Cash buyers bought almost half of all properties sold in 2018, Consumer Market Monitor reports

Posted 19 February, 2019

  • The data shows that 55,000 homes were sold in Ireland last year, an increase of 8% on 2017.
  • The average price for a three-bed semi-detached house is estimated at €236,287.
  • The CMM says 35,000 homes need to be built annually for the next decade to meet demand.

Forty-five percent of all homes sold in Ireland in 2018 were bought with cash or savings, according to new data.

The latest Consumer Market Monitor (CMM) report, published by the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the Marketing Institute of Ireland, found that cash buyers still account for a significant chunk of Ireland’s property market.

The new data shows that 55,000 homes were sold in Ireland last year, an increase of 8% on 2017.

In 2018, 25,000 properties were bought with cash or savings, a number similar to cash purchases made during the recession period from 2009 to 2013.

The CMM report states that the average sale price for a house in Ireland is now five times the average salary - meaning that most properties exceed the borrowing limit of 3.5 times salary income imposed by the Central Bank.

The average price for a three-bed semi-detached house is estimated at €236,287.

UCD Professor Mary Lambkin, author of the report, said: “The consumer economy is performing well in most areas, but the residential property market is still lagging behind.

“There were 55,000 homes sold in 2018, an increase of just 8% year-on-year… this compares to the boom years of 2005-2007 when over 100,000 homes were sold each year.”

The academic from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School said that while market growth was sluggish, demand remains high for housing.

Despite 430,000 new jobs created nationally since 2012, construction is not keeping pace with demand.

“While the number of homes for sale has increased to about 23,500, the level of property sales should be about double the current level, approaching the level that the market experienced during the early 2000s, when the workforce was about the same level as it is today,” she added.

The CMM report estimates that 35,000 homes need to be built every year for the next decade to bridge the gap between supply and demand.

This level of house-building would increase Ireland’s total housing stock by 17.5% to 2.35 million units.

Current projections estimate that just 20,000 homes will be built this year, far short of what the CMM says is needed.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations