House Prices Continue to Fall but Experts Believe Now Is The Time to Buy

Tue Jul 21 2020

Home sales may have fallen by almost half during lockdown – but experts believe now may be the best time to buy.

Average prices dropped by more than €16,000 to €276,317, compared to €292,436 just a year earlier.

Insiders put this decrease down to the fact that fewer homes were sold.

In May, there were 1,937 sales, a 46% drop compared to the 3,598 purchases in the same month last year, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office. The market was also down in April with 414 fewer sales.

However, with fewer buyers in the market, Property Industry Ireland director David Duffy believes now is a good time to pick up a bargain as a lack of future supply, arising from delays in the construction industry, could push up prices again. 1:35

‘There could be pent-up demand and it probably is a good time to buy at the moment,’ Mr Duffy said.

‘Given all that’s happened you’re probably seeing some more stock on the market.

‘In the short term, it probably does mean there’s more availability.’ Rachel McGovern, director of financial services at Brokers Ireland, said: ‘Planning short-term is probably never a good idea. But if you’re going to buy anyway, and it has come down a bit, and if you’re going to be in that house in 15 years’ time, then yes, go ahead.

‘But if you think you’re going to make a quick buck because it’ll automatically go up in the next couple of years I would say that’s a risk.’

Mr Duffy warned that there will be a fall in the number of properties available in the medium term, as fewer new homes will be completed this year, which could push prices up as the economy rebounds and demand returns.

‘We’re expecting that completions will be at 15,000 this year rather than the 21,000 they were at last year,’ he said. ‘In the medium term, it’s going to impact on supply.

‘In the short term the fact that prices are not going up is good for buyers but in the more medium term we’re looking at a bigger gap between demand and supply.’ ‘The number of transactions month-on-month did hold up very well, although it’s down significantly compared to last year – it’s understandable.’ Mr Duffy said that ‘overall, it paints a bumpy picture’.

He added: ‘In May we were still in lockdown, so it’s not surprising. The CSO shows the number of transactions was down 46% compared to May 2019; that’s not necessarily surprising given that the economy had shut down.’