Looking back on the last 12 months, REA Boyd’s have witnessed changing behaviours which saw city workers move in their droves to their native counties as the work-from-home revolution swept the country, virtual viewings eliminated ‘time wasters’ from the market and buyers increasingly used live apps to be first in line for new properties.
It is hard to imagine that the market would perform better during the crisis than before it.
In the midst of the pandemic, the lockdown in March and April, we feared a massive property market crash, akin to 2008, when in fact, amazingly, REA Boyd’s witnessed demand levels higher than seen before. Quality broadband and remote working possibilities replaced commuting strategy and location as the drivers of an extraordinary year which outperformed all expectations – despite the COVID-19 crisis. And as demand continues to drastically outstrip supply, we hope a new wave of those too apprehensive to sell this year will relieve that pressure valve in 2021.
Putting a house on the market in early December would previously have been considered naïve – however this year we have seen houses come to the market in the last two weeks that will be sale agreed before Christmas. There is massive urgency among a growing cohort of buyers, with the October mortgage approval rates up by 15% year-on-year, but supply going in the other direction. People are watching the market very closely, and we are finding that as soon as we put a property up on our sites, the majority of the enquiries come within the first 48 hours.
By the end of quarter three, the time taken to sell properties had fallen dramatically as buyers chased a limited supply before their mortgage offers expired. Pent-up demand saw the time taken to close sales fall from a high of twelve weeks in Q1 and Q2 to under six weeks in many areas at present. Speaking on the current property market Michael Boyd Managing Director of REA Boyd’s says “While prices seem static sale periods continue to shorten with new-to-market stock being taken up very quickly by buyers from the capital and from abroad”.
As the market shifted, industry protocols requiring potential viewers to produce proof of funds helped to eliminate those with no intention of buying, significantly speeding up the sales process. Technology also brought a fresh approach to the sales process as the first lockdown prevented physical viewings. Virtual 3D tours provided a superb marketing tool to reduce potential time wasters, but most serious buyers still want to physically inspect properties, and to act fast once they saw what they wanted.
The REA average house price survey saw average house prices return to growth.
By mid-year, a new phenomenon emerged with remote working fuelling an unexpected demand for homes as buyers began to leave the capital and either return to their roots nationwide or search for more space. Gardens, potential home offices space and broadband reliability were the key factors behind the surge in interest. This shift toward rural areas was probably one of the more interesting points from the housing market in 2020 and looks set to continue. “The upper end of the market is also showing clear signs of growth in activity as people either move from higher value markets like London or Dublin or simply decide to make that move to the bigger family home” said Michael Boyd.
Average prices across the country between July and September rose by 0.6% to €236,046, with Dublin prices for the same type of home rising by 0.5% to €429,333.
Three-bed semis remained static in Kilkenny with selling prices averaging €240,000.
In 2021, the reality facing buyers is that the market remains unbalanced as demand races ahead of supply. But those who deferred selling in 2020 on account of the pandemic may alleviate that pressure in the next 12 months. Many people who have serious concerns about Covid are not putting their homes on the market and do not want to get out to look at other properties. Some empty nesters, many of whom wouldn’t mind downsizing, are deferring that decision because of what is going on.
REA Boyd’s Auctioneers specialise in residential sales, commercial property and land sales, private rentals, valuations, investments and advisory work in property & surveying.
Established in 1991 and with a highly skilled and professional team of seven staff, REA Boyd's cover Kilkenny City & County and have a managed portfolio across the South East. With a lifetime of local knowledge, through professional & personal community involvement, REA Boyd’s are also the only property firm in Kilkenny to provide a fully bespoke Online Auction Portal giving both sellers and purchasers more scope to achieve the results they want.
The Real Estate Alliance Group (REA) was twi terms chaired by Michael Boyd and with this brings the added benefit of 50 independently-owned sister offices throughout the country. REA Boyd's can help bring clarity to a confusing marketplace, allowing you to make the best choices for your future.