during July and August before picking up somewhat in the Autumn. As temperatures plummet in Winter so do house sales with very few people wanting to move over Christmas. The truth is that there is no better time to sell than Spring, so, if you’re thinking of selling your home, January is the best time to start making inquiries.

Why this year’s early Easter is good news for sellers

Easter Sunday is very early this year (1st April). School holidays are bad news for sellers as families tend to be too busy to search for of view properties. With the Easter holidays out of the way in the first few days of April this year, sellers will have a good uninterrupted run into Summer. With the longer evenings in springtime, they can also look forward to more viewings.

In a nutshell: Five reasons why Springtime is the best time to sell

1.     Longer evenings mean more viewings.

2.     Blooming gardens make homes look more inviting.

3.     Chances are good for moving in before the schools start back in autumn.

4.     An early Easter means even more viewings during Spring.

5.     People are more likely to embrace major changes like moving house after the New Year.

Take the first step: Find out how much your property is worth for free

Whether you’re planning a move, or if you’re just curious, why not take advantage of our free property valuation offer to learn how much your home would fetch in the current market. Click here to arrange your free valuation today. Our dedicated team of property professionals has over thirty years’ experience of selling commercial and residential property in South Dublin and North Wicklow. As a tightly-focused, independent team, we work harder and smarter to sell your property for the highest possible price in the shortest time. Click on the button below to ask about your free valuation.

Free Property Valuation when selling your property from a qualified European Blue Book Valuer

If you want to sell your home as quickly as possible for the highest value possible then you’ll want your property to look its best when the doors open for viewings. Here are our top five tips to make the best possible impression:

1) Declutter and depersonalise

Removing the clutter in your home will make it appear much more spacious and airy. Don’t forget to declutter your wardrobes, cupboards, garage, utility rooms, out-houses and the attic to create the impression of abundant storage space. Items that personalise a home, like family photographs, can create a barrier for viewers who want to imagine themselves living there. Clear them away and give viewers plenty of blank canvas to paint their own aspirations on your property.

2) Clean it like you mean it

Consider bringing in a specialist to deep clean your home from top to bottom, inside and out. Walls, floors, doors, electrical appliances, carpets and windows should all be spotless. Use a pressure washer to spruce up paths, driveways, patios and yards. Cut the grass and get rid of any weeds.

3) Dispel the smell

Avoid lighting scented candles or using other artificial air fresheners. Viewers may become suspicious that the scent is masking issues such as dampness or flooding damage. Open the windows and let the air circulate. If you insist on creating an inviting smell, bake some bread or brew some coffee. Even pet-owners may be turned off by evidence of animals inhabiting your home. Remove pet beds, bowls and toys and make sure that there isn’t a single hair of evidence of their presence.

4) Lend a lick of luxury to the lavatory

The bathroom must be sparklingly clean. Ask yourself what you expect to see when you enter the bathroom of a luxury hotel room, then try to get as close to that experience as is possible. Buy a neutral-coloured toilet seat, floor mat and shower curtain. Add some plush white towels and strategically place a few untouched luxury soaps and shampoos in the room.

5) Let bedrooms be bedrooms

Have you converted a bedroom into an office, home gym or your own personal bar? You’re living the dream, but you should consider converting it back into a bedroom. The number of bedrooms is a major selling point for most homes. Re-purposed bedrooms make it harder for many buyers to imagine their entire family living there comfortably. Pack up your laptops, your dumbbells or your beer mats and put a bed in the room. Put clean, neutral bed linen on all beds. Naked divans are a major turn-off.

Sell for more and keep more

Do you want to sell your property for the highest possible price and keep more of the proceeds? Talk to our experienced, tightly-focussed, independent team for a free market valuation. We work harder and smarter to sell your property for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time with the most favourable terms.

Up to €1 billion of investment transactions in play at present

Expectations of some further price sharpening over the coming months

Industrial sector produced best rental growth in the first six months

Larger sites and land portfolios expected to be offered for sale in the second half of the year

Up to €250 million of hotel sales expected in Ireland in 2017

Click here to read q1 2017 performance report – cbr

Construction costs make up less than half the total of building a new home in the capital, a new report has found.

According to the report by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), the average cost of building a three bedroom, semi-detached house in the greater Dublin area is €330,000.

