Friday 9 December 2016

Property hit by sharpest price fall in a year

Published 24/12/2015 | 02:30

The fall in property prices is the first monthly drop since February
The fall in property prices is the first monthly drop since February

Property prices fell at their sharpest rate in nearly a year last month.

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New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that prices fell 0.5pc in November.

It was the first monthly fall since February, the month the Central Bank imposed restrictions on mortgage lending.

But due to rises earlier in the year they were still up 6.5pc over the past 12 months.

However, the annual rise in prices nationwide was the lowest level it has been at in almost two years. Dublin pulled down the prices index, with prices outside the capital continuing to power ahead.

Economist with estate agency Savills, John McCartney, said the CSO figures show a displacement of housing demand from the capital to outside, as prices were falling in Dublin and rising elsewhere.

In Dublin, property prices fell 1.3pc in November, but are still up 3.3pc in the past year, the CSO said.

Decreases in Dublin are in stark contrast to November last year, when they rose by 22.4pc in the year to that month.

Now the latest figures show that house prices in Dublin fell by 1.2pc in the month, reflecting tighter lending rules imposed on banks by the Central Bank. Apartment prices in the capital also fell in the month, but were up 6.1pc when compared with the same month last year.

Struggling

Outside the capital, prices were up 0.2pc in the month, as people struggling to get mortgage approval were pushed out to buy a home.

Since last year, prices have risen by almost 10pc outside of Dublin. The price changes mean the average property is now trading at €220,000 nationally, up €13,000 since last year, according to calculations by Goodbody Stockbrokers economist Juliet Tennent.

In Dublin, the average price is €290,000, which is up €9,000 from last year. Outside the capital, the price is €181,000, up €16,000 in a year.

Ms Tennent said incomplete data from the property price register shows there were 12pc fewer transactions in November than at the same time last year.

Economist with Davy Stockbrokers Conall Mac Coille said: "A welcome development is that the Central Bank mortgage lending rules have prevented Irish households reacting to the lack of housing supply by taking out ever more highly leveraged mortgage loans." He said the average mortgage approval amount has levelled off at close to €190,000.

Irish Independent

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