Saturday 19 October 2019

House price rises halt after six years

Average home cost falls by €4,000 to €257,000

'Compared to its lowest point in 2013, the average price nationwide is now 57pc higher - but still more than 30pc lower than in 2007, according to the report released today by Ireland's largest
property website' (stock photo)
'Compared to its lowest point in 2013, the average price nationwide is now 57pc higher - but still more than 30pc lower than in 2007, according to the report released today by Ireland's largest property website' (stock photo)

Alan O'Keeffe

The six-year run of rising asking prices for properties has come to a halt, according to a new report which shows that prices have fallen in Dublin for the first time since 2013.

Nationwide, the average asking price for a home has fallen by €4,000 in the third quarter of the year to an average of €257,000.

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The major survey by Daft.ie showed housing prices in the third quarter of this year were just 0.1pc higher than a year previously, effectively ending a six-year phase of increases,

Compared to its lowest point in 2013, the average price nationwide is now 57pc higher - but still more than 30pc lower than in 2007, according to the report released today by Ireland's largest property website.

"At the moment, it looks like the increase in house prices is at an end," report author Professor Ronan Lyons, an economist at Trinity College, Dublin, told the Sunday Independent.

The new report on the third quarter of this year follows the findings of an exclusive story in the Sunday Independent two weeks ago in which the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers revealed that prices achieved in house sales nationwide fell in the first six months of 2019. It also follows house price decreases shown in statistics released by the Central Statistics Office earlier this month.

Among the key findings in the Daft.ie report were:

- Asking prices for houses in the third quarter of this year fell in 29 house market areas and rose in 25 other areas. Last year, prices were rising in all 54 house market areas of the country;

- Asking prices fell most predominantly in the greater Dublin area, particularly in the most expensive markets;

- The average price in Dublin is now €373,000, down 0.6pc. The most expensive area in Ireland - South County Dublin - showed a 3.6pc drop to an average of €580,000.

- Supply is beginning to meet demand in Dublin with twice as many homes for sale in 2019 compared to two years ago;

- Prices were also dropping in the border counties which are most vulnerable to Brexit;

- Munster prices fell the most since June, but remain 2.5pc higher than last year.

In Dublin, prices fell by an average of 0.6pc in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the year previously.

In the other major cities, prices are still rising, with average year-on-year increases of just below 3pc in Cork and Galway and roughly 5pc in Limerick and Waterford cities. Outside the cities, inflation is also negative in Leinster (-1pc) and Connacht-Ulster (-0.6pc) but remains at 2.5pc in Munster.

The number of properties available to buy on the market nationwide was just under 25,000 in September, largely unchanged from a year ago.

This breaks down differently across the country, however, with availability up year-on-year in both Dublin (1.9pc) and the rest of Leinster (4.5pc) but down in Munster, Connacht and Ulster by between 3pc and 5pc.

Prof Lyons said: "It's likely that cooling inflation is a good news story of supply doing its job, rather than a bad news story related to Brexit - at least for the moment."

Average list price and year-on-year change in cities, in the third quarter of this year, show: Dublin City €373,509 - down 0.6pc; Cork City €281,251 - up 2.8pc; Galway City €296,610 - up 2.9pc; Limerick City €201,865 - up 5.5pc; Waterford City €181,395 - up 4.7pc.

Professor Lyons said: "I think the prices falling will be welcomed in that it takes a little bit of the pressure out of the market. But more important, for people looking to find a home, is that the construction of homes is well under way (in Dublin area). I would not say things are fixed yet.

"It will probably be welcomed by people aged in their 30s because they are at that stage in their lives where they are looking for their homes.

"People in their 20s and early 30s predominantly rent. They are still suffering from a housing system that is not meeting their needs."

Sunday Independent

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