The construction costs – or “hard costs” – came to €150,000, amounting to less than half (45pc) of the total cost of building the house.

The remaining €180,000 consists mainly of “soft costs” such as the land and acquisition costs of €57,000 (17pc of total), VAT of €39,000 (12pc) and a margin of €38,000 (11pc).

Michael Mahon of the SCSI described the fact that the soft costs dominate the total cost as an issue the government urgently needs to address.

“The country is experiencing a chronic housing shortage which is contributing significantly to the current homelessness crisis,” he said.

“The findings of this report highlight a number of pressing issues, particularly on the soft cost side.

“We need to kick-start housing supply as soon as possible and to accelerate from the current output of 12,000 units per annum to the 25,000 units which is required.”

The report, entitled ‘The Real Cost of New House Delivery’, is based on a study of eight house-building projects in the greater Dublin area, each containing a minimum of 30 units.

It found that the cost of building a new house in the capital is a staggering €45,000 more than the median asking price of a three bedroom semi-detached house in Dublin, according to a property report from MyHome.ie/Davy.

SCSI also surveyed a couple, both of whom earn the average industrial wage of €37,000, and found they would be unable to afford the cost of a new house, even after drawing a maximum loan amount.

If they were to buy a three bedroom semi, priced at €285,000, they would require a deposit of €35,000.

With a combined income of €74,000, they could draw a maximum loan of €259,000, which would allow them to purchase a property up to €294,000 – leaving them €36,493 short of the current total required to provide a new house.

“It is clear there is a serious financial viability issue and it is difficult to see how developers can commence building in this market with particular emphasis in urban areas where the demand is highest but where land prices are also at their highest,” said Mr Mahon.

Source: Meadhbh McGrath – independent.ie

 

As it is well known construction is well off the 2006-2007 peak year numbers, but construction output is slowly starting to increase. Ireland faces a number of uphill battles:

  • Failure to meet the required 25,000 new residential units per year target (with just over 11,000 last year and only just over 8,000 in 2014)
  • Dublin alone needs to build 35, 433 Residential units between 2014 to 2018
  • The available properties for sale is at a 9 year low 24,000 compared to 60,000 in 2009
  • The Number of available rental properties only stands at 3,600
  • The rental market is now around 700,000 people with 10,000 new market entrants per month
  • Dublin only has 27 homes per 10,000 people compared to the rest of the country at 62
  • Lack of available zoned and serviced land to build on
  • Increased sale and monthly rental prices
  • The slow adoption by developers to the new financial lending system by banks, no longer able to obtain 100% finance from banks.
  • Increased building regulations and costs
  • Time taken from purchase of zoned land to a construction activity commencing is under serious scrutiny
  • 200% increase in mortgage repossession from 2014 to 2015
  • Overall lost wealth of 17.6 billion Euros of house value from mortgage holders from 2007

The good news:

  • Over 27,000 new residential developments are either in the planning or building stage in 2016 and 2017
  • 6,658 residential units have accepted planning permission in 2016 (up 89%), one off developments 3,592 (up 16%) and 2,794 apartments (up 256%)
  • The 2,806 hectares of land under Nama control under the residential density guidelines, can offer enough space for up to 84,000 to 140,000 new homes
  • Construction output has increased year on year from 2011, with 2014 at 9.48 billion Euros, 2015 increased to 12.55 billion Euros and 2016 projected to be 15 billion Euros
  • The Construction Information Services (CIS) reported in 2016, 1 billion Euros of planning permission in place. Over 2,000 new residential units are under construction (up 72%), with an additional 3,900 due to enter the construction stage later this year
  • Planning permission was up 70% in 2015 (13,000 residential units)

It is now time that real estate companies capitalise on any market opportunities that present themselves. Modern business has no sympathies for traditions, as we must remain on high alert at all times to remain effective and relevant to the market. Opportunities are very scarce at the moment, so there is an ever present need to be ahead of the game and be innovative. The window of opportunity will only continue to get smaller, as more modern technology becomes available and competitors continue to hone their reactive and proactive capabilities. Market competitiveness is fierce at the best of times, so under the current circumstances this present various directions a real estate business can choice:

  • Exit the market
  • Downscale their business operations
  • Do nothing and remain as you are
  • Partner with another business and combine your expertise, resources and finances
  • Take advantage of the scarce resources and adapt your business approach to be a market leader now and in the future (ready for new residential units entering the market)

 

 

 

 

The amount of Nama land under repossession which cannot be built upon Ireland was set a target of building 25,000 new residential units per year to elevate their housing stock shortage and meet the requirements of their growing population. In 2014 and 2015 8,400 and 11,000 residential units were completed far short of the target. Due to the gap growing year on year rental prices and sales prices got more expensive, thus creating two major issues. Firstly, the rental market only gets bigger due to unaffordability of mortgages Secondly, increased repossessions as people struggle to keep up with repayments (up 200% in 2015 1000 compared to 333 in 2014).

