Despite the downturn, the Irish appetite for property is undiminished, and almost three quarters of Irish buyers at special property auctions held there this year paid in cash.

Of the $67 million worth of houses, apartments and commercial buildings sold in Ireland this year, 72% were bought by people who did not need financing.

Robert Hoban, Allsop Space director of auctions, told the Irish Examiner this week he had observed a pattern of buying from people who had sold their homes at the height of the boom and then stayed out of the market.

'It’s perfectly reflective of the reality we are in. There are lots of people who want to buy but they can’t because there is no finance from the banks.


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'It’s a distorted market. There’s an assumption out there that anyone who buys at auction is a hardcore vulture, that it’s blood on the streets sales, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

'What is clear is that despite the downturn, the appetite for property within the Irish psyche is undiminished, once the price is right.'

Hoban also claimed there was intense interest from Irish people living abroad — thanks to what he called the new and sensible market prices.

'We were truly overwhelmed by the buyers. At the first auction people were waving their checkbooks to try and get in and spend their money — that was massive in the market that was supposedly moribund.

'The economy and the housing market was a busted flush, we were told. But I don’t think the property price indexes are a true reflection of the market.'