Friday 28 July 2017

Property prices rise marginally in March but recovery softening

There was a fall in prices outside Dublin, suggesting a softening of the recovery in the market. Stock photo: Graham Moore
There was a fall in prices outside Dublin, suggesting a softening of the recovery in the market. Stock photo: Graham Moore

Charlie Weston and John Downing

Property prices rose slightly in March, but the pace of increase has slowed down.

There was a fall in prices outside Dublin, suggesting a softening of the recovery in the market.

There was a nationwide rise of 0.3pc in prices last month, and values are now up by 7.4pc in the year, according to the Central Statistics Office. This compares with no change recorded in February and a small increase in March of last year.

In Dublin, residential property prices increased by 0.9pc in March, and were 3.9pc higher than a year ago.

There was a fall in prices for properties outside the capital. They were down 0.2pc in March, according to the CSO. However, prices were 10.5pc higher outside of Dublin than in March 2015, according to the statisticians.

Experts are now predicting a modest rise of around 5pc in prices this year.

Calculations based on the CSO figures indicate that the average property is now selling for €221,000, up €15,000 from last year. In Dublin, the average price is €288,000, a rise of €11,000 on the year.

Outside the capital, the average price is €184,000, up €18,000 in a year, according to calculations by Goodbody Stockbrokers economist Juliet Tennent.

Dublin house prices increased by 1.2pc in the month and were 4.1pc higher compared with a year earlier.

Dublin apartment prices were 1.6pc higher when compared with the same month in 2015.

Ms Tennent said prices and the level of transactions in the property market had both seen their rate of growth slow in response to the introduction of the Central Bank lending limits, known as macro prudential rules, and the acute lack of supply around the country.

"We expect prices to continue to moderate as the macro prudential rules wash through. However, the fundamental lack of supply is likely to reassert upward price pressure later this year," Ms Tennent said.

Meanwhile, the Dáil's new Housing and Homelessness Committee heard yesterday that getting qualilty builders back constructing homes is key to ending the homeless crisis.

Eugene Cummins, speaking for the country's city and county managers, said a mix of policy approaches was urgently needed. This included tax incentives and tax credits for social housing and more government money for infrastructure.

But Mr Cummins warned that serial objectors were also impeding progress in providing more social houses.

"There is no place in this mix for professional objectors who significantly frustrate local authorities and those engaged in the process of providing social housing," Mr Cummins said at Leinster House.

Irish Independent

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