New data from the Property Price Register shows that the volume of residential transactions rose 12% in the first three months of the year, despite the lockdown.
According to Davy, €4.2bn of transactions involving 13,100 properties have been recorded so far this year, with buyers clearly undeterred by the difficult environment for buying.
“Estate agents have clearly adapted to the third lockdown, maintaining activity levels despite restrictions on viewings and travel, via virtual viewings and other initiatives,” said Davy chief economist, Conall MacCoille in an investor note this morning.
Compared to the same month a year earlier, Mr MacCoille estimates that transaction volumes were down 10%.
But in February and March they rose 21% and 22% respectively, he said.
“So there appears to have been little disruption from Covid-19 restrictions,” he said.
Davy puts the delayed summer trading season down as one reason behind why the activity has maintained momentum this year so far.
“Sales agreed in the final months of last year may have been finalised in early 2021,” Mr MacCoille said.
“However, the very latest transaction data for April still show no fall off.”
Despite the robust level of activity in the market, the stockbroking firm is keeping its forecast for mortgage lending for the year unchanged at €9.5bn, up from €8.4bn last year.
This is because although activity has held up stronger than anticipated, Davy thinks this means it won’t bounce back as significantly as it had previously thought in the second half as a result.
Latest price data from the Central Statistics Office shows that house prices rose 3% during February, accelerating a pick-up of 2.6% in January.
Overall, prices have increase 1% in the 12 months since February of 2020.