Sale price database: Will it provide much needed transparency?

Sale price database: Will it provide much needed transparency?Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern announced earlier this week the long awaited initiation of a property sale price database that will be used to monitor market trends, house prices and ultimately create much-needed transparency in the property market. “I am very aware of the need for reliable and up-to-date data on house prices and other property,” he said.

Although the news has been welcomed by many organisations and agents who say the planned database would be of benefit to individual buyers and sellers as well as to agents and would provide an accurate picture of the market, the news has been met with mixed feelings by… the punters.

On one side of the fence many believe that the database is a step in the right direction towards a more stable property market in the long term but on the other side the fence there are many who do not favour the introduction for various different reasons including the issue of privacy and the idea that the information will be used to calculate a new property tax… “I as a private individual, the price I bought my house for is none of anyone’s business”…”No, its just another way to calculate values for property a tax”.

Property Sale Price Database:

  • Will it provide much need transparency and lead to a more stable property market?
  • Or is the database unnecessary and an infringement on your privacy?


  1. Terence
    Posted 13 Aug at 11:48 am | Permalink

    No it will not lead to Transparency.

  2. Terence
    Posted 13 Aug at 11:51 am | Permalink

    A very easy to infringe individual privacy and an ideal way of setting up a property valuation Base without spending too much of Tax payers money.

  3. Mary Kate O Flanagan
    Posted 13 Aug at 11:53 am | Permalink

    People who just want to buy a home will benefit from this. Estate agents, developers and property speculators have a vested interest in being able to obscure the truth about property prices and convince buyers to pay more than a property is worth.

    When the market stabilises and prices go up again (yes it will happen, and in our lifetime) estate agents, developers and property speculators will benefit again. In the meanwhile, attempts to conceal the truth don’t help anyone and could hurt buyers, especially those who are inexperienced or naive.

  4. Bosco
    Posted 13 Aug at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    This is long overdue but aren’t Savills already doing something like this?

  5. Matthew
    Posted 13 Aug at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    It will but only if it is transparent and reflects a base pre 2000 afinally, otherwise VI’s will try the same game and talk up the mooorkeet yah! But maybe Irish people have learnt that they should take what the government, banks, estate agents and developers tell them and that they are nothing but self serving and greedy, moreover these VI’s have called that the peak was not the peak and the moorkeet was sound and called the bottom on prices more times these past 3 years than a tesco ad and got that wrong despite having to hand sales prices which is the very data that is supposed to feed this new database, where were they calling for it pre and post 2000????

    Transperency on the data will be welcome but the property scam which has brought this country to Its knees and those in it has been exposed …..finally

  6. Bob Storey
    Posted 13 Aug at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    This is a much needed service and a step forward in transparency. The property market has been open for far too long to manipulation with prices being hyped up against real market values. To be welcomed by both buyers and sellers alike if there is to be any confidence in the market.

  7. Sean
    Posted 13 Aug at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    what if a person were to sell his home for 275k but 75 was in to another bank account for tax reasons, so 200 was shown? the 75 was for, web site etc etc..

  8. Dom Noone
    Posted 13 Aug at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I think that such a database will lead to stability in property prices as it will enable purchasers to benchmark the price of a particular property against comparable properties . If a property is deemed to be too expensive it will not sell , as purchasers will be aware of alternative properties at more competitive prices

  9. Harry
    Posted 13 Aug at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Since when was the current fianna fail government done anything positive for house owners? When tax revenues where good did they reform stamp duty on houses? NO! they were quite happy to continue with the status quo and have many people pay stamp duty at the rate of 2 or 3 times the annual average industrial wage.

    Finna Fail are quite happy to dump €23B+ (nearly half of want Ireland has received from the EU since we joined 37 years ago in 1973) in to the economic black hole that is Anglo Irish Bank; plus whatever has gone into the rest of the banking system and NAMA.

    The government needs new sources of income, and the current idiot led government thinks that it can continuously dip into the pockets of ordinary people to pay for the mercs and the perks.

    The only thing that will be transparent about this database is that it is going to be the basis of the new property tax that is going to be used to fleece home owners.

    Normally I would say that the only good thing about this announcement is that Biffo and Co are so incompetent that it will probably take several years to implement the database, not unless they are really desperate in which case they may go the same way as the ‘parking place tax’ and implement a “pilot” database for Dublin only.

  10. James
    Posted 13 Aug at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Beyond purient curiousity and the national pass-time of house pricing, there is no practical benefit whatsoever to either house buyers or sellers in making house price information public. The ONLY reason that government is introducing the legislation is to create a national data base for the introduction of property tax. Anyone who believes otherwise is living in cloud cuckooland!

  11. Alison
    Posted 13 Aug at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    During the celtic boom when the government was gaining in terms of stamp duty receipts they were not too concerned about the homebuyer during the celtic years. Now that they want to get tax receipts in the form of property tax, they are seeking the most cost efficient means to screw the homebuyer again… The valuation database could have played a vital role in curtailing house prices and unscrupulous practises during the house price boom.. Its a bit late for many of us whose homes are in negative equity and wouldn’t be even able to sell our homes.

  12. Des
    Posted 13 Aug at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    It is just another way the government will eventually add more tax to theco consumer,we will also see the prices of houses where you have council tenants next door.
    Overall it is going to be more revenue for the government

  13. Mark
    Posted 13 Aug at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Why the concerns over privacy? You can go to the land registry and request information on any property in the country. Within the paper work you will see the price paid for the house if you have a mortgage and who the mortgage is with.

