Monday, 15 March 2010

Irish National house price register

The Irish Times Residential Property section reported on the 11th March that"
National house price register to be set up"

According to the Irish Times, It appears that "A National house price register is to be set up for the first time by the Government following years of criticism at the lack of transparent information about the housing market.

It will form the basis of a house price index that would monitor the fluctuation in house prices.

The Minister for Housing Martin Finneran told the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) on the 10th March that a number of bodies and agencies are in talks to set up the register.

The lack of a national register has been the subject of widespread controversy given the absence of accurate house price data available to housebuyers, policy makers and vendors, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty.

Last month the monthly ESRI/Permanent TSB house price index was suspended and replaced with a quarterly survey because too few mortgages have been issued to provide accurate monthly price data.

A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said the time frame for delivery of the register is uncertain because current data protection legislation surrounding the publication of house price figures will be an issue.

“It depends on how long it takes to amend the legislation and how quickly a suitable legislative vehicle is found,” he said. Chaired by the Department of the Environment, the bodies involved in discussions about the register include the Irish Auctioneers Valuers Institute (IAVI), the CSO, the Department of Justice, the National Property Services Regulatory Authority and the Property Registration Authority (which controls the Registry of Deeds and the Land Registry).

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has welcomed the announcement saying it would enable “the putting in place of real time, reliable housing market statistics”. Martin Whelan of the CIF says speed of delivery has to be a priority. “We can’t be waiting a number of years and I don’t believe it has to be complicated. It has worked in other jurisdictions, like Northern Ireland, England and the US.” Source Irish Times

It does appear to be needed to get an idea of what properties sell for. At the moment estage agents are able to hide behind the Data Protection legislation. In the UK you can access information supplied by the Land Registry going back many years and even in France find out local area average property prices. In Ireland you have to "rely on gossip from the neighbours" which is not that satisfactory.

On the subject of property in Ireland this is a useful website so is

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