The Property Price Register has been around since 2010. It records all sale prices of residential properties. So, if you want to find out what your neighbour sold their house for, you just need to wait a couple of weeks and then look it up!
Most of the time, searching the Property Price Register can be straight forward, but there are a cases where the search function can miss important results, or return the wrong results.
Example: Lets say I want to find out what properties sold in Old Bawn in Tallaght in 2022.
SEARCH 1: "Old Bawn Tallaght"
For search 1, we are going to put "Old Bawn Tallaght" in the search field and filter to Dublin and 2022.
This gets us 13 results as follows:
So that means there were 13 properties in Old Bawn in Tallaght sold in 2022, right? Well, no...
Lets adjust the search slightly
SEARCH 2: "Old Bawn"
For search 2, we simply removed the word "Tallaght" from the search and just searched for "Old Bawn" in Dublin and 2022.
This gets us 17 results:
Why? Well, there are 4 results which did not show up on Search 1 which did show up in search 2. That's because these entries in the Property Price Register do not have the word "Tallaght" in the address.
Frustrating, right! Well, lets do one more search...
SEARCH 3: "Oldbawn"
For Search 3, we still searched for "Old Bawn" but we removed the space making it 1 work so just "Oldbawn".
Guess what... We get 14 results:
However, the 14 results we get here are completely different results to our first 2 searches. This is because all of these 14 entries into the Property Price Register were entered in spelling Old Bawn as 1 word.
Why are there different spellings of the same estate/area on the Property Price Register?
The address in the Property Price Register is based on how the buyers solicitor recorded the stamp duty when the sale was complete. If they recorded the address as "Oldbawn" with one work, it will be on the register as one word. If they entered it with "Tallaght" in the address, then it will be recorded on the register with "Tallaght".
Why does the search not pick up the properties if there is a partial match?
To put it quite simply, the Property Price Register is built on old, not fit for purpose technology. It has a minimum team maintaining it and uploading new properties weekly and it does not have any staff dedicated to tidying up the data it contains.
How can I be sure I find all the results I am looking for?
In this example, the only way to get the full list of all properties sold in Old Bawn in Tallaght in 2022 is to do 2 searches. The first search with "Old Bawn" getting us 17 results and the second search with "Oldbawn" getting us 14 results.
So the total number of properties sold in Old Bawn in Tallaght in 2022 was 31.
Tip 1: Use as little info in the search as possible
But in general if you are searching, start with as little information in the address line as possible. So instead of searching for "Willow Avenue Primrose Gate Celbridge" in Kildare, just start your search with "Willow Avenue" in Kildare.
Then if you are finding other estates/streets with the same name, add in more info to narrow down your search.
Tip 2: Try different spellings of an estate/street.
This was very applicable in the above example with "Old Bawn" having 2 spellings with and without a space. But many other areas are similar and can have spellings in Irish, with or without an apostrophe.
Tip 3: Search with and without town name
Sometimes, people magically transport their house to a different area or town. For example, if you search for "Monalea Grove" which is in Firhouse in Dublin 24. Some entries have just "Firhouse", others have "Firhouse, Tallaght", others have "Firhouse Templeogue".
Searching without the town name will pick up all "Monalea Grove" properties.
There are some other services which are attempting to fix the issues like proper.ie and ippi.io. However, Ippi is a paid service and Proper.ie has copied a lot of the Property Price Register issues to their service. So for now, there is no viable alternative to most people.