The Extent of Price Falls in the Residential Market

The Extent of Price Falls in the Residential Market

The Extent of Price Falls in the Residential MarketShould a database of all Sales Prices be made available to the public? Or should such information remain private to the persons involved in the transaction?

The latest findings of the Property Barometer show that nationally, asking prices have fallen 22% since the peak of the market yet plenty of sketchy evidence exists showing that actual sales … prices have fallen far in excess of this amount, upwards of 40% and more in some cases.

During the boom, asking prices acted as a starting point for negotiations, with sales being done at prices in excess of the asking price. More recently, asking prices have become something more of an aspiration for sellers, with many sales being concluded below asking price in this buyers” market.

So taking all this into account, is it time for a publicly accessible database detailing accurate information on all residential sales transactions in the State, similar to the system operated by the Land Registry in England & Wales? Or should such information remain private, as it currently is under the Data Protection Acts?

Have Your Say:

  • Would the availability of such price information provide for more transparency in the property market?
  • Or would it simply hinder the efforts of sellers in trying to achieve the maximum price possible for their property, which they are entitled to do?
  • Should the general public have a right to know how much a person paid for, or received for, a house they bought or sold in what is essentially a private sales transaction?
There are 21 comments for this article
  1. Tom O’ Reilly at 9:10 pm

    My house is not for sale at any price. I paid over 500k two years ago. If I ever sell it will not be below what I paid; nor will I use crooks to sell my property. Homes are now selling for around 200k; the same homes that crooks ripped people off buying for 400+ k. The thousands of houses now idle will be knocked and the taxpayer will pay for the demolition.
    It’s a laugh, a joke, and only Paddy will mouth but not stick his neck out for what is now basically an island full of bullsh***ers.

  2. Paul Hunter at 9:57 am

    Some people seem to have this view that the “property market” is part of the public domain and that everyone has a right to know everything about it. My property is just that – my property, and it is my hard-earned money that bought it, and therefore, I should have the final say in whether information regarding the selling price, etc. becomes public knowledge. And as far as I am concerned, that is nobody’s business but mine and my purchaser.

  3. Finbar at 5:42 pm

    Dear Concerned House Price Trackers,

    The current situation is asinine. On a daily basis, we read such things as “house prices have fallen in such and such an area by 24% in the past 12 months”. But how can they say that? They simply don’t know! Sellers are accepting offers way below the asking prices – the statistis are based on the asking prices – not the reality! If a house was 1 million, is asking 400K and accepts 400K for a quick sale, the statistics will show a drop of 40% – not 60%.

    The statistics are simply rubbish – and everyone with any sense – including the estate agents who are publishing them – know it!

    And they will drop even further in 2010 – the the deception about what the true price is will continue.

    Yours sincerely,


  4. Bil Blackwell at 10:01 pm

    I totally disagree with this comment, I think Steve owns alot of property and is trying to keep house prices sky high!!

  5. Ken at 3:46 pm

    There absolutely should not be a database of actual sale prices. It’s frankly none of your business what my house(or anyone else’s for that matter) sells for. That’s between the buyer and the seller and the agents – and rightly so.
    A house is worth whatever the buyer is prepared to pay for it and whatever the seller accepts and headlines showing average price drops of 20% are frankly pointless because the don’t reflect the reality which is that property was artificially inflated to such a degree that no one actually knows what any particular property in any particular area should be worth. This applies even to properties that might be similar and close to each other – forget about differences in internal spec – they matter but are not the driving considerations. If you check Daft/Myhome listings for any property for sale in an estate then there’s a good chance, if you delve deeper, that you’ll find another property around the corner either significantly cheaper or significantly dearer – and I’m not talking about a couple of grand which might be explained by some new fittings/floorboards or other cosmetic work. The fact is there’s an absolute glut of properties out there so, whatever demand is, it has more than ample supply to meet it.
    And there’s little point holding out for the much heralded recovery – it aint gonna happen. When the next Celtic Tiger comes along we’ll all be wiser and less inclined to get burned again.

  6. marie at 10:09 pm

    I think that a database of prices should exist in order to guage what a property in any area could be worth.

  7. Steph at 12:10 pm

    People have a right to privacy but also have a right to [i]choose[/i] where they want to live. Our country now is full of people who bought houses they could afford in areas they could afford, where is the choice in that? What if we had the freedom to choose where we would like to live, I personally drove three hours every day to get to work, spent little time with my family, was exhausted and stressed all the time. I had no choice but to live there and felt resentful towards estate agents, banks and government for having the property market sewn up amongst them. Now, things have changed, I want to live where [i]I[/i] choose, I refuse to be ripped off or deceived by estate agents, and sold too much money by banks. So Yes, there should be a National Database available to all, I need this information to be able to make an informed choice and identify when I am being ripped off. It won’t solve the problem but it is a step in the right direction and may lead to us having one of our fundamental rights put back in [i]our[/i] hands.