Ireland during it’s the Celtic Tiger Era built an unprecedented 73,073 houses and 19,946 apartments. Alan Kelly the environmental TD called this a “false economy” as developers shouldn’t be expecting massive profits under the current circumstances. A new type of developer is needed, one interested in investing in the long term, social, affordable rental homes and sales homes. Irish construction is projected to be at 15 billion Euros by the end of 2016, up from 12.55 billion Euros last year. The construction economy is still only at 40% of the 2007 peak levels and well below the sustainable average 10-12% of the GDP. The Bruce Shaw report believes Ireland needs to be closer to the 20 to 24 billion Euros, with construction costs increasing by 7% in 2016.

Irish developers and builders have found the old finance models of 100% loans from banks no longer apply. The banks will now only provide up to 60%, meaning developers have to find additional funding from third parties (mezzanine or equity partners) as well. The CIF (construction Industry Federation) recently held a conference for over 200 developers, builders and contractors, to highlight the best ways to gain financial approval under the banking system “construction Financing Options” CIF believe there needs to be a strong change in the approach taken by the construction Industry, when getting projects off the ground. Tom Parlon CIF General Director quoted “Whether we like it or not, the old system of construction finance is dead.  Most projects will need to make use of these new models if they are to move forward.  The industry has been looking for alternative funding options.  We now need to start utilising these more complicated financial structures”

Nama presently has 2,806 Hectares of land in receivership, which cannot be built on due to lack of transport, sewage and schools, along with 184,000 ghosts estates which either having planning permission or construction work has stopped. 60% of land in receivership is located in Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow, providing enough land for 80,000 new homes. Under the residential density guidelines a minimum of 30 to 50 houses per hectare, once construction can start anywhere from 84,000 to 140,000 new homes can be built. This land is vital to meeting the housing shortage as Ireland boasts one of the youngest populations in Europe with 53% aged from 24 to 64, and only 12% 65 plus. Irish developers and builders are no longer catering just for the Irish population, as Ireland attracts waves of EU and rest of world citizen’s year on year (9,000 EU citizens and 25,000 rest of the world in 2015).

I was very fortunate to work in the Dubai property market and watch a country take on the property bust head on and build their way out of it, investors and developers continued to invest and build as it later cemented its status as the elite property market. If you count the delayed projects from 2015 there is a potential to add a further 46,000 new residential units to their already massive stock. Dubai due it’s ever increasing expat culture has launched new ways to reduce the rental market and promote ownership. Schemes such as allowing payment of a new home over a 5 to 10 year period, By paying 50% upfront and then instalments each year , this reduces the financial stress and debt that comes from a mortgage. Cash buyers in Ireland represented 48% of the sales transactions in Q4 2015, so the opportunity and scope for developers to introduce such schemes is definitely apparent. Mortgages in Ireland during its peak was 114,600 applications and a total value of 32 billion Euros, 2015 levels were 26,756 and 4.7 billion Euros. Presently under the new mortgage regulations, new applicants are looking at an average of 50,000 Euros for their deposit, whilst paying a monthly rental fee. The Rental Market in Ireland 5 years ago had 16,000 properties available, last year 5,200 and now 3,600 causing rental prices to increase by 9% in 2015, 10.7% in 2014 and 6.7% in 2013. Outside of Dublin, areas such as Cork (15.4%), Galway (13.3%), Limerick (12.4%) and Waterford (10.3%) saw the biggest increases. In terms of sales price the national average has now reached 210,000 Euros up from 198,000 in Quarter 1 2015. Dublin house prices are up 91,000 (41%), since its low point mid 2012, followed by Cork up 14.9%, Galway 14% and Limerick and Waterford (both 18%).

