Amber Young, Head of Operations at RE/MAX Ireland, outlines the group’s 2021 market report showing Urban Rural Divide in Housing Supply and Price
Whether we talk about ‘supply and demand’ or the more colloquial ‘what’s rare is precious’, the demand for affordable country living, and more limited housing supply in and around our cities, is reflected in this week’s 2021 residential property figures from RE/MAX Ireland.
The market statistics are based on list prices of residential property with RE/MAX agents, rather than sale prices achieved. It shows there was a year-on-year increase of 7.7% nationally in what home owners across Ireland were asking for their properties.
The average list price nationwide in 2021 was €290,998,
Dublin city and suburbs overall saw a 3.4% increase in prices YOY, where the average list price was €415,556, 43% higher than the national average.
Munster saw an overall price jump of 9.2% in prices YOY. This reflected the fact that housing supply was down 26% for the Munster region, comparing figures from 1 December 2020 and 1 December 2021. Despite the lack of supply, residential trade was conversely buoyant, with transactions completed actually up 26%.
The average list price in Limerick city in 2021 was €234,908, up 6.4%, while the price of homes in the County was €215,173, a YOY increase of 5.3%.
In Waterford city the average house price listed with RE/MAX was €211,023, a 7.5% increase on 2020; while homes in County Waterford averaged €270,703 in 2021, a substantial 14.4% increase in list prices.
Leinster homes, outside of Dublin city and county, saw an 11.9% increase in prices YOY. Housing supply for the Leinster area, excluding Dublin, was down 28% in 2021, RE/MAX figures show. And yet, Covid impacts saw more demand as people left the Dublin area to work from home and be closer to family. Housing transactions were up 39% overall.
The average list price of homes in Carlow was €228,590, up 12.3%. Kildare home sales were busiest around Naas, Celbridge and Leixlip, where the average 2021 list price was €307,638, up 11.4%. Westmeath demand saw a list price average of €244,409, the highest Leinster price increase at 13.3%.
In Connacht/Ulster, there was an even higher increase of 14.6% in list prices of homes for sale.
The list price in Galway City averaged €322,543, up 1.6%, while County Galway prices, at €241,335, were up a massive 15.8%. Figures for Roscommon reveal an average list price of €171,621, an increase of 14.2%.
Again, housing supply was down 36% for the Connacht/Ulster area, from 2020 annual figures, and demand was high with transactions up 37% last year.
Mortgage approval data for January 2022, noted in the RE/MAX Ireland report, indicates more market activity and higher houses prices, over this time last year, too.
The number of mortgages approved rose by 7.9% this January, compared with the same period last year, and the value of mortgage approvals rose by 13.2%.
A total of 3,621 mortgages were approved in January 2022. First-time buyers (FTBs) were approved for 1,868 mortgages, 51.6% of the total volume, while mover purchasers accounted for 802, or 22.1%.
Mortgages approved in January 2022 were valued at €932 million, of which FTBs accounted for €479 million (51.3%), and mover purchasers for €243 million (26.1%).
Activity by first-time buyers, with volumes up by 9.3% year-on-year and values up 17%, was the highest January volume or value recorded since this data series began in 2011.
The fact that the Government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme for first-time buyers, with its €30,000 maximum refund, is currently under review and ends on 31 December 2022, is stimulus to complete this year. Eligible applicants must buy or build properties as their home, that cost €500,000 or less, and have at least a 70% mortgage attached to them.
Mortgage switching activity is rising dramatically this year, by 37.3% and 48.1% in volume and value terms, respectively, when compared with January 2021.
Finance professional, Amber Young QFA, is RE/MAX Ireland Group Head of Operations.