Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

Ireland’s property overhang: Homeowners in Roscommon, Cavan and Leitrim beware

Last week, I posted a visualization of changes in asking prices for Irish property, since 2006, using the IBM Manyeyes tool. It’s proved very popular, not least with the crowd on I’ve been happy to take suggestions on what’s the most important thing to be mapping and one suggestion – which ties in nicely with some ideas I’d been working on – was to measure the number of properties for sale by county, per capita.

What I’ve done for today’s visualization is take the number of permanent households from the 2006 Census – and taken it as fixed. I then plugged in county-level figures for the stock of property for sale from the database, and used the two to calculate an approximate percentage of the total property stock in a county that’s currently for sale. There are a range of potential data issues, from taking the Census figures as fixed to how to capture the size of new developments – it’s my hope that while all those issues are valid ones, the overall story should be relatively clear.

As before, the results are available for all to see and download on Manyeyes. It’s probably pretty clear what the overall message is, though, from the preview below (click on the picture to go through to Manyeyes):

Percentage of properties for sale, by county, Jan-Oct 2008
Percentage of properties for sale, by county, Jan-Oct 2008

Some initial thoughts:

  • First off, Dublin seems among the least affected areas.
  • “Holiday home land”, i.e. counties like Wexford, Kerry, Cork, Donegal and Galway, have seen their overhang increase over the course of the year, but again, they are not the worst affected areas.
  • A trio of counties, Roscommon, Cavan and Leitrim, however, steal the show. Those three, as of start-October, had more than 10% of their properties for sale.

Data on how many properties have churned through the market since the start of 2007 would probably confirm that the hysteresis which has gripped the Irish property market is worst in some of the areas where the property boom probably reached its most irrational. As before, all comments, questions and thoughts welcome.

  • Graham ,

    Excellent, Ronan. One minor point – I would imagine there’s a difference in supply elasticity across the property markets. Sellers of holiday homes in Roscommon, for instance, might be much more elastic (chancing their arms another words) than homeowners in Dublin who really need to sell.

    This is to say a Daft listing in Lovely Leitrim might not be as ‘real’ as a Daft listing in Clonsilla.

    • Ireland: the Britney Spears economy? The Daft Report (2008 in review) « Ronan Lyons | Blog ,

      […] Ireland’s property overhang: Homeowners in Roscommon, Cavan and Leitrim beware […]

      • Niall ,

        Assuming substantial net emigration the trend can only get much worse.

        I wonder is it possible to provide an analysis within Dublin, say by postal district? I wonder for example what proportion of housing units in Dublin 1 & 2 are currently available. I would suggest that empty units in the docks area would rival Drumshambo!

        • ronanlyons ,

          Hi Graham,

          Good point, something we may (did I just jinx it?) be able to do some sort of analysis on, e.g. looking for particular property types or keywords in the description – ‘detached house on lake’ versus ‘apartment suitable for investors’.

          The opposite may also be the case, i.e. as per above, lots of the units were bought not as holiday homes but as rental units, and are now suffering heavily from falling income and falling value…

          • ronanlyons ,

            Hi Niall,

            Thanks for the comment. I’ll have to take a look at the Census data, but in theory, it’s certainly possible.

            We may have to look only at second-hand homes (and therefore the 2006 Census stock is the appropriate benchmark), as new developments are notoriously difficult to capture with accuracy and may lead to odd conclusions at such a high level of granularity.

            • Westmeath says ‘Watch out below’! An updated heat-map of Ireland’s property market « Ronan Lyons | Blog ,

              […] still in single digit territory. Or perhaps they think that they’re more sheltered, because the overhang of property is not as severe as it is in the Midlands/North-West? Answers on a […]

              • Intergenerational outsourcing and the consequences of building 10% too much: A look at Ireland’s property market in 2013 « Ronan Lyons | Blog ,

                […] 12 years supply in just 7 years. To give a regional flavour, based on insights gleaned from the property overhang per county figures I calculated in December, I split Ireland into three regions – Dublin, Connacht/Ulster and the rest of the country. (The […]

                • The first cut is the deepest - Dublin’s falls and Ireland’s property paradox « Ronan Lyons | Blog ,

                  […] mock, there is something in this from a long-term perspective. I have argued before on this blog – in December and again in February – that the ‘overhang’ of property looks a lot worse, even with […]

                  Leave a comment