The latest 2016 CIS (construction Information Services) report predicts that 1 billion of Euros is already in planning permission in Dublin alone, followed by Leinster 600 million, Munster 500 million, Connaught 120 million and Ulster 100 million. On top of this Munster leads the way with residential units awaiting planning permission with 650 million, followed by Leinster 450 million. Only just over 2,000 residential units are currently in the building stage, 1800 in Dublin, 990 Leinster, 400 Munster, and Ulster and Connaught 200 combined (up 72% compared to last year) Residential units granted planning permission will add a further 3,900 to the market worth a combined 480 million Euros. Ireland unlike Dubai also has to contend with the new Paris agreement on increasing its energy efficiency on new residential and commercial builds, the Green Building Council has given Ireland one year to submit its “natural renovation Strategy” as well as meet the new standards outlined by the 12 European Councils under the “build upon” initiative, saving up to 195 million Euros in energy costs by 2020.

Dubai adopted a very proactive construction approach from the early on set, placing their trust in the belief the property market would bounce back and they would be at the forefront when it did. This happened and now they are the standard setter to the result of the world, Ireland did the opposite as construction dropped and developers and builders stopped building as construction costs rose and profits dropped. Despite previous interest from foreign developers, building costs and regulations have seen very few take up projects. The government needs to address and find a solution to attract foreign developers with stronger funding to assist in the housing shortage we are experiencing. Irish developers and builders could benefit from a different mindset and the experiences faced and overcome from other countries to bring about the required changes.  Whilst not all Irish developers and builders have been shown to be very risk adverse, some developers have continued to battle the red tape and find finance to start new projects. Others have continued to remain quiet and use more active developers to test the market conditions. The need to move away from the conservative approach and improve the financial, governmental and construction relations is imperative to setting up mirrored and centrally agreed targets and plans. Progressive thinking can be a key driver for Ireland, one similar to Dubai as it‘s a normality for new Dubai residential developments to be 80% sold within a few months of the launch. The Dubai Government is very strict to developer’s delivering their originally submitted building plans, potentially facing fines for not delivering on them. Nama recently discussed a construction commitment clause in all their sales contracts to make sure developers had intent to build upon purchase and reduce the housing issue faced.

Source – Matthew Scott 4pm.ie

Ireland in 2015 saw both signs of improvements, but also the repeat of previous bad habits. Supply continues to be the major talking point as supply is well below the desired numbers required, since 2013 a target of 25,000 new residential developments per year has been set. New development output has been well short each year with only 8,300 completions in 2014 and 11,000 in 2015. The number of complaints logged against real estate agencies increased from 198 in 2014 to 283 in 2015 (with only two cases having imposed fines of 16,000 Euros). At less than 24,000, the total number of properties for sale is at its lowest point since February 2007. 48,105 sale transactions were completed, worth a total value of 10.62 Billion Euros, making the average sale price across Ireland 220,960 Euros. Secondary Homes dominated the market with 42,221 transactions compared to only 6, 171 new homes and apartments. Real estate agents would have made a combined total of 159 million Euros in commission (at an average of 1.5% per transaction). Dublin and Cork combined to make 6.3 Billion of the overall 10.62 Billion Euros generated (20,637 of the 48,105 transactions) with West Meath, Monaghan, Carlow and Off aly the least profitable areas.

Since 2006 completions have gone from a peak of 93,419 down to 11,000 in 2015 (but up from 7,700 in 2014). The number of available properties has reduced in each province from 2014 to 2015, Leinster 7,600 to 6,500, Munster 12,500 to 10,000 and Connaught/Ulster 10,000 to 8,000. Presently there is over 184,000 ghost estates currently outside of the market, either that haven’t been built yet or waiting planning permission (only 35,000 in urban areas). 1,400 new homes will need to built per month to meet the required demand level. House completions in Ireland has always represented over 75% of total new residential development since 2006, with a peak of 90% in 2013 (7,379) and a low of 75% in 2007 (58,936).

