2018 saw the surge of activity of previous years give way to a more measured market. With pent-up demand at the upper end having now largely been satisfied, the market has calmed.
We believe that the three main contributing factors to a challenging year have been supply, pricing and the protracted process in closing sales.
Our first plan for the New Year is to re-brand our Company name. We will now be operating under the same Principal, Mr. Des Lalor, but named more concisely as Lalor Estate Agents. Our re-branding will gradually evolve during the first quarter. Also in 2019 we plan to use an online common platform to speed up the process of closing, linking all the parties and allowing the client to have more control and increase transparency.
We expect prices to stabilise in 2019 and price inflation is likely to remain in single-digit growth and tracking consumer price inflation; ultimately a healthier place to be.
By the end of the third quarter the rate of residential property price inflation nationally had slowed to 5.9 per cent year on year, while in Dublin the rate was 2.5 per cent.
Reasons for the slowdown include the impact of the tightening of the Central Bank lending rules and the increased availability of stock. According to MyHome.ie there are more than 5,000 residential properties on the market in the capital right now and that is heartening to see.
The outlook for 2019 is good. The banks will start lending again early in the new year, which will lead to an improved level of sales in both the new and second-hand markets. We plan to use an online common platform to speed up the process of closing, linking all the parties and allowing the client to have more control and transparency throughout. If we are open to change and equipped with the right tools we can conclude sales more efficiently and achieve the best market prices for our clients.
Uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit negotiations is also impacting the market, especially at the upper end, and it’s difficult to see that changing in the early months of the new year We expect a steady but unspectacular year ahead.