Can our housing rally really be over already?
AFTER almost five years of continuous falls, Irish house prices actually rose slightly in May. But with no sign of an end to economic uncertainty, will the recovery be snuffed out before it has even begun?
Average house prices rose nationally in May by 0.2 per cent. This was the first increase recorded since September 2007. With house prices now down by 50 per cent from their 2007 peak is the crash now over?
It might be a wiser idea not to bet on it.
The recovery in Dublin house prices, which have fallen by 57 per cent over the past five years, seems to be spluttering.
After an increase of 0.7 per cent in March and a further 0.5 per cent increase in April, Dublin houses rose by just 0.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, the 0.1 per cent increase in house prices outside of Dublin recorded in May has all the smell of a dead cat bounce. At a conference last week, estate agent Sherry FitzGerald warned that it could be several years before house prices outside of Dublin stabilised.
Minister Michael Noonan told the same conference he wouldn't be extending the mortgage interest relief concessions he announced in last December's budget beyond the end of this year.
Add it all up and the very best that we can hope for would seem to be a bottoming out of Dublin house prices, with further steep house price falls elsewhere in the country.
Sunday Indo Business