Since 2010 9,000 units have been brought in bulk by inventors rather than families, adding to strain of the housing shortage Ireland continues to Experience. These 9,000 units over just 300 deals. The Government since 2010 has also launched two initiatives to deal with the housing shortage construction 2020 and the social housing strategy 2014 – 2016. 7,500 units were brought in Dublin, Cork and Galway worth 1.9 billion Euros, other areas of large investment were Cavan, Limerick, Kildare, Wicklow and Louth. In 2014, 2,400 units were sold for 666 Million Euros, but mostly unfinished. Dublin equated to 1.6 Billion Euros of total investment, as areas such as Mayo, Leitrim and Longford have no transactions of more than 10 units, 2015 posted numbers of 140 million Euros of investment across 777 units.

Ireland remains opposite to the rest of Europe, in terms of having more people in dwelling in detached or semidetached houses compared to apartment/flats. The EU 28 saw an average of 25.6% living in semi-detached, 33.7% detached, and 41% flats. The highest year of construction for housing was 2006 with 73,073, 2014 levels were down to 8,766. On the other hand, Apartments have never achieved over 25% of total construction output from 2004 to 2014. With completions reducing year on year from 2006 to 2013 (19,946 to 922), with 2014 (2,250) and 2015 (1,800). Quarter 4 2015 saw total completions at 1,800 down from 2,700 in Quarter 4 2014 (Planning permission is down 12% on the year 2014 to 2015 down almost 300 units).

Nama in 2016 reportedly has 2,806 hectares of land in receivership, across 22 counties, 60% of the land in receivership is located in Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow. The Land provides enough space for an additional 80,000 new homes.

Unfortunately, there is a substantial barrier to building on the land though, this being inferior infrastructure in sewage, transport and roads and schools. Despite planning permission being up 70% on last year (13,000 in 2015), the housing shortage is no nearer to being resolved. Presently, there are 6,658 accepting planning permissions for Estate building units (up 89%), 3,592 one off developments (up 16%) and 2,794 apartments (up 256%). The residential density guidelines from the department of the environment suggest a minimum of 30 to 50 new homes/apartments per Hectare in an urban area. Under these guidelines, major cities could build anywhere from 84,000 to 140,000 new homes to ease the housing storage. Leitrim, Clare, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo and Donegal combined represented less than six hectares. Longford, Cavan, Kerry and Tipperary had no land in receivership. But in contrast to the reduced completions, transactions were up quarter on quarter in 2015 with over 12,000 in Quarter 4 2015 alone. Registrations are down from 1,157 to 859 from Quarter 3 to Quarter 4, down 42% on the quarter and up 4% for the year. Dublin accounted for 3,500 transactions in Quarter 4 2015, followed by the Mideast 270 and Southwest 200, the Midlands were below 100, Midwest around 100 and West just over 100.  The Number of completions in 2015 Quarter 1 to Quarter 3 saw Fingal (840), Cork (790) and Dublin (480) as the areas with the most activity, Carlow (140), Cavan (180) and Westmeath (140) amongst the lowest recorded levels. The only cities that didn’t see housing completions increase quarter on quarter were Donegal, Fingal, and Dublin. Construction output since 2011 has improved from 9.48 billion Euros to 12.55 Billion Euros. Leinster, Connaught and Ulster all saw their output activity up from 27% to 40%, with only Munster declining by 5% (down 1.88 billion Euros) Urban living in Ireland now accounts for Over 50% of dwellers, increased year on year since the 1980’s, but still below the EU28 average of 75%. Leinster has accounted for over two thirds of the population growth in Ireland since the 1960’s.

Dublin has 165 of the total 337 (48.96%) residential construction projects in the planning or building stage from December 2015 to February 2016, with most of the new projects costing up to 10 million Euros (the most expensive residential development being worth 2.5 billion Euros. Dublin’s overall construction output of 4.3 billion Euros, more than all the other provinces combined with Munster 500.21 Million Euros, Connaught 87.10 Million Euros and Ulster 23.358 Million Euros (Leinster spent 665.62 million Euros not including Dublin) Cork had the second highest activity with 46 planned new residential developments and Meath (26). The least active cities in Leinster were Longford (0) , County Offaly (1) and West Meath (2) Munster, very similar to Leinster has a majority of their new residential developments in their most populated city (Cork 46 projects) accounting for 63% of total province construction activity, followed by Limerick with 10 and Clare (7). Kerry (4), Waterford and Tipperary (both 3) had the lowest construction outputs. Connaught’s most active city was Galway with 14 projects (51% of total province construction activity), matching the construction output of the other cities combined. Both Leitrim and Sligo have 0 new residential developments in the planning or building stage.

