How 30pc of houses for sale can’t find buyers despite crisis. Despite crisis, large number of homes remain unsold

One-in-three houses put on the market almost three months ago has failed to sell.

A snapshot of almost 200 properties across 15 counties ranging from two-bed apartments to €1m-plus homes shows that 30pc, or 58, remain on the market despite the housing shortage.

Experts said that in many cases, houses were overpriced leading them to be slower to trade hands. However, some expressed surprise at the lack of movement, given the housing crisis.

Details of 193 houses and apartments for sale on were recorded on March 9 and March 13 last.

They include two-bed apartments, three and four-bed houses and luxury homes costing at least €1m.

As of June 1, 135 were sold or withdrawn from the market and 58 remained unsold.

One property source expressed surprise at the number of unsold homes, suggesting that given the low levels of stock people were snapping up units, even those in poor condition in need of substantial work.

"We're reading every day that there's not a lot of stock, and I'm surprised to hear that," one said.

"A lot of people would be happy to take on a refurbishment job because it might be a cheaper option, and there may not be much competition. The mid-level stuff like a regular three-bed semi-D is the most sought-after thing."

But the figures show that even in areas of high demand, not all homes are selling.

Of 56 properties recorded in Dublin, 15 remain on the market - 26pc. In Cork, four of 13 are on the market, or 30pc. In Galway City, 11 homes were noted and four are unsold, or 36pc.

While three-bed homes are in demand, particularly for families getting onto the property ladders, some are not shifting. Details of 16 three-bed semi-detached homes in Dublin were recorded, and three remain on the market.

However, they are relatively expensive, with the cheapest in Marino priced at €425,000 and the most expensive in Rathgar costing €600,000.

The figures also show:

  • Of 59 two-bed apartments, 14 remain unsold, or 23.7pc. Four of 16 in Dublin are unsold. One unit in Kilkenny remains unsold.
  • Of 62 three-bed houses, 14 - or 22.6pc - are still on the market. Three out of 16 in Dublin, one from four in Cork and one from four in Galway City are unsold, despite high demand in these areas.
  • Of the 62 four-bed homes offered for sale, 24 - or 38pc - remain unsold.

In some cases, auctioneers have dropped the price due to lack of demand, with some properties also withdrawn from sale.

However, regional director of estate agents RE/MAX John Fogarty said that in many cases properties remained unsold because they were overpriced.

He said that in rural areas, most properties would not remain on the market for more than six weeks. In Dublin, it could take just 10 days to sell a home.

He said agents should be aware of what similar homes were selling for by examining the Property Price Register, which records the selling price of all homes, and through market knowledge.

"At the high end, what can happen is an owner may have an expectation that is not in agreement with what the agent says. In my opinion, those properties should not go on the market," he said.

"You might get a trophy home which was €3m at the height of the boom.

"Some properties of these type don't sell because the vendor wants a certain price.

"With three and four-beds, the agent will look at what similar properties went for in the months previously, and the property price register.

"You would also ring around the agents and they may have an offer in excess of the asking price.

"Because there's a shortage of properties, some firms are going in €20,000 dearer and the consumer runs with that. If customers interview three agents and one has a silly figure, they need to be aware of that."

Chief executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers Pat Davitt said there was "no doubt" that some homes were over-priced, but added that the market was not as strong as portrayed in some areas.

"The market is being blown up to be a lot stronger than it is in a lot of places. There's different areas of Dublin selling very well.

"But in other (parts of the city) people won't pay the asking price, they are more discerning. If the first-time buyers grant encourages more to build properties, the price of housing will come down."

Eoghan Murphy: Car insurance needs supervision at EU level

In the Oireachtas Finance Committee last Thursday, Senator Kiernan O'Donnell asked a pertinent question - how do we avoid another Setanta?

The Supreme Court decision on the Setanta case between the Law Society of Ireland and the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland is very welcome. This decision in favour of insurers removes the uncertainty that has seriously delayed the payment of over 1,600 outstanding third party claims.

