GeoDirectory Seminar Dissects The Current State Of The Irish Property Market

On Thursday 28th January, GeoDirectory presented the current state of Ireland’s housing market at national, regional and county levels to 100 of Ireland’s most prominent players in the Irish property market on a webinar entitled “Geoview Residential Building Report 2020”. The report was produced by GeoDirectory in conjunction EY Ireland. First published in 2014, the annual report has grown to become an important barometer of the housing sector.


A Reference Document for the Public and Private sector

Opening the event GeoDirectory chief, Dara Keogh, explained the reason for the report saying “we wanted to create a reference document for both the Public and Private sector, that could be used in the decision making process”. He added “the information is gathered from the dataset for December 2020 by the delivery staff of An Post, the men and women who pass your door every day, along with Ordnance Survey Ireland who provide the geography element".


A Unique Dataset

Key speaker, Annette Hughes, Economic Advisory Services Director at EY presented the latest findings commenting that “it is based on a really unique dataset, GeoDirectory’s dataset, all based on Ireland’s 2 million plus records.” Ms Hughes offered helpful advice to planners when she commended the CSO’s in depth data on Ireland’s housing sector, but noted “it only does so every 5 years, while Geo-Directory produces it’s reports every six months.”

Interestingly, the report showed how almost 50% of all housing in Ireland is based in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford. Another fact for those looking for a terraced property, Dublin is a good starting point with 49% of its total properties falling into the category. While for three counties - Leitrim, Donegal and Cavan - it was the exact opposite, with more than 50% of their housing stock made up of single detached dwellings.


New Builds in 2020

Regarding new builds, Ms Hughes had this to say “what the data shows is that approximately 22,000 new address points were added to the stock of properties by December 2020”, compared with December 2019.” Top of the pile by some distance was county Dublin, which accounted for approximately 1/3 of all new builds. Second on the list was county Cork with 11%, followed by counties Meath, also on 11% and Kildare on 9% respectively. The counties making up the bottom of the list were Leitrim, Longford and Sligo.

The EY consultant went onto say that “GeoDirectory measured that 16,700 buildings were under construction but we expect these will translate into 22,000 to 23,000 address points over the coming 12 months.” This figure shows that despite the impact of the Coronavirus in Ireland, there has been a year on year increase of over 11%, compared to the 2019 figure.

Another interesting snippet from the figures was that Dublin accounted for just over 16% of the total and represented a decline on the 2019 figure, which was the only county not to have shown a growth over the 12 months.


Vacant Properties

When it comes to the thorny issue of vacant properties, the report shows Leitrim is the county with the highest rate of vacancies at 14.5%. At the other end of that scale, the counties that make up the ‘Greater Dublin Area’ have a vacancy rate of less than 4% each.


Average Property Price

The figure that is probably most keenly extrapolated, particularly among prospective First-Time-Buyers, is the price houses are selling for. Unsurprisingly, in first place was Dublin with an average selling price of €442,000, followed by Wicklow (€381,000) and Kildare (€318,000). The county in Ireland with the most affordable average house price was Longford at €122.000.

The report once again shows the stark difficulties faced by those on the average industrial wage to get on the property ladder in Dublin. With house prices reaching up to an eye watering average of almost €500,000 in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown area, it is seems simply impossible for the average earner to raise the necessary deposit required before they could even think of settling in that part of Dublin.

That data from Central Bank showing the amount of money held on deposit in Ireland increasing by 14% or a seismic €14.5BN, points to the likelihood of a further upwards trajectory in houses prices in Ireland.


Tackling Ireland's Housing Crisis

Concluding her remarks, Ms. Hughes spoke of the importance of making vacant dwellings habitable again as one of the key ways of tackling the housing crisis in this country. She added “Dublin has about 9,000 vacant dwellings that could accommodate 24,000 people tomorrow if we bring them back into use".

In his closing remarks, Mr. Keogh mentioned the fact that Geodirectory will be hosting two further webinars in the near future. The next is on the retail sector, “Ways to win in online retail in 2021”, with the other on the Commercial Property Market taking place at the end of February. If you have not already done so, be sure to follow us on Twitter @GeoDirectory_ie to be kept up to date on future events and reports.

To read the full report for yourself, please click here.