Ireland is the only EU 28 country with almost double digit projected construction output growth from 2014 to 2018 (9% to 10.10%), with only Poland close to their performance +4.90% to +7.50%. Germany, France and the UK show smaller growth year on year (-2.80% to +5.29%) The advantage to building in Ireland is cheaper costs per SQ M ranging from 1,250 to 1,750 Euros SQ M compared to the rest of EU 28 1,150 to 3,000 Euros per SQ M. Ireland’s most expensive build is high rise apartments (1,750 Euros per SQ M) and the cheapest townhouses (1,250 Euros per SQ M) similar to Germany and the Netherlands. Ireland like the UK since 2014, have some of the smallest houses in Europe, with only the UK (76 SQ M) and Finland (87.1 SQ M) below them. In Comparison Denmark (137 SQ M), Greece (126.4 SQ M) and Netherlands (115.5 SQ M) lead the way. Ireland are amongst the most rooms per house (5.2) with Belgium the highest at 5.8, Due to the number of rooms Ireland boosts the second smallest rooms (16.8 SQ M) with only the UK smaller (15.8 SQ M) Both Denmark (39.1 SQ M with 3.5 rooms) and Greece (39.5 SQ M and 3.2 rooms) are the largest. Ireland boasts the youngest population in Europe with 53% aged from 25-64, and only 12% 65 plus. Also less Irish citizens are now leaving the country with the peak year being 2013 (52,000) and current numbers around 34,000 now, on top of this around 40,000 to 70,000 previously immigrated Irish are due to return by 2020. Ireland continues to attract lots of EU (9,000 in 2015) and rest or world citizens (25,000 in 2015) commanding an average wage of 23 to 45,000 Euros.

The Irish rank 9th in the EU 28 for average monthly rent (2,129 Euros), well above the EU 28 average of 1,469 Euros. The average yearly wage currently stands at 35,600 Euros across 1.9 million working people, but in reality over 50% make less than 28,500 and only 35,000 people in the top 1% of 200,000 Euros plus. Dublin employs over 40% of the total countries workforce and makes up most the top 25% earning around 40 – 70,000 Euros. Dublin in 11th and Cork 30th both appearing in the top 50 most expensive cities in Europe. The average income per area surprising doesn’t see Dublin in first place, but fourth instead (230,000 Euros per person), with the South-East (259,000 Euros), Mid-West and Midlands (around 239,000 Euros) completing the top three. The least prosperous areas are the West (186,000 Euros), the Border (190,000 Euros) and the Mid-East (210,000 Euros). Dublin accounts for 28.3% of the total income earnt, with the South West and South East at 15% and 13% (the Midlands only contributes 6%). Irish people spend the second highest amount of their wages on their rent with 34% and also have the second highest rent average 679 Euros (The EU 28 average is between 25-28%).

Mortgage draw-downs are up 6.4% for the quarter and 4% for the year, whilst first time buyers were up 4% and down 5.4% on the year with an average of 171,500 Euros (up 2.6%). Total draw-downs were up from 1,005,000 Million Euros to 1,284,000 Million Euros. In 2006 mortgages peaked at 114,600 and a total value of 32 billion Euros. The Central Bank is looking to lend closer to the 8 billion Euro mark by the end of 2016, and presently only near the 4 billion mark (4.7 billion and 26,756 transactions) 29% increase on 2014 and a projected 11% growth in 2016. Ireland is now performing well above its low of 2011 with only 12,900 applications similar to 1970’s numbers. Ireland from Quarter 1 2014 to Quarter 1 2015 were the worst performing EU 28 country with -13% available credit, only beaten by the Ukraine -32%, the best EU 28 performers being Sweden (+4%), Estonia (+3%), Norway (+3%) and Malta (+2%). Cash buyers have a strong representation of all transactions with 46% in 2015, with 8,103 out of 12,065 completed in quarter 4 2015. Housing loan approvals are down from 6,799 in Quarter 2 to 6,131 in Quarter 4 20% reduction on the year, re-mortgages are up 19% on the quarter and 53% on the year (797 to 993).