We can now accelerate the process of resolving these claims which have been outstanding since Setanta collapsed in 2014. Work is already underway to expedite the first payments from the Insurance Compensation Fund; the first tranche is expected shortly.

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We’ve a new simple guide to life insurance for parents. This guide can explain all those questions you have when your thinking about life cover.

    Your Guide To Family Protection    

We have also developed a range of infographics to help clearly explain the need for cover. Download this infographic to see why people in Ireland have a need for cover.

    "People in Ireland" inforgraphic    

We’ve researched situations in which parents take action to predict their futures - can you relate to these? Download the infographic for lots of stats and information.

    "Parents Predict Their Futures" Infographic    

Dairygold link up with Zurich on insurance deal

Competition looks set to intensify in the farm insurance sector following Dairygold's decision to partner with Zurich Insurance to provide deals for its co-op members.

In a leaflet sent out to its more than 3,000 milk suppliers last week, as well as farmers who trade with the co-op, Dairygold stated that it had reached an agreement with Zurich Insurance to offer "preferential rates to Dairygold members and account holders".

The tie up between Dairygold and Zurich has been viewed in some quarters as a snub to FBD. However, Dairygold management defended the decision.

"Dairygold board and management are constantly seeking opportunities to provide financial benefits for its members," the co-op stated. Dairygold engaged with a number of product and service providers to negotiate preferential offers for the benefit of members and account holders. The outcome of these negotiations led to attractive offers being tabled by Top Oil and Zurich," Dairygold explained.

"Top Oil is offering all Dairygold members and customers the opportunity to apply for a Dairygold/Top Oil fuel card which can be used to purchase diesel, petrol and sulphur-free gas oil at very competitive prices. The Zurich offer relates to farm, household and vehicle insurance and it commits to providing competitive quotes with some specific enhancements to Dairygold members," it added.

The co-op stressed that members had to engage with the suppliers directly and that Dairygold's only role will be to confirm society membership.

A spokesperson for Zurich Insurance said the company was: "…delighted to be developing an affinity scheme with Dairygold to offer competitive farm insurance solutions for its members."

IBA & PIBA TO MERGE... One Voice, One Representation, One Strength

The IBA is delighted to inform you that today members voted by an overwhelming majority to merge with PIBA, (Professional Insurance Brokers Association) at the association's annual AGM which was held in Croke Park, Dublin. At a separate AGM, PIBA members also voted in favour of a merger. 

This significant merger between both broker organisations is believed will demonstrate a positive change on behalf of the industry to benefit brokers in helping them best serve Irish consumers and businesses.

The new organisation will now have a combined strength of 1,300 firms representing both general insurance and financial brokers will be known as Brokers Ireland, a name under which both bodies have been working in co-operation for a number of years. 

We're also delighted to announce that former IBA Deputy President Cathal Lowe has become President of the new body and Chairman of the board.  Diarmuid Kelly, current PIBA Chief Executive, will be Chief Executive of Brokers Ireland with Ciarán Phelan, current IBA Chief Executive, being appointed Deputy Chief Executive.

Speaking today following the historic vote Cathal said given the excellent working relationships built up by the two organisations in recent years Brokers Ireland will hit the ground running.  "I look forward to working with our broker members and representing them in a stronger and unified capacity. We aim to foster innovation and communication and we will work for positive change on behalf of the industry to benefit brokers and help them best serve Irish consumers and businesses."

While the official launch of Brokers Ireland will take place in the Autumn of 2017, work will begin immediately to create a smooth transition to Brokers Ireland which will be based at IBA's current offices in Merrion Square, Dublin 2.  Further updates on the merger and its planned progression will be circulated in due course. 


Largest life insurance payout last year revealed as €1.5 million to family after cancer death

The startling statistics revealed that one in two Irish women died from cancer

The largest individual life insurance payout last year was €1,500,000 to the family of a claimant in their 50s who died of lung cancer.

It was among the €171m in claims Irish Life dished out last year.

Other examples of claims paid out include €151,000 to the family of a claimant in their 30s who died of lymphatic cancer just 11 months after starting a life insurance policy.

