Slowdown in house prices drop but no sign of recovery
HOUSE prices have increased in Dublin for the second time in three months -- but experts warn the property market is still far from recovery.
Nationally, prices continue to fall -- but at a slower pace than earlier in the year.
During the month of July, national residential property prices dipped 0.8pc after a sharp fall of 2.1pc in June.
Since the market peak in 2007, prices have fallen 43pc according to the residential property index from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The survey offered a glimmer of hope for Dublin house owners as house prices there rose 0.3pc in July.
This is the second time in three months that Dublin prices rose as they also edged up by 0.3pc in May. However, experts warned the latest figures were not a signal that the market is bottoming out.
A CSO spokesman said that the price trends were very volatile. "While we do make adjustments for the quality of the houses sold, nevertheless the profile of the properties sold each month can still vary. At least three consecutive months of increases, and preferably more, would be needed before we could say that the price trend has moved into positive territory," he added.
But in between the upward blips of May and July, there was a sharp 2.4pc fall in June which more than negates the rises in the other two months.
Marian Finnegan, economist with agents Sherry FitzGerald, also warned against being too optimistic about the upward blips and said she had not seen any recent evidence that Dublin house prices were increasing.
"Such rises in the CSO index may be due to how the particular properties that sold rose in price, but those that are not selling are still falling," she added.
The CSO figures showed Dublin apartment prices continued to suffer the sharpest falls -- down 1.9pc in July and 54pc from their peak.
The CSO index calculated that house prices averaged €180,700 nationally, from a peak of €314,000 in 2007.
By applying the CSO's percentage falls to the peak prices published by Permanent TSB house price index, it can be estimated that the average Dublin house price is €221,437 -- down 47pc from a peak of €431,000.
Outside Dublin the average price is now about €161,900, or down 40pc from PTSB's peak of €268,000.
But the CSO said that there was no such thing as an average house, so it did not provide average prices. Instead the CSO concentrates on measuring the change in trends.
According to the latest CSO index, overall residential prices outside Dublin fell 1.3pc in July. This brings the fall over 12 months to 12.8pc and since the peak to 40pc.
Some people argue that this means regional prices may have further to fall. But, as the PTSB figures showed, regional prices did not rise as high as Dublin and are still about 27pc lower than those in the capital.