independent

Monday 21 April 2014

House prices drop as register shows true value

HOUSE prices fell in October, in a move that reverses rises in previous months.

Prices nationally were down 0.6pc last month, something experts believe may be down to the introduction of the new property price register in September.

The register means people can now see exactly what prices houses and apartments are selling for in their area, rather than relying on estate agents.

Prices have now risen in five of the 10 months of this year so far, and fallen in the other five.

The months of July, August and September had all seen rises in property values.

Nationally, prices are now down 8.1pc in the year up to October, according to the latest release of prices from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The value of the average property is now half of what it was at 2007's peak.

Residential property prices in Dublin are 56pc lower than they were when the market was at its highest.

Prices outside of Dublin were down 0.9pc last month, and are now down 47pc from the peak.

The average value of a property nationally is now €157,400, down from a peak of €313,998, calculations indicate.

Davy Stockbrokers analyst David McNamara predicted that prices will fall again next month, based on an analysis of the property price register.

But NCB Stockbrokers' Philip O'Sullivan said the fact that the CSO figures exclude cash sales meant that people should not read too much into the figures.

"Our view remains that, after four consecutive years of double-digit price declines, the worst is over for the Irish housing market," Mr O'Sullivan said.

Head of research at Lisney estate agents Aoife Brennan said cash purchases made up around 45pc of the market.

And most cash buyers were out-bidding those who were buying using mortgage finance.

"Unfortunately these cash purchasers, that make up nearly half the market nationally, aren't considered in the CSO's index, which undoubtedly has to skew the results," she said.

Irish Independent

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