We’ve been working on the 2011 unfinished estates database released by the DECLG last week and computing the changes on an estate by estate basis between 2010-2011.  We have upload all the 2011 data and the 2010-2011 change data onto the AIRO website, enabling users to query all the results for every estate.  To use the site you will need to register.  Once registered, click on the mapping module tab, scroll down and click on ‘+ housing’, then scroll down and select ‘Unfinished estates’.  The module will then load.  To query the estate data click on ‘indicators’ button and select what data you are interested in.

We will exam the data in more detail over the next couple of weeks. Initial examination of the complete and occupancy data reveals that between Oct 2010-Oct 2011:

105 (3.6%) estates had a fall in the level of occupancy

1536 (54%) estates had no change in the level of occupancy

2109 (74%) estates had a change of 2 or less in the level of occupancy

2396 (84%) estates had a change of 5 or less in the level of occupancy

In other words, the vast majority of estates that were in the 2010 database experienced very little change in the level of occupancy between 2010 and 2011.  In fact, the 100 estates (3.5%) with the most positive change in occupancy accounted for 60.7% of all newly occupied units.  The change in occupancy then was highly concentrated into a relatively small number of estates.  These estates have a geographic pattern.  Of the estates that experienced occupancy growth of 40 or more (31 estates), 23 were in Dublin, 3 in Cork, and one each in Waterford, Mullingar, Mallow, Lucan and Ratoath.  That is, they are concentrated in the cities and large towns and their commuter belts.  Huge swathes of the country saw very little uptake of occupancy in their unfinished estates.

Rob Kitchin


There have been a couple of reports this week on house and land prices for 2010.

MyHome.ie – Quarterly property barometer

Daft.ie – Quarterly report

Sherry Fitzgerald – house price index

Indo Farming Supplement

If there is good news from these reports it’s that house and land prices did not fall as much in 2010 as they did in 2009.  That said, they did decline quite substantially.

With respect to house prices nationally, Daft, MyHome and Sherry Fitz all calculate Q4 declines:

Daft = -4.8%; MyHome = -3.2%, SF Q4 = -4.2%

Similarly, all three report 2010 declines in prices nationally of:

Daft = -14%; MyHome = – 13.1%, SF Q4 = -12.0%

Declines since the peak are estimated nationally as:

Daft = -40%; MyHome = – 34.6%,

with Dublin falls being substantially more:

Daft = -40.4% to -49.6%; MyHome = -36% to -48.9% depending on area in the city.

In general, there seems to be quite good alignment between the reports, although when compared at a county level there are some quite sizable differences between counties.  Leitrim is the one that stands out.  Daft report that house prices in the county declined by -13.4% in 2010, MyHome report that prices didn’t decline at all (0%) over the year, even rising in the final quarter.  Given the levels of oversupply and weak market in Leitrim it’s difficult to believe that house prices are stable in the county when they are falling everywhere else.

Sherry Fitz reported that 49.7% of all purchases were by first time buyers, and 27% of vendors were selling investment property.

Farm land prices nationally averaged €8,420 per acre, down €8,800 (-4.3%), slowing significantly from declines in 2008 and 2009.

As for what 2011 brings.  All predictions are for a further slippage in prices given the state of the economy overall and the surplus of overall stock (both new and secondhand).   The falls might though slow a little as stamp duty changes encourage people to re-enter the market to move up or down.  As Ronan Lyons notes in his analysis for Daft there are, however, significant regional variations now in housing market dynamics, with Dublin in particular operating in a different way to the rest of the country, and it may well be the case that house price falls will vary quite considerably across the state in 2011, especially if the sticky decline in rural areas speeds up.  MyHome‘s hope that there is an overhang of pent-up buyers waiting in the wings to come into the market once the house price trough is reached seems a little fanciful – this is the generation who are emigrating in droves, with substantial numbers on the Live Register, the need to build a large deposit, and difficulties in accessing mortgage credit.  I would think demand is pretty soft all round, and even if people moved out of rental accommodation into their own homes this creates an addition problem of further oversupply in the rental/investment sector and the potential to push that property onto the market.  The effects of the future property tax may also slow sales as people wait to find out what their commitment might be.  Overall, 2011 seems set to be another year of decline, but perhaps not as drastic as 2010 and certainly not as bad as 2009.

Rob Kitchin

The last couple of days in the media have seen the usual retrospective look back at the year just gone and the forecasting of predictions of the year to come.  Neither have made particularly pleasurable analysis.  2009 was the year that Ireland got its just desserts for the follies of the government, banks and property developers (and it has to be said, the general population who were also caught up in the credit party).  2010 is going to be more of the same, with the situation getting worse before it gets better.  (more…)