Wednesday 26 October 2016

Revealed: The average cost of the semi-D in your area

Surging house prices as buyers save to beat the Central Bank

Published 26/09/2016 | 02:30

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House values in the capital have experienced a sudden surge in the past three months, with prices in most locations now rising at rates comparable to those experienced during the boom.

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Most of the Dublin rises experienced over the past 12 months have occurred in the last quarter.

This is an indication that the Central Bank lending restrictions are now failing to control inflation.

Prices in the city centre and north county are matching the 1pc per month levels experienced during the boom years.

The data has emerged from the latest Irish Independent/ Real Estate Alliance Average House Price Index.

The index measures prices most recently achieved for three-bed semis - Ireland's most common house type.

Most of Dublin’s price rises last year happened in the last three months. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Most of Dublin’s price rises last year happened in the last three months. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Prices of semis in central Dublin rose by 2.75pc to €373,333 since June and recorded a 3.7pc increase compared with a year ago.

The cost of an average semi in the north county area rose by 3pc in three months to €260,000, a rise of 5pc in the year.

The south county area rose at the slowest rate in the capital - by 1.4pc to €355,000 through the quarter and by 2.9pc in the year.

Read more: Charlie Weston: Banks now so prudent there will be little building

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REA blames the recent Dublin surge on a continued reduction in supply of homes available for sale, combined with a release of pent-up demand following the Central Bank rules which were introduced almost two years ago.

They believe that while they were held back by the rules, for a time house hunters are finally reaching savings levels required for deposits under the Central Bank lending restrictions, and that more mortgage funding is released to city dwellers.

In Dublin 14 one agent reported increases of €25,000 for sale prices over the past three months, with the average three-bed semi increasing by 5.5pc from €455,000 in June to €480,000 now - a rise of 9pc year-on-year.

Lack of supply has added almost €8,000 to the price of a family home in areas such as Balbriggan and Skerries.

REA chairman Michael O'Connor said: "Many of our agents are now reporting some buyers are returning to the market having achieved a level of savings, and that there is an increase in mortgage-funded purchases.

"The average amount of cash buyers has fallen by 3pc to 33pc nationwide, but in Dublin city that figure is down by 7pc in three months, with 72pc of transactions now mortgage-funded.

"The early effects of the Central Bank restrictions had previously seen prices drop in the capital in the year to Q1 2016, but a combination of a longer time period to save and pressure on supply is manifesting itself in price growth," said Mr O'Connor.

"Our agents are also reporting that many first-time buyers seem to be holding fire in the hope of increased incentives in the upcoming Budget."

The Central Bank's lending regime is now impacting Dublin's commuter counties and the cities of Cork and Galway.

The latest data reveals that prices are rising slower in most other locations around these areas.

Cork city prices rose by 1.7pc over the quarter while Cork county prices, probably hit by Brexit due to its popularity as a holiday home destination, increased by just 0.6pc in the period.

Galway City prices rose 1.2pc in the three months to September while those in Kildare, Meath and Wicklow rose by 0.9pc, 2.1pc and 1.3pc respectively.

Nationwide average cost of the semi-D passes €200k

The price of the average three-bed semi-detached home has risen above €200,000 nationally for the first time since the country emerged from the property crash.

The average Irish semi now costs €200,093, an increase of €4,732 (2.42pc) since the end of June. This is a rise of 6.37pc versus this time last year.

The largest percentage rise in the past three months has been experienced in Ireland's lowest-priced county, Longford, where a 9.7pc (€6,000) rise takes the average to €68,000.

This trend has also been replicated in other more affordable counties like Roscommon (up 6.1pc to €85,000) and Sligo (up 5.6pc to €95,000) - largely driven by a shortage of homes for sale.

The highest increases in prices in the year to September were recorded in Roscommon (31pc), then Monaghan (17.9pc) and Westmeath (15.4pc).

"We are seeing little or no increase in supply nationally, with an increase in funded buyers fuelling the market in the short-term," said Real Estate Alliance chairman Michael O'Connor.

The immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote has had an effect in the north-west where Donegal is the only county to register a three-month fall - 1.73pc.

This has been most keenly felt in traditional holiday home spots such as Bundoran where the average three-bed semi dropped by 3.41pc, from €88,000 to €85,000.

Irish Independent

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