Business Property & Mortgages

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Best time to buy property is now, claims Noonan

Charlie Weston and Colm Kelpie

Published 29/09/2012 | 05:00

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Finance Minister Michael Noonan

NOW is a good time to buy a home, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said.

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His comments were made as a leading estate agency said house prices in Dublin rose for the first time in six years.

Prices were up 3.1pc in the July, August and September period due mainly to a shortage of family type homes, agency DNG said.

And it emerged last night that the first property price register showing sales prices for the last two years will be published tomorrow.

Tom Lynch, of the Property Services Regulatory Authority, said the new register will be available at www.psr.ie, and will give the price and location of every house sale since 2010.

Yesterday Mr Noonan said the worst was over for the property market.

"Some demand has returned since earlier in the year," he said. "You can see from the various indices that the fall in property prices seems to be bottoming out.

"Three out of the last four months there were small increases. I think it's fair to say that it has bottomed out and if people were thinking of purchasing houses, now looks like a pretty good time to purchase.

"But it's very hard to give advice on these matters."

The head of NAMA, Brendan McDonagh, told the same Construction Industry Federation conference that prices have hit the bottom.

"I think we're going to have a period of ups and downs, but I certainly think that things have stabilised," Mr McDonagh said.

There was a shortage of the type of houses that young people want to buy, he said. The price of family homes is rising to match demand.

DNG's Keith Lowe said there was now a shortage of housing in Dublin.

The west of the city is proving to be much sought after with a 5.1pc rise in prices, while the northside recorded a more modest 1.2pc increase, DNG said.

Houses in the €250,000 to €500,000 range increased 0.8pc in price so far this year.

In the last three months houses in the upper end of the market -- those selling for more than €500,000 -- increased most in price with a 3.8pc rise.

So far in 2012 prices have remained broadly stable, DNG said.

The figures only refer to house sales, and not apartments.

Since the peak of the market six years ago, residential property has still lost some 65pc of its average value.

Disputed

The latest figures come after official data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) earlier this week showed that property prices nationwide recorded their biggest gain for five years in August.

But the CSO had found Dublin house prices falling in August -- something that was disputed by economists.

Mr Lowe said of property in the capital: "The shortage of housing stock available for sale on the market throughout the year, combined with a slight increase in demand, has helped stop the price decline this year."

He said that young couples were looking to buy before generous mortgage tax reliefs run out at the end of the year.

The DNG figures are in line with those from Lisney, which calculated that property prices have risen 4pc since March.

Irish Independent

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