House prices in Dublin have rose by 2.7% in 2015 compared to 2014, with the rest of the country around 13.1%. The average house sale in Dublin is down 0.4% and outside of Dublin up 7.6%. The rental market continues to dominate as the new mortgage laws have seen less people in a position to afford the deposits. Rents in Dublin are up from 1,368 per month Quarter 2 to 1,435 in Quarter 4 up 8% for the year, with the rest of Ireland up from 694 Euros per month to 727 Euros per month up 10% for the year. With the new landlord regulations restricting an increase less an every 2 years enforceable from January 2016, rents will continue to increase over the next 6 to 12 months. Landlords will be fined if they use the intent to sell letter to find tenants that will bring in higher rent without the original intent to sell. The most expensive houses remain in Dublin (380,507), followed by Wicklow (309,263) and Kildare (254,976) with Longford (85,821), Roscommon (89,886) and Leitrim (95,801) amongst the cheapest. The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has seen complaints over unfair rent hikes increase by almost 70pc in the space of one year as tenants struggle to meet the demands of international rental agencies and private landlords. In 2014, the RTB dealt with 185 disputes over rent being higher than the market rate. This jumped to 313 cases last year and already 66 disputes have been lodged in the first three month of this year. Most disputes centre on rent deposits and rent arrears – last year they accounted for more than 1,200 cases. There was 320 “unlawful termination of tenancy” or illegal eviction cases last year, which is a 40pc increase on the number of disputes registered in 2014.

The Irish Banking Federation reported first time buyers borrowed 1.685 million Euros over 10,000 transactions Quarter 1 to Quarter 3 2015, compared to 1.877 million Euros over 11,476 transactions over the whole of 2014. First time buyers were purchasing houses valued around 220,000 Euros first 2 Quarters, by the end of Quarter 3 this increased to 250,000 to 280,000 Euros. First time buyers have increased to an average age of 33, compared to 29 in 2005. Daft.ie reported Dublin 10 and Dublin 8 (5.8% to 24.5%), with Dublin 6 the biggest loser (-4.38% to -5.7%). Outside of Dublin, Cavan, Clare and Cork (15.7% to 26.1%).

Repossessions in 2015 were over 1000 by Quarter 3 2015, around 60 per week up 200% on 2014 with only 313 over the whole of 2014. Cork had the most repossessions with 123, Dublin 116, Wexford 68, Sligo only had 7. Banks have over 7,000 outstanding mortgage repossessions going through the courts according to the Irish Mortgage Holders Association with  Dublin the most outstanding with 1,673, Cork 627, Meath 607, whilst Longford 100, Carlow 116, and Leitrim 75 the least active courts. Ireland currently has over 38,000 homes with rents over due by 720 days or above, 18,000 from 361 to 720 days and 12,000 from 181 to 360 days. Mortgage Holders have lost nearly 17.6 Billion Euros of wealth since 2007, with 43% of Mortgage holders from 2011 – 2013 expressing negative equity (50% from the period of 2011 – 2013) an average loss per mortgage is around 66,300 Euros, with rural areas hit the worst. Ireland in 2015 had the highest ratio of mortgage debt across the Eurozone 73% compared to an average of 37% (Holland was second with 52%) The Insolvency Service of Ireland has wrote off 72 Million Euros worth of Mortgage debt over 641 personal cases, with 4 billion Euros of arrears outstanding across family homes and investments.

Source – Matthew Scott – 4pm.ie

 

 

 

 

 

AIB has reacted to the formation of a new Government by cutting its variable mortgage rate for new and existing customers.

The State-owned banking group said its rate will come down by 0.25pc from start of July.

However, the group said the new lower variable rates only apply to AIB customers, and there has been no reduction announced for EBS and Haven mortgage holders.

AIB is also said it is now offering a new €2,000 contribution towards the professional fees for customers who switch to it.

The latest cut in its variable rate will see reduced to 3.40pc for residential customers, both new and existing ones.

It will mean annual savings of €320 for someone with a €200,000 mortgage to be paid back over 25 years.

Some 76,000 mortgage account holders will benefit from the new lower variable rate when it comes down in July, the bank said.

This is the fourth time AIB variable rates have come down in the last 18 months.

The new Enda Kenny-led Government has made reducing variable rates a key priority. Other banks will now be forced to react to the rate cut.

 

 

 

 

Source: (Independent.ie – Charklie Weston – Personal Finance Editor (09-05-16))

 

 

 

Move aimed at preventing removal of tenants while new residents sought – at higher rent

Landlords who attempt to evict tenants by claiming that they are selling properties will face fines of up to €3,000, it if subsequently emerges that they did not sell, under proposals going to the Cabinet today.

