Ireland was one of the worst hit countries in the first wave of fallout from the banking crisis and the property market there was one of the most badly affected areas of the whole economy.
Now it seems that there is some good news at last as the number of residential properties sold in Ireland during the first quarter of 2013 rose by 14.4% year on year.
Whilst other European countries such as Spain continue to suffer major problems in their efforts to kick start a property market recovery, the Irish Banking Federation’s latest Housing Market Monitor has shown that housing market conditions in their own country are experiencing something of an upturn.
The report revealed that there were 4,450 transactions in the first quarter of this year compared with 3,900 in the same period in 2012. Even more good news is the fact that this marks the sixth consecutive quarter of year-on-year increases in the number of transactions, indicating a strong positive upward trend.
One counter indication is a 4% fall in mortgage approvals during the same period as the banks continue to restrict lending and cause first time buyers particular problems.
However, the fact that the mortgage take up rate doesn’t tie in with the increase in market activity is down to the high number of cash purchases, which indicates a significant proportion of sales are investment buys.
Prices still remain very attractive at the moment, especially to overseas buyers from countries less affected by the banking crisis and ongoing eurozone problems, but the increase in transaction volumes is certain at some point to begin to nudge values up again.
Although Ireland shares a northern border with the UK and is only a short hop from mainland Britain, it is of course a member of the Eurozone. If you are thinking of investing in property there, make sure you compare the market to get the best available exchange rate when transferring money abroad.