Property prices stalled in December but are tipped to increase again this year
Property prices fell slightly in December, but were still up for last year as a whole.
They are expected to keep rising this year. There was a drop of 0.4pc in prices nationwide in December. But over all of last year prices rose by 8.1pc, according to the Central Statistics Office.
For the month of December, prices in Dublin fell by 0.9pc, despite supply shortages being most acute in the capital. Over the previous 12 months, Dublin prices were up almost 6pc. The highest house price growth was in south Dublin, at close to 10pc.
In contrast, the lowest growth was in Fingal, with house prices rising just 3.2pc. Outside of the capital there were stronger rises. Residential property prices in the rest of Ireland (excluding Dublin) were 12pc higher in the year to December.
The west region showed the greatest price growth, with house prices increasing by almost 18pc. The mid-east region showed the least price growth, with house prices increasing 7.6pc, the CSO said.
Head of research at estate agents Savills John McCartney said the price falls in December were likely to be temporary, due to changes to lending rules and the introduction of the help-to-buy scheme.
Economist Alan McQuaid, at Merrion Stockbrokers, said: "The easing of mortgage lending restrictions imposed by the Central Bank, combined with the tax-incentive scheme for first-time buyers announced in the October Budget, will keep upward pressure on prices until new supply comes on the market."