Like other sectors, the property market all but came to a standstill when the nation went into lockdown in March. But with restrictions easing and Ireland returning to a ‘new normal’, the business of buying and selling houses is back up and running. This has led many to deliberate their options – is now a good time to buy a property, or would it be a fool’s errand?
Of course, the answer is entirely dependent on your personal circumstances. But if your financial situation remains stable – and is likely to in the coming years – then now could be the perfect time to buy. Here’s why.
House sales are falling
According to the Central Statistics Office, the number of residential property purchases filed with the Revenue in April 2020 was down by 29% on the previous year. It is thought that sales will continue to drop, as many buyers can no longer afford to proceed with a purchase. With fewer people looking to buy, the competition for property will decline, giving buyers more choice – and potentially better bargaining power.
Property prices are falling
Experts predict that property prices will fall in Ireland over the coming months. This is due to the downward trend in economic activity and the rise in unemployment rates. In fact, Bank of Ireland Chief Executive Francesca McDonagh said it was reasonable to assume that Irish property prices would fall by 5% to 12% this year. As a buyer, this could put you in a position to negotiate a deal on your dream home.
You might be concerned that property prices will continue to drop, putting you in a difficult position if you later want to sell. However, Kieran McQuinn from the Economic and Social Research Institute suggests the property market is likely to see a more gradual recovery during 2021 and 2022. So, as long as you don’t plan on flipping the property straightaway, negative equity should not be an issue.
The price of property could be furthered bolstered in coming years due to a lack of supply. Covid-19 has hit the construction industry hard, resulting in fewer homes being built in Ireland. Demand will likely remain the same. After all, people need somewhere to live. Yet supply will be lower than originally forecast. When there is high demand and low supply, property prices inevitably start to creep upwards.
Lower interest rates
Then there’s the fact that interest rates are at an all-time low. This is good news if you plan on buying a property with a mortgage, as you will likely be paying less than 3% interest. It also means that any money in the bank will be making very little. Investing your savings into a property, rather than a high-interest bank account, may therefore be a more a more financially savvy move.
More money in the bank
If you have retained your income during the coronavirus pandemic, then you may well have more money in your bank account than usual. As consumers we have very little to spend our money on right now. Many are reporting that their finances have never been better. Consequently, you may find that you are able to save for a deposit faster than you initially hoped.
Speak to our property solicitors
Covid-19 has paralysed many people’s plans. However, you need not put your property purchase on the backburner, if you don’t want to. Depending on your circumstances, now could actually be the perfect time to act.
If you do take the plunge and buy a property in Ireland, please contact us at Mullins & Treacy LLP Solicitors. Our specialist property solicitors can ensure a smooth and stress-free transaction. We are client focused and results driven.
Call us on 051 391 488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a no obligation enquiry.
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