Estate agent Sherry FitzGerald said that despite the profound economic impact presented by Covid-19, property values in the Irish second-hand homes market remained robust, with prices seeing a moderate increase over the course of 2020. 

Sherry FitzGerald said the average value of second-hand homes in Ireland increased by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

This brought total growth for 2020 to 1.2%, exceeding the growth of 0.2% recorded for 2019. 

Dublin second-hand property prices increased by 0.4% in the final quarter - the strongest quarterly growth in two and a half years. Average values in Dublin grew by a cumulative 0.5% for the full year, with price growth returning following a 0.8% decline in 2019.

Growth was marginally firmer outside of the city, with average values increasing 0.8% in the fourth quarter.

Average national values, excluding Dublin, rose 2.1% during 2020. 

The estate agents noted that growth was strongest in the year in West and Midlands regions, with growth rates of 3.5% and 2.5% respectively. 

Sherry FitzGerald said there was widespread stability in prices across the country, with no region recording a fall in values in the year.

Looking at the final quarter of the year, and despite the imposition of Level 5 restrictions for a six-week period, the estate agents said it appears that sales activity continued to recover strongly and appears to be on course to return to more normalised levels of transaction output.

Marian Finnegan, Managing Director at Sherry FitzGerald, said that Irish property values displayed remarkable levels of resilience and stability during 2020. 

"Despite the enormous global economic and social upheaval experienced in 2020, average property values noted a moderate increase in the year. Indeed, since the outbreak of Covid-19 within Ireland in March, property values have increased by more than 1%," Ms Finnegan said. 

She said that along with robust buyer demand, this resilience has been primarily a product of decreasing supply levels. 

"This year has seen a reduction in approximately 15,000 units for sale across the new and second-hand market," she added.

Marian Finnegan said there is no silver bullet to solve the housing crisis in Ireland, but we are beginning to see some progress.  

"The recent Government announcement around a Shared Equity Scheme is very welcome. This scheme has the potential to assist in the delivery of 3,000-5,000 additional new homes annually. The recent enhancement of the Help-to-Buy scheme is also beneficial," she added.