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50 | IRELAND & SWEDEN Letter from Ireland


Ireland’s dramatic property crash and the banking crisis swept the nation like wildfire, but there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.


ne of the fi rst indications of recovery came from international buyers looking to purchase bulk residential stock, specifi cally, in the greater Dublin area. Native, high net worth individuals, also came into the frame looking to take advantage of the decline in prices and relatively strong achievable yields when compared to other European capitals. The sale of large quantums of blocks in the Dublin region, in a relatively short period of time, has signifi cantly reduced the stock levels and we are now witnessing a strong appetite from the home buyer sector. The fi rst chinks of light to break


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through the domestic residential market came in the form of increased activity as the number of property transactions started to pick up during the second half of 2012. During this time there was a marked improvement in property transactions, driven to a large extent by fi rst time buyers. This was motivated by a


tax relief incentive which expired at the end of December 2012.


This,


coupled with the sentiment that perhaps the market was touching the bottom of the cycle in terms of price, brought fi rst time buyers out in droves. The net result was an increase in activity and a slight


“The Irish housing market enjoyed renewed confi dence as it entered a new phase in 2013”


pick-up in house price appreciation. The Irish housing market enjoyed renewed confi dence as it entered a new phase in the opening quarter of 2013, witnessing the fi rst period of positive price growth, albeit moderate, since 2006. It is reported that house price appreciation rose by 2% in the fi rst quarter of 2013, and 1.7% in the 12 months to the end of


March 2013. It is offi cial, the Dublin housing market is picking itself up and dusting itself down, but this is not a nationwide phenomenon. The market has been described


as “two tiered” - principal cities Dublin, Cork and Galway versus the rest of the country. This can be further divided into houses versus apartments. In Dublin city, the dearth of good family homes has further fuelled the middle to upper end of the market where some areas of Dublin are seeing strong upward pressure on prices due to pent-up demand. We are not experiencing ‘blanket’ recovery. Recovery in Ireland has been protracted and region-sensitive. That said, there is increased market confi dence. Vendors’ unrealistic price expectations have diminished, which has accelerated transactions in the market place. Despite the continued constraint on bank lending to the house buying public, the market is managing to transact. There are more than just


David Browne is Managing Director of HT Meagher O’Reilly Residential, based in Dublin. It off ers advice in residential new and second hand homes, new developments, block sales, and receiverships. Email: dbrowne@htmor.com Telephone: 00353 1 6342478 Website: www.htmor.com


green shoots - there is confi dence and genuine demand. Is now a good time to buy in Ireland? Are there good deals to be done out there? The answer is most defi nitely yes! The number of overseas and ex-pat enquiries we receive suggests we are not the only ones who think so.


LETTER FROM


www.opp-connect.com |MAY 2013


Letter from Sweden


Although a lesser-known fact to many, the Swedish property market has been one of Europe’s strongest performers in recent years.


the rise. So much so that prices are now reported to be higher than ever - up 250% since 1996.


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Key market indicators all make for positive reading – fewer properties for sale, quicker sales and growing optimism amongst buyers. In fact, apartment prices have risen by 12% over the last year and villa prices by 3%. Prices look set to continue rising, moderately at least, through 2013 – as long as interest rates remain relatively low. Leading Swedish broker, Erik Olsson, summarises the state of the market, “Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo prices are stronger and more stable than we saw in 2012 and confi dence amongst buyers has shown a considerable increase. Economic news from around the world over recent months has been less negative and many households fi nd that they have more money in their pockets.” Viewings in Stockholm and Gothenburg have been well attended in recent months, with higher sales


fter a minor slow down over the last two years, the Swedish property market is again on


prices achieved. Demand is so strong in Gothenburg that many properties are being snapped making it to the open market. The market in Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city, is more subdued. Strong new-build supply and the continuing ‘Denmark-effect’ have had a negative impact on prices as buyers from nearby Copenhagen have dropped off following price falls in the Danish market.


“Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo prices are stronger and more stable than in 2012”


Signs for Stockholm look particularly


positive. The city is one of Europe’s fastest growing and is Sweden’s engine, making up a third of GDP. During the next fi ve years the population is estimated to grow by a further 420,000, adding to housing pressures. A couple of factors could threaten to cool the Swedish market. Tightening


of the mortgage ceiling, introduced in 2010 and limiting new loans to 85% LTV, as well as an end to interest-only mortgages, are much discussed, though seem unlikely to be introduced. One of the results of the positive property market at home is that Swedes, keen to escape the gloomy winters, are eyeing up property further afi eld in ever increasing numbers. Long used to owning second properties at home, swapping a mountain or lake retreat for a warmer overseas location is an attractive option for many. Spain is the clear front-runner in terms of popularity. The strong kronor and slashed prices make picking up a home in the sun possible for as little as a third of the cost of a few years ago. Malta, Portugal, Italy, France and Thailand are all popular alternatives. The recent round of Buying Homes Abroad exhibitions, organized by Fair Media International, broke all records for visitor numbers and leading overseas property portal, Bovision, reports increased searches on its listings.


At BuyAssociation Nordic, we’re


Richard Walters is based in Stockholm and Director of BuyAssociation Nordic, marketing overseas property to buyers throughout the Nordic region. Email: richard@buyassociation- group.com Telephone: +46 (0) 8 50 51 67 62 Website: www.buyassociation- group.com


seeing the appetite for a property purchase overseas continue to grow amongst Swedish buyers. Almost unaffected by the global


fi nancial crisis, with impressive GDP growth and a healthy property market, the picture from Sweden is welcome news in a troubled continent.


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