What impact will Brexit have on the Irish property market?

It has been a full week now since Britain’s decision to leave the European Union but seven days on no one really knows what the long term forecasts will be when the Brexit officially happens.

We might be in unchartered waters but that hasn’t prevented people from speculating as to what could occur.

The property market is one area that will be closely monitored and despite reports of a number of deals around the country falling by the wayside due to the fall in the value of sterling adding thousands of euro to deals, could Ireland’s property market be set to benefit from a Brexit?

One of the country’s leading commercial agents, CBRE, seem to think so.

Its Head of Research Marie Hunt expects a number of financial services, technology and other firms to relocate here from Britain, helping interest in the commercial property market as well as boosting the number of jobs available here.

While that will be a silver lining, Ms Hunt said the overall property market will be hit by the general economic uncertainty caused by Brexit and said it may cause some investors to delay making purchases.

That general view was shared yesterday by Sherry FitzGerald whose chief economist Marian Finnegan believes that the Brexit result could put more pressure on the Government to deal with the housing crisis.

She said: “There is a growing view that Brexit may lead to an uplift in occupier demand from the foreign direct investment sector. In particular, Dublin is likely to benefit from increased demand from financial services companies in need of an EU base.

“This will lead to a further increased demand for housing. With this in mind, it is imperative that the Government takes immediate action to remove the barriers to both construction and activity to allow a more normal function and responsive market re-emerge.”

Lisney also speculated earlier this week that a “wait and see” approach would emerge but warned that investment would be needed in housing, something that could lead to opportunities for building investors.

The initial result of the Brexit referendum certainly hasn’t dampened an interest in Irish property. Last weekend traffic to MyHome.ie from the UK was up 43 per cent, for example, although there is little doubt that the fall in value of sterling will put some people off.

Earlier this week the CSO reported that property prices were up by almost 7 per cent year on year and 0.2 per cent for the month of May. That gradual growth is expected to continue in the short term, largely due to a lack of supply, but we won’t fully know Brexit’s impact until a few months down the line, possibly at the turn of the year.