Cash is now king in Ireland – one in four property sales are now being paid in Euro notes according to industry experts.
Some parts of the country are even reporting half of all sales as cash transactions in a difficult market.
Real Estate sources have told the Sunday Independent that expats, foreigners and retired couples with savings are buying houses for cash.
Prices are down by 52 percent nationally compared to the height of the Celtic Tiger market in 2006. Sales have plummeted, but there are still cash buyers out there, according to the Sunday Independent report.
The paper spoke to Edward Carey of the Society of Chartered Surveyors who confirmed that those with cash are able to drive prices down because of their ability to close deals quickly.
“I would say that a quarter of deals at present are being done in cash,” said Carey at a time when mortgage lending is at an all-time low.
“With so few transactions going through, those looking to pay cash are distorting the market. They are able to drag the prices down, which pulls down average figures.
“Retired couples look to trade down are a significant group in non-mortgage purchases. They have life savings, decent pensions and if they are trading down they don’t need a mortgage. Expats and immigrants are also buying for cash.
“I recently sold an apartment to an Eastern European couple with little or no English who paid entirely in cash. They showed up to the apartment and insisted on paying the full amount in cash. They had worked hard, saved up to pay for it.”
Fintan McNamara, chief executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, told the paper that cash buyers now account for a greater proportion of the market because prices have fallen.
“Because of how banks are being so selective about whom they will lend to, cash buyers are now in pole position,” said McNamara.