Property transactions in Ireland up 14.4 per centThe number of property transactions in Ireland climbed 14.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Irish Banking Federation.
The rise in residential sales has been hailed as a significant sign of recovery for the market following a disastrous slump following the 2008 financial crisis in which values plummeted by up to 50 per cent.
4,450 transactions were completed in the first three months of the year compared to 3,900 in the same period in 2012, the sixth quarterly year-on-year increase in volumes.
Despite this, The Irish Times reports that mortgage approvals fell by 4 per cent across the three months compared to 2012 - the first time this has happened since data was available in 2011.
"The most obvious reason for the divergent trends between mortgages and transactions is an increased incidence of cash purchases," Goodbody economist Dermot O'Leary told the Times.
"While one interpretation of this may be that credit is not available in the banking system, another is that buyers are using cash to invest in the Irish property market given the superior returns relative to ever-shrinking deposit rates in the Irish banks.”
“Either way, it is a vote of confidence that buyers are willing to dip their toes into the Irish housing market at current valuations.”