Residential Property Prices in Dublin

Analysis of Residential Property Prices in Dublin

Living in Dublin, Ireland is amazingly expensive. Residential property prices in Dublin are growing. Yet we all think about buying a home while still wondering whether we might be better off continuing to rent. The data analyst in me wanted to dive deeper, to look back historically, to quantify, to visualize the trends, etc. to help me decide.  With all this in mind, here is my first overview of residential property prices in Dublin over the past few years. I’ll only be looking at the general trend. I am looking to find out what would be the common price of a group of properties if their value was shared equally amongst them.

I am analyzing data from Residential Property Price Index March 2017 (RPPI) from Central Statistics Office. RPPI is designed to measure the change in the average level of prices paid by households for residential properties sold in Ireland. It is compiled from a variety of data sources including mortgage drawdowns provided monthly by 8 of the main Mortgage Lending Institutions under Section 13 of the Housing Act (2002). It is transactions-based; meaning that prices are recorded only where a sale occurs. Not all residential property transactions are funded by a mortgage (i.e. they are cash-based) and these transactions are excluded from the scope of the index. Therefore, non-household purchases, non-market purchases, and self-builds (i.e. where the land is purchased separately) are all excluded. The principal data source is stamp duty returns made to the Revenue Commissioners. The index is compiled and published monthly.

The first plot is simply looking at the volume of sales each month for the residential property since 2010:

Volume of Sales

We can clearly see a strong uptick in the number of units sold from 2014 to 2017 following Ireland’s coming out of recession in September 2013. Interestingly, the volume of sales is not a linear increase. The graph shows that month of the year matters when buying a property. During February, March, April, July, August, and November sales drop. At the same time June, July, and August are the most popular months when people buy a property. Is this because summer is the busy season for buying a house because families with children try not to move during the school year. Interestingly, December also tends to see many sales. Maybe people are deciding emotionally to purchase a property or have more time over the holidays to check out investment properties. Not sure what else could be driving this weird spike in sales in December – any ideas?

The next plot shows the Residential Property’s Average Sales Price distribution in Dublin:

Average Sales Price Distribution

We can see that most of the prices of the property range from €200, 000 to €400,000. There are few outliers such as properties around €600,000 to € 1.1million. However, the peak of the average sales price is € 300,000. This is possible because both the house and apartment prices are included as dwellings. According to a news article in Irish times the average home price of 3-bed semis in Dublin is €290,000  in the March of 2017.

Type of Buyer Vs Dwelling

The plot describes the type of household buyer. It has been broken into first-time buyer owner-occupiers, former owner-occupiers, and other household buyers (non-occupiers, for example buy-to-let). The dwelling (house or apartment) status includes both existing and new. A new dwelling is one that has not previously been inhabited. We can see that first-time buyers (Owner- Occupiers) tend to prefer the existing dwellings to new ones. Is this because the existing dwellings are cheaper or because they prefer to save money on the furnishing the property?

The Residential property prices in Dublin

Residential Property Prices in Dublin

We can see that in Dublin, residential property average sale prices were up 8.2 percent year-on-year between January 2017 and January 2016 while the prices in February and March of 2017 were almost like 2016. It seems to me that generally, the average sales price of the house is higher during the summer months under the assumption that demand is higher during that period, but maybe supply is also higher during that time (and they rise in roughly equal proportion). However, there does not seem any pattern in how much should be the bidding price of the house.

Residential Property Prices in Dublin for First-time Buyers

First time buyers First Time buyers New

We can see that the price of the existing dwelling for the first-time buyer ( Owner- Occupier) is € 260,000 vs € 400,000 for new in January 2017. It follows the same trend of lower prices of existing property against new dwellings since January 2016. Hence, for first-time buyers, it is more affordable to buy an existing dwelling as a step towards owning their first property.

This post is limited to a few important subsections according to me. There is still a lot that can be analyzed and per different counties in Ireland. If you would like me to answer any query you have about the residential property prices in Ireland, please ask.

To see all this code together in action, you can go here.

Also, if you do an analysis of residential property prices in Dublin, by all means, comment on this post with a link to wherever we can find it, I’d love to see what other people come up with.

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