Monday 24 September 2018

House price rises now at lowest level in 15 months

Prices are still rising strongly, but the July figures represented the slowest growth in 15 months. Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images
Prices are still rising strongly, but the July figures represented the slowest growth in 15 months. Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

The rate at which property prices are increasing continues to ease off.

This is being put down to buyers reaching the limit of what they can borrow due to Central Bank lending restrictions.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show residential property prices at national level increased by 10.4pc in the year to July.

This compares with an increase of 12pc in the year to June, and an increase of 11.6pc in the 12 months to July 2017.

July's pace of increase was the slowest since April 2017.

Prices are still rising strongly, but the July figures represented the slowest growth in 15 months.

Dublin prices were up 7.2pc in the past year, the CSO said.

But the surge outside the capital continues.

When Dublin is excluded, prices were up almost 14pc.

The mid-west region showed the greatest price growth, with house prices increasing 24pc.

The Border region showed the least price growth, with house prices increasing 6pc, as potential buyers worry about the impact of Brexit.

The median, or middle price, of a property nationally is €240,000. This is the same as it was in June, but up €13,000 from the price in May.

In the last year the median price is up €27,500.

The Dublin region had the highest median price at €360,000 in the year to July.

Of the four administrative areas of Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price at €527,000, while Dublin City had the second highest at €360,000.

The county with the lowest median price in the State was Longford, with prices there at €92,250.

Overall, the national index is 19pc lower than its highest level in 2007.

Dublin residential property prices are 22pc lower than their February 2007 peak.

From the trough in early 2013, prices nationally have increased by 81pc. Dublin residential property prices have increased 94pc from their February 2012 low.

Economist with Merrion Stockbrokers, Alan McQuaid, said prices will continue to rise as the wait goes on for more houses to be built.

But the anecdotal evidence suggests house price growth may have started to ease.

Affordability is a big issue in Dublin, experts said. Prices outside the capital are rising much faster as they have recovered at a later point than urban areas and are coming from a much lower base.

Davy Stockbrokers economist Conall MacCoille said buyers were hitting the limits of what they can afford, prompting many to step back from buying.

"Irish house price inflation is clearly slowing because stretched affordability and the Central Bank loan-to-income rules are preventing home buyers from taking on too much leverage."

Mr MacCoille expects property price inflation to slow to 8pc nationally by the end of the year, with rises of between 5pc and 6pc in Dublin.

John McCartney, the chief economist with estate agency Savills, said Dublin house price inflation has slowed from 13pc a year to 7.2pc a year over the last three months.

He said increased supply was now contributing to more moderate and sustainable price growth.

Irish Independent

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