Number of houses for sale now is lower than during recession

A chronic lack of homes across the country means there are now fewer houses for sale than when the property market collapsed during the darkest days of the recession.

And an analysis of recent trends in the residential market by property website shows the total number of properties for sale at any one time is continuing to fall.

The figure is at its lowest point since February 2007, with fewer than 24,000 homes for sale across the country.

Two years ago, 21,000 properties were on the market in Munster, Connacht and Ulster alone.

The latest report’s figures shed a new light on how serious the housing crisis now is in the capital. There were 5,700 properties on the market in Leinster, not including Dublin. But in the capital itself, a mere 3,400 were for sale at any one time.

However, the issue is also becoming increasingly problematic outside of Dublin.

There were just 13,500 homes for sale in Munster, Connacht and Ulster in the first quarter of this year, a 36pc drop since 2014.

The lack of housing means that property prices are now being driven predominantly by supply and demand, with the new Central Bank lending rules looking more irrelevant. has echoed calls from the construction industry to the Government to lower the cost of building.

The author of the report, Ronan Lyons, described the lack of homes as “unhealthy”.

He said: “Every month, roughly 2,000 new households are formed, each requiring somewhere to live. But each month currently sees the construction of, at best, 1,000 new homes.

“It is serious, chronic and getting worse and therefore requires government action.

“This action should be focused not on trying to drive prices further up, so as to stimulate supply, but rather to drive costs down, so that they are in line with our incomes in the same way that the Central Bank now requires house prices to reflect our incomes.”

House prices across Ireland rose by an average of 5.9pc in the past 12 months.

The report also confirms a divide between Dublin and the rest of the country – with prices stable in the capital.

House prices in Dublin only increased by 0.9pc in the past 12 months, compared to an average rise of 9.7pc outside Dublin.

The average national asking price rose during the first quarter of this year was €210,000, compared with €198,000 last year and €164,000 in 2013.

Prices in Dublin have increased by 41pc (€91,000) compared with their previous lowest point in the middle of 2012. However, the prices are falling in Dublin 2, Dublin 6, Dublin 16, Dublin 18 and South County Dublin.

“Nonetheless, across the country, prices continue to rise because the increase in population each month is not being matched by an increase in new homes,” said Mr Lyons.

He added: “Addressing the shortage of supply – in particular the high cost base on construction – must be a top priority for the new Government.”

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