Approximately 45pc of all properties sold in 2018 were paid for with cash or savings.
This is similar to the level of cash purchases made during the recession years of 2009-2013, when mortgage approvals were at an all-time low.
Overall and growth in the property market remained “sluggish” in 2018, despite a high demand for housing in Ireland, according to the latest Consumer Market Monitor (CMM), from the Marketing Institute of Ireland and UCD Smurfit Business School.
There were 55,000 homes purchased in 2018, an increase of 8pc on the previous year. Almost 25,000 of these properties were bought with cash.
While the residential property market is growing, the number of homes purchased in Ireland in 2018 was approximately half the amount purchased during the height of the last boom in 2005, when 105,000 homes were sold.
In addition, while there was a 12pc increase in the number of mortgages issued during 2018, with 30,629 drawn down, this is a considerably lower level than during the last boom, with 85,000 mortgages issued in 2005 and similar levels in 2006 and 2007, the CMM found.
Professor Mary Lambkin, author of the report, said: “The property market’s sluggish growth does not reflect the large increase in the working population and the rate of new household formation that has occurred over the past five years.”
“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.”
Looking forward, and residential property sales are expected to increase by 5pc this year to 58,000. This will be facilitated by the increasing rate of construction of new homes as well as increasing supply of second-hand properties coming on the market, according to the report.
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