    With regards to a property tax again why the concern? Is stamp duty a wonderful tax? It limits the ability of people to move home when required e.g. more children nor is it a regular stream of income to the state coffers. The concern is for the retried or those on a smaller incomes with larger homes. How will they pay the tax?

    A more interesting question to ask is why is there an PRSI cap on those paid over 75K and no PRSI paid to those on smaller incomes? How much tax is being lost through this measure?

  14. Laura
    Posted 13 Aug at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Yes In my opinion it is good for buyers so we can see what homes are really selling for not what they are advertised at. But bad for realtors, sellers etc who will end up taking a hit when they cannot sell a property for what they purchased it for. In America they have

  15. christian higgins
    Posted 13 Aug at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Its introduction is untimely. Why was it not introduced years ago when things were booming???
    The UK has a register for years.
    What was there to hide all along??
    Surely it was in everyones interest to know legitimate market prices achieved and not inflated ones that we read about in the newspapers.
    One has to be suspicious of our government trying to be more transparent, without having some financial gain a few months down the road.
    I’m all for transparency but why now.Is it the usual situation in Ireland of “the horse has bolted so we’ll lock the gate??” or are the government after more of our hard earned again. I wonder.

  16. Kevin
    Posted 13 Aug at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    The government wants to create more transparency in the property market!!! I thought this government was completely opposed to transparency and among the most secretive we’ve ever had. Whats in it for them by introducing such transparency ? They weren’t interested in transparency during the property bubble years, of course, themselves and their buddies in the construction and property development business were coining it then, so why now. Are they going to use the figures from this new database to try to inflate the bubble again(sorry, they’ll call it a recovery in property prices) or will this database be used as the basis for new forms of taxation ?

    The government don’t do anything for us, so the only questions are, what’s in it for them and are the figures from this database accurate and impartial, or will they be spun to suit the many vested interests.

    Personally I wouldn’t use any figures/statements from ‘official’ government or state backed or any property industry sources to make any important decisions, I mean how many times have we reached the worst of the downturn so far. If you’d bought when the government/industry experts said in January 2009 that the bottom of the property price downturn had been reached, how much would you have lost by now ?

  17. Frank/Dublin
    Posted 13 Aug at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    The answer is yes of course if we finally see what houses sell for and not what the owner/agent thinks they are worth. It’s just too late now. This would have benefited the buyers 2 years ago who then would have bought with confidence stimulating the market. Any activity will now grind to a halt as the banks strangle the buyers with interest rates that a loan shark would be embarrassed to quote. Sorry Mr Ahern too little too late and not nearly radical enough, but then again I don’t expect anything from this bunch of clowns.

  18. ciaran
    Posted 13 Aug at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    of course it will lead to transparency.
    it couldn’t be more opaque as it is.

  19. Vincent Mockler
    Posted 15 Aug at 9:24 am | Permalink

    No,House prices will still be determined by market trends.
    It will provide more transparency for the Revenue Commissioners when calculating the property tax.
    What a people pay for their property is their private business, which I am sure they will not want recorded on a database.
    Vincent Mockler

  20. c corr
    Posted 15 Aug at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Yes it will provide transparency. It will also stop agents / contractors pulling the wool:individuals new to the market will have a better idea of what a property is worth IN PRACTICE. An informed Market will stabilise at a more realistic level.
    Privacy! It is done in England where people are very aware of their Privacy.
    Bring it on.
    Chris C

  21. Mail-man
    Posted 15 Aug at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I am of an older generation, and I went through the previous recession back in the 80s.Back in the late 70s and on into the 80s, houses values only rose moderately,IE €1k every 3-5 years. Now in the 00tys we have come from a time when everything was false, house prices, wages, and almost anything the FF Government had a hold on. With this idea, this is like closing the barn gate after the horse bolted. however, I do believe it will be good in future times for everyone, by then we will have suffered all the pain we can take from our out of date Government..

  22. Harry
    Posted 16 Aug at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Ha Ha, its gets better, According to the Irish independant of 11 Aug 2010, The database will be set up by the National Property Services Regulatory Authority (NPSRA), another grubberment quango.

    Incredibly the NPSRA has been in existence for 4 years despite the fact that that the legislation to give it a statutory footing has still not been passed by the Dail.

    The NPSRA is based in Navan and has eight staff and a a chief executive. To date, despite not legally existing, this quango has cost the taxpayers 3 MILLION euro.

    One little know fact about the NPSRA is that it will also regulate the so called “management companies” that run some estates, i.e. do the things that the local council used to do like mow the grass in public spaces.

    In an interview with the Sunday Independent on June 24 2007, the minister for speedy responses to crisis situations, Mr Brainless Lenihan, said: “We’re now drafting the legislation to comprehensively license everyone providing property services, not just auctioneers and estate agents but also letting agents and property management agents. There’s been a proliferation of profit property service providers in addition to auctioneers in recent years. It is important that the public have confidence that they’re properly financially bonded, that there’s clear standards and that the public are safeguarded in all respects.”

    So I have to ask myself, who is befitting from delays in setting up the NPSRA? As always, with fianna fail, follow the money, it usually leads to a builder or a developer.

  23. Paul Browne
    Posted 16 Aug at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Thats not accurate. Only registered property is accessible through the Land Registry. And even then, only the existance of a charge is publicly visible. The amount paid for the property and the charge amount are not available publicly. Folios do not contain this information.


  24. Posted 17 Aug at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Ireland should have a website like that provide free market resources for property finders, also including house prices paid and current market value.

  25. Interested
    Posted 19 Aug at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    A few estate agents that fibbed to buyers about prices achieved are bound to be nervous about this development.
    Surely Fianna Fail will not want to backdate the information on this database as it could expose the practices of their cronies.