Just talking and listening to gossip, rumours and anecdotes around the place I’m beginning to get the feeling that the market is on the turn. The last time I felt like this the market didn’t actually crash for another two years so maybe this is an early canary!
Talking to a retired EA last month he said that 2000 houses sold in Dublin in July and that 600 were new. Looking at the PPR figures for July I get around 1800 and 500 so not quite true but close enough and there were a number of multiple sales so maybe it’s not that far off - he’s been pretty accurate in the past. He also said that August was a disaster but that September was picking up. Looking at the PPR figures it shows 1516 (about 100 less than last year - hardly a disaster). Too early to tell for September.
He also talked about new houses - he said that new houses in large developments in places like Swords, Finglas etc priced in the 350 - 450 k range sell very well but one off houses in SCD are still difficult to shift as they are over priced. SCD new developments are selling very slowly.
Any of the house hunting generation at work are looking outside Dublin - generally on the N2/N3 where there are good bus services (on bus lanes) into the city. I only know one person looking at Dublin (a married foreign national) - he has a budget of 500k but wants SCD on a bus/Luas route - when he told me that I said ‘Good Luck’ but he says he is now seeing properties in his price range in the areas he wants - they’re not the property he wants but he says he feels more hopeful every month that something will turn up.
There are currently 5700 Dublin properties on sale on myhome and have been since late August. My retired EA reckons the higher numbers are because people have gone back to double listing on Daft and MyHome - that may be the case, it’s difficult to tell. Sales this year seem to be above or in line with last year but maybe the August dip will continue.
A couple of years ago someone told me to watch Terenure - they said that this area had the oldest population in Dublin and reckoned that roughly 5% of the housing stock would come on the market per year for the next ten years. I’m not sure if that figure is accurate but there certainly are a lot of houses on sale at the moment (73) and there is a high percentage of price drops in recent months. Might be a good place to look!
There are economic factors as well - the stock markets are softening and everybody thinks they are in line for a crash and since it is a confidence based bubble it will be self-fulfilling - it’s just a matter of when. I get the feeling that those that were invested in the Dublin residential market have already pulled out - when the capital appreciation falls under 10% pa these folks are gone - the reward does not balance the risk in a market that is close to peak. Only the suckers are still at the table. Some of the big IT companies are heading for a fall as well - Uber and AirBnb are likely to find their business model whisked away from them by regulation in Western markets. Facebook and Google have massive problems on the content side that are almost insurmountable - a lot of Dublin jobs rely on content adjudication - that won’t stay here for long - it will be automated or go east - partly from straightforward labour costs - but mainly from the legal risks - people working in this area are already raising PTSD claims - eastern destinations are less litigious. The cheap labour that has stoked the rental market is also slowing - the net salaries after living expenses here are much more widely known now. The only people coming here are people who do the education - work visa - citizenship route - they know they are making a five year sacrifice but want to do it to get away from the countries of their birth.