Another claimant in their 50s who had a heart attack within the first year of their specified illness cover starting received a payment of €100,000.

A further claimant, aged in their 50s, who was diagnosed with throat cancer two years after their terminal illness cover began, was paid €225,000.

The average payment was €66,880 for life insurance claims, €62,229 for specified illness cover claims, and €94,860 for terminal illness claims.

A breakdown of the illnesses and conditions that led to the 2,600 Irish Life payments shows that cancer is the leading cause of death and illness in Ireland.

The startling statistics reveal that one in two Irish women (51%) died from cancer, compared to 41% of men. This is up from 48% and 39% respectively in 2015.

Accidents were the second biggest cause of life insurance claims.

The average age of people for accidental death claims was just 50, with men making up the majority (71%).

Nearly a quarter of all life insurance claims for people under 40 years were as a result of an accident, making it the second biggest cause of claims for this age-group, and worryingly, road traffic accidents accounted for 20% of all accidental deaths.

Martin Duffy from Irish Life said they paid out over €3.4 million a week on average.

He commented: "None of us can predict the future, however our 2016 report highlights how important it is that people protect themselves against any financial difficulties caused by unexpected illness or death.

"This is shown by the fact that accidents were the second biggest cause of life insurance claims for people under 40 years, while nearly 40% of our Specified Illness claims were for people under 50 years, which are startling figures.

“When we look at how young many of our claimants are, it’s worrying that a third of parents still say they’ve no life insurance at all. However, this seems to be changing, as Irish Life’s recent research carried out with RED C found that over 205,000 parents intend to buy life insurance this year, that’s over double the number when we last did this research in 2015.”

Mr Duffy also confirmed that Irish Life paid 95% of all life insurance and specified illness claims it received last year, saying those that were declined were due to non-disclosure of medical information or the illnesses not being covered.

Vape your way to a lower life insurance premium

Looking for ways to reduce your life insurance premium? Vaping, instead of smoking, can reduce your outlay on this grudge purchase. And we’re not talking about a small saving either!

Being a smoker carries a huge price when applying for life insurance. After all, think of it from the insurer’s point of view. If you are consistently damaging your health with a product known to cause cancer and make you die younger, then of course we are going to charge you through the nose. And not by a small bit – if you are a smoker, you are facing a much larger premium compared to a non smoker.

So where does vaping fit in? Are vapers classified as smokers? How will their life insurance premium be affected? Read on to find out.

The difference in premium

The difference in premium between a smoker and non-smoker when applying for life insurance is huge. To find out some exact figures I received a quote using this life insurance calculator which compares multiple insurance companies and distinguishes between smokers and non-smokers.

Applicant: Smoker

Date of birth: 1/1/1990

Life Insurance: Cover of €500,000, over 20 years, paying yearly

smoker insurance

Applicant: Non smoker

Date of birth: 1/1/1990

Life Insurance: Cover of €500,000, over 20 years, paying yearly


These quotes show that a smoker will pay up to 158% more than a non smoker.

To be classified as a non-smoker you will have to be off tobacco products for a minimum of 12 months. I’d try vaping now if I was you!

Vaping and smoking

The lines are still blurred when making the distinction between a smoker and a vaper (we know better though). So you can expect any insurance company to be cautious when it comes to this matter. However, the tides are slowly changing and some insurance companies are seeing the difference. Some Irish insurance companies are now treating e cigarette users as non-smokers, but not all of them. You will need to seek advice from a Broker to find the best deal for you.

A heavier wallet

We spoke before about how vaping can save the average smoker €3,200 a year. But that was simply due to the cost of purchasing the materials. By taking into account your insurance premium you are looking at a save of a lot more than that.

If you weren’t convinced of the financial benefit of vaping, you should be now.

So if you are a smoker then why not make the switch to e cigarettes today? Here at Wicked e-juice we are the only Irish manufacturer of e juice. We have a range of high quality starter kits and e juices to get you going on your journey to a heavier wallet.