The level of property transactions across the country fell by 3.5% in 2016 to 47,175 according to an analysis of the Property Price Register carried out by MyHome.ie.
However while the level of transactions may have fallen, the total value of property transactions actually increased by 7.4% to over €11.5bn.
MyHome.ie managing director Angela Keegan said the figures reflected the two main trends in the Irish property market, namely lack of supply and rising prices.
Dublin’s dominance of the property market continues undimmed with the capital accounting for just over 15,000 transactions or a third of all property sales in 2016. While there was a decline of 2.4% on the number of sales in 2015, the value of transactions actually increased by almost 13% to over €6bn. This means Dublin sales accounts for over half the value of Irish residential property sales. Cork with 5,322 house sales – a drop of 1.3% – accounted for 11% of the total number of transactions.
In fact sales were up in only six counties with Sligo recording a 12% increase and Waterford up almost 11%. Other positive movers were Laois (5.7%), Offaly (3.3%), Monaghan (4%) and Tipperary (1%).
Angela Keegan said while the increase in these counties was positive, the general decline in the number of transactions was an ongoing concern.
“While some positive property news is very welcome for Sligo, Waterford and the midlands, the fact remains that the number of sales has declined in 20 other counties. Galway is down nearly 13%, Kilkenny is down 12% and Mayo is down 11%. It’s the same in Limerick which is down over 9% while Donegal is down 8%.
“We have approximately two million properties in Ireland and in a normal market around 4% or 80,000 of these would be changing hands each year. As this analysis shows we are a long way short of that.
“At the moment there are 18,900 residential properties for sale on MyHome.ie, this is 12% down on this time last year when there were 21,410 properties for sale. Clearly it is going to take some time for the property market to return to equilibrium,” Keegan said.
So what were the most expensive and cheapest houses sold in Ireland in 2016? The most expensive house sold in Ireland last year was the Lyons Estate in Kildare which sold for over €12m.
At the other end of the scale the cheapest property sold in Ireland according to the Property Price Register was at Newtown Clogher Claremorris, Co Mayo which sold for €5,260. Another property at Clonroche in Enniscorthy Co. Wexford sold for €5,500.
Not surprisingly the biggest residential sales involved major apartment complexes and blocks of student accommodation, mainly in Dublin. These include the Binary Hub student accommodation complex in Dublin 8 for €69m, Tallaght Cross West apartment complex for €64m, The Links, Elm Park Merrion Road, Dublin 4 for €49m and a complex in Summerhill/Gardiner’s Lane which went for €47m. The biggest sale outside Dublin was a student accommodation complex at Thomond Village, University of Limerick, which sold for €33m.