House supply may be better than figures suggest says IPAV chief Pat Davitt

A Westmeath property expert has said this week that new figures showing that at the start of December there appeared to be only 11,500 homes on sale across the country may not be as dramatic as they might first seem.

The Q4 House Price Report found only 11,500 homes listed for sale on on December 1, and noted that in Leinster, there were just under 2,650 properties on the market (outside Dublin) on that date.

Pat Davitt, chief executive of IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers, said the apparent drop in the supply of homes on the market might be a reflection of changing vendor behaviours.

“Agents are reporting in the back end of the year more stock has come on the market, which is stemming house price inflation in the latter quarter of the year from the highs of the summer period,” said Mr Davitt.

He also revealed that agents are finding that many vendors no longer want to market their properties on portals: “There is less need to,” he added, explaining that at present, most agents have eager mortgage-approved and cash buyers on their books for properties that come to market.

Another factor is agents are advertising on social media channels.

He said there is also a lessening need for sellers to want to place advertising boards on their properties.

Mr Davitt goes on to predict more sales off market in 2022.

“In the current market vendors know they can sell their homes without having to wait on those who have not been vetted as buyers as ready to go by agents and some of whom who may not be intending to buy but are perhaps researching the market.”

He said increasingly people are relying on their agents to assess the potential of prospective buyers and they like the privacy that affords them.

IPAV said in September more stock was coming on the market and predicted it would result in a tapering of house price inflation.

Mr Davitt said PSRA sales figures indicate that almost 54,000 sales were completed this year up to December 17. He said this indicates that sales figures for 2021 should finish very close to the 2019 sales figures and that the 2020 drop of about 15,000 in these figures has recovered.

“While not enough to satisfy present demand it does represent a real improvement on 2020 and with increasing supply we expect it will keep house price inflation from spiralling, which would be in no one’s interest in the longer term,” he said.