According to the latest release of the Irish Banking Federation's Housing Market Monitor transaction volumes in the republic increased 14.4% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
According to the report, 4,450 properties were transacted in Q1 2013 compared with 3,900 in Q1 2012. This is now the sixth consecutive quarter of year-on-year transaction volume gains.
But this continues to contrast with the mortgage market, in which approvals fell 4% during the same period. This suggest that buyers continue to face difficulty in obtaining home loans, leading many to seek alternative funding sources.
Not everyone sees the correlation in this however. According to Goodbody economist Dermot O'Leary the drop in approvals versus rising sales is a clear indication that buyers are increasingly paying cash. O'Leary said:
"The most obvious reason for the divergent trends between mortgages and transactions is an increased incidence of cash purchases.
"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."
- Friday 07 June 2013