bpfi symbol in 3d

Range of solutions and stakeholders needed to resolve housing needs: some progress evident – Housing Market Monitor

Highest level of Q1 housing commencement activity since 2008

Lowest rate of house price inflation since August 2013

The latest Housing Market Montior Q1 2019 published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) points to the need for a range of solutions and stakeholders to meet current housing needs; however, it also points to some positive signs  within the market.

Drawing on BPFI’s unique loan-level data as well as a range of published data including housing supply, housing prices and rents and housing transactions for its assessment of the current state of the housing market, the latest BPFI Housing Market Monitor presents some key highlights as follows:

  • There were some 5,800 housing commencements in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 31.6% compared with same period of 2018.
  • Residential property prices increased by 3.9% year-on-year in March 2019. Based on monthly figures, this was the lowest rate of annual growth in average prices since August 2013.
  • Mortgage approvals and drawdowns both grew strongly in Q1 2019, increasing by 9.2% and 8.9%, respectively, year-on-year. The volume of purchase mortgage drawdowns (first-time buyers, mover purchasers and residential investment letting) rose to its highest Q1 level since 2008.
  • Cash sales accounted for an estimated 27.1% of sales on an annualised basis in Q1 2019, down from 31.2% a year earlier.

Providing his assessment of the market at present, Ali Uğur, Chief Economist, BPFI, highlights the decline in residential individual investors in recent years during which time there has been a shift to the participation of institutional investors in the market and he suggests that a range of stakeholders and solutions is required to meet the various housing needs that exist within the market:

“In recent years…. the private rented sector has been dominated by residential individual investors (RIL). BPFI mortgage drawdown data show that, for example, these individual investors accounted for around 20% of the value of drawdowns in 2006 during the peak of activity. However, since 2008, along with the decline in activity until 2013, the share of mortgages accounted for by residential individual investors declined significantly… “

 “We have seen increased activity by the non-household sector which includes companies such as pension funds, specialist private rental firms and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in the domestic residential property market. For example, in Q1 2019, non-households accounted for around 20% of all market purchases. This in a way shows that, to a significant extent, buy to let sector investors which have been traditionally individual investors have been replaced by institutional investors in the Irish housing market over the last 10 years, particularly in the new apartment sector.”

 “While our latest Housing Market Monitor shows signs of progress on housing supply, significant challenges remain.  Given different segments that make up the housing market from a demand perspective and the needs of these different segments, it is important to recognise that we need a number of stakeholders, both from the private and public sector, to play a role in addressing the nation’s housing needs with perhaps a different product mix varying according to needs, from houses to apartments and purchase to rental.”

The BPFI Housing Market Monitor is available on the BPFI website here.


Notes: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has some 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

The BPFI Housing Marking Monitor is published quarterly. In addition to presenting a unique range of loan-level data, the Monitor draws on a range of published data under the three key headings of housing supply, housing prices and rents, and housing transactions in its assessment of the current state of the housing market.

 Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, 087 9016880 or