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Wealth Report 2018

For most people, the home they own is their most valuable asset. Roughly two out of every three households in Ireland own the home they live in and the vast majority of these dwellings have six-figure valuations: the average property nationwide was worth almost €250,000 in the first quarter of 2018, up from a low of €165,000 in early 2013.

In total, there is now over €420 billion of housing wealth in this country. To put this number in perspective, it is twice the combined market capitalisation of the 50 or so firms listed on the Irish stock exchange. It is also significantly larger than Irish GDP, which was estimated at just under €300bn in 2017.

As before, our housing wealth is concentrated in cities. Urban Dublin makes up less than 1% of the land mass of the country but is home to 40% of its housing wealth. The other four cities bring the urban share to roughly half. This is not unusual or unhealthy. In fact, the high standard of living enjoyed in developed countries is dependent on the clustering and specialisation made possible by cities.

What is of even greater interest is changes in areas where housing wealth is concentrated. The report compares housing wealth now with five years ago, when prices bottomed out. Seen this way, there are some interesting trends. Some of what may have thought of as the less glamorous part of the greater Dublin area have seen the biggest jump up the rankings.

The Report typically thinks of the country as broken up into 54 different markets: the 22 postal districts of Dublin, North, South and West Dublin, the four other cities, and then the 25 other counties (excluding the city areas). Five years ago, as prices were bottoming out, Dublin 10 (Ballyfermot) was was ranked 51st by average price.

Now, it is ranked 34th, a rise of 17 places. Elsewhere in the capital, Dublin 1 (up 10 places to 21st) and Dublin 8 (up 6 places to 18th) have also seen their housing wealth increase faster than most. The other two markets with the biggest rise up the rankings of housing wealth are Westmeath (up 8 places to 37th) and Louth (up 7 places to 33rd).

At the other end, Limerick city saw prices bottom out later than elsewhere in the country and this shows up in the housing wealth rankings. While the city itself is largely unchanged (down one place to 39th), two of the surrounding areas, Limerick County and Tipperary, have fallen 10 places (to 42nd and 44th respectively).

The report also provides an estimate of the total number of property millionaires in Ireland. For each of the 389 micro-market in the country, the average value of 25 main property types, from 1-bed apartment to 5-bed detached, is calculated. Of those almost 10,000 property segments around the country, 53 had an average value of at least €1m – up from 43 a year ago.

Using Census information and the listings archive, it is estimated that there are almost 4,600 property millionaires in these areas. As it’s based on averages, other exceptional properties scattered around the country are not included. But this is a level effect.

The increase compared to a year ago is more reliable. And compared to 2017, this marks an increase of over 750 property millionaires in 12 months – or fifteen new property millionaires each week!


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