Buyers Returning to Irish Property

The big fall in Irish property prices is attracting a growing number of potential purchasers, with residential property viewing figures up 400% in Q1 2012 compared to the final quarter of 2011, according to property consultants Savills.
Savills says that its latest viewing data suggests that homebuyers are returning to the Irish property market, particularly in the greater Dublin area, especially on Saturdays at open house viewings. Many purchasers are attracted to the fact that property prices have more than halved across most parts of the country since the market peak of 2007.
"Not only are our viewings up, we also have sale agreed approximately 60% more homes in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter last year," said Ronan O’Hara, director of Savills.
"With very few new properties coming to the market, we are seeing a shortage of second-hand homes in the greater Dublin area and an increased demand. You only have to go online or look at the property supplements to see the lack of properties at this time."
Savills Ireland also reported that it is "not unusual for 30 parties or more to show up to a 30-minute open house view".
O’Hara continued: "Buyers who have been sitting it out for two or three years renting waiting for house prices to fall to affordable levels are now tired of doing so and want a place of their own.
"They now feel comfortable bidding because they feel there is now genuine value in the market place. In addition to this, vendors are now in the main being very realistic, so prices are fair and buyers are responding favourably.
"Also, rents have gone up recently in Dublin and in some cases people are reporting that it is as cheap to pay a mortgage as it is to rent. Access to credit also seems to have improved a little."