The Sunday Times | They’re out of the starting gate

The Sunday Times, Sunday, January 15th 2017 

And they’re off. Some may call it a faltering start, but the 2017 property season has begun. Last week saw a trickle of homes come to the market, though estate agents were lamenting the fact that some clients were still clearing up the Christmas detritus and weren’t ready to launch their houses.

With the annus horribilis behind us, agents are looking to 2017 with hope. As The Sunday Times Property Price Guide revealed last week, price hikes of up to10% are expected around the country. Dublin agent Owen Reilly is in particularly buoyant mood. His docklands residential report pointed out that prices per square metre were up by 11.7%, from €5,031 in 2015 to €5,619 in 2016.

The majority of buyers – 72% – were Irish, according to Reilly, and there’s no waiting around for investors with cash to burn. An average selling time of 8.4 weeks in 2015 was reduced to 5.7 weeks in 2016. The quicker investors buy the quicker they start to rake in the rental returns. Reilly reported rents increased by 12.1% in 2016.

A staggering 85% of those who rented from Reilly last year came from abroad. He says Brexit will be a good thing for the area. If the “greatest jobs producer that God ever created” gets his way, American companies will be returning home, but can they take all their foreign workers with them?

It is anyone’s guess how the year will play out but there should be some positives…

The Sunday Times, Sunday, January 15th 2017