The turkey had barely digested in peoples’ stomachs when headlines began to emerge about a stabilising property market.
From a CSO report just after Christmas, to three Barometers at the turn of the year, everyone seems to be in agreement that the decline in prices is halting. Well, in the capital at least.
The second half of 2012 saw a renewed optimism return to the market with the final sales figures for the year – still yet to be fully accounted for – well ahead of 2010 and 2011s.
Naturally, after the events of the past few years, people will greet such reports as the latest MyHome.ie Property Barometer with some scepticism.
It must be noted, however, that that information relates to the last quarter of 2012 and is in no way a prediction of what is to come in 2013.
First and foremost, it is only really the major urban areas that are showing a sign of stabilisation and that progress is likely to be hit by the withdrawal of mortgage interest relief, which was a definite factor in the increase in sales last year, and the introduction of the new property tax in July.
Other Budget cuts are also likely to have an impact while the biggest problem remains the availability of mortgage finance. Depending on what source you believe, somewhere between 40-50% of all transactions last year were made by cash buyers.
So what does 2013 have in store? Certainly in the short term, the market will do well to keep on stabilising.
One of the biggest issues remains a decent availability of stock, which is at its lowest ever point not only in our main cities but also in many towns around the country too.
Whether now is the right time to buy or not, as always, depends on a person’s individual circumstances.
Many people who have an aspiration to buy are holding off for the time being but equally this is having an impact on the rental market.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to get good quality family homes in certain areas that are available for rent. The property tax will also have a knock-on effects on the cost of renting with rents already forecast to increase by anything between 5-7% this year.
The reports at the end of last year might have been positive about the property market but as we look ahead to 2013 we face another uncertain future.
Let us know what you expect this year in our comments section below…