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Archive for December 16th, 2011

Every couple of months, the nice woman at the Revenue Commissioners gets pestered by here for the latest stamp duty figures on property transactions in the State. In the absence of a House Price Database (which should be with us by June 2012) stamp duty gives an indication of activity in the market. Yes, every month the Department of Finance Exchequer Statement shows income under the heading “Stamp Duty” but this includes duty on all sorts of transactions, not just real estate property transaction tax (and in 2011 it includes the pension levy used to fund the Jobs Initiative). During the week the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan produced a written answer in the Dail which set out the property-related stamp duty receipts in 2010. The figures will include stamp duty on commercial and residential property and remember that for 11 months of 2010, the old stamp duty rates on residential property sales applied.

So, what do the figures tell us?

There has been a collapse in property transactions. The peak income from stamp duty on property was 2006 when a total of €2.967bn was collected. So it would appear that transactional activity dropped some 93%. Of course some transactions were exempt from stamp duty but the indicated collapse is in line with the collapse in the mortgage market, indicating that cash didn’t suddenly replaced financed purchases. The 2009 receipts totalled €346m from 11,766 residential transactions and 21,895 commercial transactions so even compared to what was not a great year, 2010 receipts were down 43%.

Practically nothing was sold in Longford and Leitrim which recorded the lowest stamp duty receipts of €0.6m apiece. If the receipts were all for residential property and the average transaction price was €200,000 then that would mean about 100 homes were sold in 2010 in each county..

43% of the receipts were for Dublin. This indicates the property market in Dublin is, on a proportionate basis, far more fluid than the rest of the country. The average value of residential property in Dublin is 30% more than the national average. And according to the 2011 Preliminary Census results, the Dublin county housing stock stands at 529,312 out of 2,004,175 homes in the State.

There is an analysis of the 2003-2009 stamp duty receipts here, following the release of information by the Revenue Commissioners in October 2010. Gordon Deegan at the Irish Examiner reported the story today and has comments from Sherry FitzGerald, the country’s largest estate agents.

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