House sales in Cork up 23 percent

The number of property transactions in Cork last year rose by 23% compared
to 2011 according to new analysis by leading property website MyHome.ie.

There were 2,694 house sales in the city and county in 2012 – up from the
2,073 recorded the previous year – making it the most successful of the
past three years in terms of sales. The 2012 figure was also well ahead of
the 2,240 sales recorded in 2010.
Most sales took place under the €250K mark, with 2,203 properties being
sold.

This is also where the largest growth in transactions occurred with sales
in this category up around 28.2% on the 2011 figure of 1,582 and 32.5% up
on the 2010 figure of 1,486.

Angela Keegan, Managing Director of MyHome.ie said the increased activity
in the Cork market was a very welcome development.
“The rise in transactions is very welcome and is a sign that we are
returning to a normally functioning property market. We are seeing strong
demand for starter homes for first time buyers in many areas, especially
well maintained 3 bed semis. These properties are in short supply in
certain parts of the city and as a result prices are stabilizing there.

Another factor is the return of small investors. We’re hearing on the
ground that they are coming back to the market and buying up city centre
properties in need of refurbishment in order to capitalise on rising rents
and also as a long term play. Elsewhere prices are continuing to fall – if
at more moderate levels – and that downward trend will not change until the
wider economic picture improves.

What is clear from these figures is the importance of Cork to the national
and Munster property markets. Cork sales accounts for 11% of sales
nationwide and a massive 45% of sales in Munster” Ms Keegan said.

Looking at the upper end of the market there were six transactions over €1m
in Cork last year, the largest being the €3.7m paid for Seamark, Glandore
in July. Indeed, that sale was the second most expensive in Cork in the
last three years, following the sale of 30 apartments and one commercial
unit in Sutton Court, Mitchelstown for €4.56m in February 2010.

Those sales were two of just 24 transactions over €1 million in Cork in the
last three years but not surprisingly the number of seven figure sales are
falling as are those priced between €500K and €750K.

For example, there were nine transactions in the €750K to €1m price bracket
in both 2012 and 2011, but this was a drop on the 2010 figure of 20.
Sales in the €500 to €750K range were also down in each of the last three
years. From the high of 60 in 2010, this has steadily dropped to 45 in 2011
and 32 in 2012. In contrast, there were 444 sales in the €250 to €500K
price range – up 14 on the 2011 figure of 430 but still some way off the
2010 tally of 665.

Unsurprisingly, Cork City – with 583 transactions – accounted for over a
fifth of the county’s sales last year at 21.6%. That was up on the 34.3%
figure of 2011 when there were 383 properties sold in the city and the 2010
figure of 19.9%, when 446 properties were sold.
Nationally, last year’s sales in Cork accounted for just over 10.9% of
sales nationwide – down slightly on the 2011 figure of 11.5% but marginally
ahead of the 2010 figure of 10.8%.

Excluding Dublin, Cork accounted for 16.9% of sales nationwide for 2012 and
2011, with this figure a slight increase on the 2010 total of 16.3%.
While sales for the year in Cork were at their highest level in 2012 for
the past three years, they also rose in relation to the rest of Munster.
Last year, sales in the Rebel County accounted for 44.8% of Munster’s 5,990
recorded transactions – an increase from 43.6% in 2011 and 43.8% in 2010.

In the three years from 2012 to 2010 there were 7,007 property transactions
in Cork, which was almost three times ahead of second placed Limerick,
which had 2,283 sales.

So far this year there have been 218 transactions in Cork, with 182 of them
falling in the €0-€250,000 bracket, 32 costing between €250,000 and
€500,000 and three in the €500,000 to €750,000 price bracket. There was
also one transaction over €1m – that being the sale of Rafeen House in
Kinsale for €1.5m on January 18th.

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