Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

The level of transactions in property and the emergence of regional property markets

Last week’s Daft report showed that asking prices have fallen almost 25% from the peak, on average across the country. It also highlighted a growing divergence in regional trends. The region with the largest falls from peak (Dublin city centre, 34%) has fallen more than twice as much as those with the smallest falls, such as Kerry and Tipperary.

On the face of it, it sounds like bad news for Dublin city centre property owners and good news for Kerry and Tipperary owners. Price is of course just one side of the coin. The other side is quantity transacted. Exact figures are difficult to get but a new series of figures available from daft measures when properties come off and how long they’ve been on the site.

The chart below shows the typical time a property spends on the site in months, using a three-month moving average to smooth things out a little (don’t worry, that’s a standard thing to do!), in various regions in the country. There are two overall trends:

  1. The first is that nationwide the typical time on the site has increased from less than seven weeks to more than seven months
  2. The second is that we have gone from one national property market in 2007 to numerous regional property markets by 2009.
Number of months on the market, by region, 2007-2009
Number of months on the market, by region, 2007-2009

The former finding is probably blindingly obvious to the dogs on the street. The latter finding is probably less known and indeed more interesting, when mixed with the evidence on regional difference in price falls. The lesson for those selling a property seems to be: those areas with the largest prices falls, particularly in Dublin, are seeing properties moving fastest. The time-on-the-market in Dublin is just over five months, about half what it is in Connacht and Ulster.

One other way of looking at this is the proportion of properties on the 1st of a month coming off the site that same month. This is shown in the second chart below, again broken down by region. This way of looking at the market shows that regional trends existed as far back as early 2007, when twice as many properties in Dublin came off the market each month, compared to Connacht and Ulster.

Percentage of properties coming off the market each month, 2007-2009
Percentage of properties coming off the market each month, 2007-2009

In all regions in the country, though, the overall trend has been downward, despite some upward ticks in late 2007 and again in Dublin in early 2008. Two further insights into the property market emerge from this metric:

  1. Across the two metrics shown here, there is a distinct ordering in Ireland’s regional property markets: Dublin, followed by the other cities, followed by Leinster, with Munster and in particular Connacht/Ulster the worst affected regions in terms of falling transactions.
  2. Recent months have seen a small improvement in the level of transactions, particularly in Dublin.

So, while the level of property transactions has fallen dramatically in the last two years, since March, there has been some improvement. Nationwide, the proportion of properties selling in a month has increased from 8% to 9%. In Dublin the equivalent improvement has been more marked – from 15% to 24%.

Leave a comment