  8. Pauline Reid at 1:16 am

    Me again just to say I’m from DUBLIN in Ireland, didn’t tick box last time, : )

  9. Pauline Reid at 1:07 am

    Well DUH! course it’s relevant – as someone who was selling in the height of the property boom and now has no intention of budging until I have reassurance that it’s the TRUE property market for what I sell and also buy for, would want to know that I’m not being “DONE” people need realistic figures, nobody is prepared to Buy/Sell unless they know that it’s the genuine figure for a buy/sell agreement, ridiculous prices online now are not fooling anyone, we KNOW we’re not gonna get what you SAY we will for a sale and KNOW we won’t get this great BARGAIN “priced to sell” crap – not rocket science get it sorted if you want the market to take off again.

  10. John McMahon at 6:18 pm

    Absolutely agree sale prices should be available to the general public. Why the secrecy?

    Data Protection is invoked to justify non-publication. A personal view is that if the law does inhibit publication of sale prices, then it should be reviewed and amended.

  11. John at 4:15 pm

    No way; people have a right to privacy; it is nonsense to suggest that it would lead to a more healthy property market; the essence of a market is a willing buyer meeting a willing seller at an agreeable price. There are many factors that influence values; to publish such data could actually distort the market behaviour by interfering with the valuation process that leads a buyer to make an offer; no one is forced to buy. What is required is maturity and knowledge of risk assessment and an abatement of greed – the greed of developers fuelled by the ambition and greed of buyers who seemed to have a very poor perception of value. If no one buys then prices respond; if buyers stampede then prices also respond. To publish prices would lead to a herd mentality as well as the possibilities of manipulation. There are other issues also.

  12. CC at 3:45 pm

    Most definitely. A website showing prices and history of sales for all houses should be started. This is already in place in the U.S. and according to others here it’s also available in the UK.

    Big deal about who knows the selling price of a house – buyers need the knowledge of the market. As for jealous people, haven’t they been around here for ages? It appears that Ireland has been a ‘keeping up with the Jones’ typecast for years – although many couldn’t afford the Jones’ lifestyle. A recession is part of the economic cycle, and those who’ve lived in another country know that there are ALWAYS good and bad cycles in the economy. Pre-Celtic Tiger Ireland plodded along at the same rate really; Ireland has never experienced a recession like this ever which is why it is such a shock now.

    I agree with a previous poster – a website such as this would lead to a more healthy property market.

  13. Damien at 3:16 pm

    Most definitely it is time for complete transparency. We should have had access to this information long before now.

  14. Steve at 2:10 pm

    No,there should not be a database on house sale prices. These transactions should be kept confidential between buyer and seller.People would only get jealous of others if they knew that they had the buying power to be able to afford a much sought after property.Besides,you can ask the local estate agent about the current property values in the area.Also Minister Dermot Ahern would not allow the Data Protection Commissioner to release this sensitive data in the interests of confidentiality.

  15. Gavin Joyce at 2:03 pm

    Publicising the property sale price data would allow buyers and sellers to get a better gauge of the market and make better decisions.

    Better data => better decisions => more healthy property market.

  16. E at 1:49 pm

    In the UK you can sign up for updates on all property sales in the area you are interested in. A company called it is extremely helpful in deciding on if an asking price is way out or not!

    Ireland should have more transparency.

  17. Phyllis Murphy at 1:29 pm

    I do not agree that a national database of house sale prices could have prevented our property bubble, the banks were the ones diligently fanning those flames.

    Yes it should be available, not only because I want to know what my neightbours’ got for their house, but to make the rest of us realise the true price of property – mortgages for your home should be looked upon as a kind of lease which, if you are lucky, should lead to you owning the property in some time in the distant future and NOT as an investment.

  18. Thomas F. Marshall at 1:24 pm

    Knowledge is power.

  19. Michael at 1:22 pm

    They have a system transparent to all on the web in England & Wales

  20. Michael at 1:21 pm

    What have people to hide. All that is needed is the address of the property, brief discription, Flat, 4-bed detached, etc.., date of the closing and the amount paid. The stmping office has all of this information. If the Data Protection Act is the reason that it is not published it’s time that the DPA is repealled as the only use it has is for inefficiencies to be hidden. Who does it benifit. The only persons to benifit from the current situation are dishonest estate agents and hoodwinking property developers (Thank God most of them are now broke) Time to chase the Bankers and bent politians down.

  21. Conor at 10:33 am

    Most definitely there should be a national database containing all house sales data. It wouldn’t have to give specific house details to the public but rather could be used for statistical purposes.

    It’s the only fair way of keeping the prices near their real value and could have helped prevent the ridiculous property bubble in Ireland.

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