A legal declaration will have to be signed by landlords if they issue notice to tenants saying they want to get the property back for sale, Minister Alan Kelly and Minister Michael Noonan will tell colleagues.

The move is aimed at curbing the practice where landlords tell tenants their property is being sold while subsequently recruiting new residents at a higher rent. Currently, the Private Residential Tenancies Act allows tenants to be evicted if a landlord intends to sell the property or needs it for themselves or their family. The Minister for the Environment is also proposing a requirement for landlords to inform tenants of their legal rights and how to contest a rent increase. Mr Kelly and the Minister for Finance’s package centres on plans to fix rents for two years.

It will also give landlords who house social tenants 100 per cent mortgage interest relief. The package will also introduce a requirement for landlords to give 28 days’ notice of a rent increase. Measures to abolish development levies for homes sold for less than €300,000 in certain areas will also form part of the proposals. This will only apply for three years before vacant sites are subject to a charge, to discourage land speculation.

Sources said development levies on homes valued at €300,000 in Dublin and Cork will be abolished for only three years and that a vacant-site levy will then encourage builders to use sites. The development levy changes will take effect from January at the latest. However, there is an expiry date of 2019 on this initiative – the same date the previously announced vacant-site levy will take effect.

Fine Gael TD Tom Barry has said the legislation was not properly thought through and warranted further examination. Mr Barry confirmed he would be exiting the rental market and selling the 10 properties he owns. He said landlords across the country were being punished for the actions of a handful based in Co Dublin.

“Why would you come into the property sector when you see the private investors come in being condemned to losing money for longer?” he asked.

“The minute Government gets involved in the market they create an air of uncertainty. We need the small businessperson to invest in properties and to rent them out there.”

Ref: Irish Times – Sarah Bardon

The value of building projects ongoing in Ireland has increased by two thirds in the last nine months to more than €4bn.

New data from the Building Information Index, which tracks building related data, projects worth €4.25bn were being worked on around the country in the first nine months of this year.

That is an increase of more than €1.7bn compared to the same time in 2014.

Importantly, the report shows that the increase has not been confined to Dublin, with strong performances being seen across the country.

The value of projects in Munster has jumped 126pc, while Dublin activity is up by three quarters. Connacht and Ulster has seen activity values increase by a third while in Leinster construction is up 39pc.

“When we analyse project commencements in the first nine months of 2015 in each the seven sectors that the index compiles data for, commercial and retail continued to be the strongest performing sector at €830m which represented an increase of 99pc when compared to the same period in 2014,” said Building Information Ireland MD Danny O’Shea.

“Also experiencing a 99pc rise was the industrial sector, with a rise to €482m. In a sign of growing confidence in the residential sector, commencements almost doubled with a rise of 98pc to a value of €2.1bn,” he said.

It is clear from the data that new projects are coming almost entirely from the private sector

Projects funded exclusively by the exchequer in areas such as education, show a continued drop in project commencements with a fall of 7pc to €211m. This is also mirrored in the social sector with a drop of 12pc to €196m.

On the other side, private sector investment in Agriculture has seen a 33pc rise to €84m and projects in the Medical sector also rose by 12pc to €354m.

While the value of projects that have been started has risen sharply, there has also been a 26pc increase in the value of projects that have applied for planning permission. The index estimated they are worth €11.27bn at present.

“The data clearly shows that the private sector is driving growth in the construction industry,” said Mr O’Shea.

“Only 11pc of the value of these projects in the planning process relate to public funding.

“A total of €10.1bn of the projects are privately funded, which is a figure that many in the industry will find surprising. It is important to note that this 89pc figure does not include small residential extensions, one-off homes and other minor works and is therefore a conservatively low figure.”

While the housing shortage continues, the index shows that the value of residential projects that have commenced construction has almost doubled year on year.

When complete, these entire projects would yield a total of 11,795 individual housing units, with a construction value of approximately €2.1bn, claimed the index.

On average, it takes 71 weeks to go from planning permission to starting construction.

Indo Business

Source: http://www.independent.ie/business/commercial-property/value-of-new-construction-projects-surges-to-475bn-34213899.html

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