Business Property & Mortgages

Wednesday 22 November 2017

House prices plummet by 40pc since peak of the boom

Ed Carty

House prices are down about 40pc in the four years since their peak, the first official register has shown.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said the Dublin market has been hit hardest by the crash with prices down by 47pc.

The average price paid for homes outside the capital is down 35pc since demand for property slumped in the middle of 2007.

The figures are compiled in the first official national residential property price index and covers data from the beginning of 2005 to March this year.

A breakdown of the percentage fall in prices showed the residential property market peaked nationally in the middle of 2007, and in Dublin in April that year.

- The average value of a mortgage taken out has come down 11.9pc so far this year.

- Prices in Dublin have fallen by 13pc in the last year while outside the capital they are down by 11pc.

- The biggest price decline was for Dublin apartments where prices have fallen by 52pc since February 2007. Nationally, apartments fell by 15.2pc in the 12 months to March and by 51pc since the peak.

The CSO said the new index fills a gap in property market research and is based on drawdowns of mortgages reported by eight leading lenders over the last four years.

Statisticians said they could not put a figure on the actual price paid for a home as there are too many variables to record an average. Their calculations are based on mortgages approved and drawdown, and the values of homes according to variations such as size, bedrooms and location.

The index also meets Ireland's obligations under European law to publish price changes on a quarterly basis which can be compared with other states.

The next figures are due out in June.

The CSO figures suggest that prices are still falling.

The most recent data showed that the biggest falls since July 2009 - 1.7pc a month - occurred in February and March of this year.

Elsewhere, the study showed that between April and November 2007 prices were at their highest and hardly changed.

At this time they were 30pc higher than in January 2005.

The CSO said its research found that the slump kicked in at the end of 2007 and the crash was at full steam in 2009 and into early 2010.

The Construction Industry Federation said the index showing percentage changes does not go far enough and repeated calls for an official price register.

Hubert Fitzpatrick, CIF spokesman, said the index should bring some clarity for buyers.

"This is, however, a lagging indicator and one that can't capture the true regional and intra-regional dimension in house price movements," he said.

"A National House Price Register would provide information on each house sale in the state and this information should be made freely available to the public. People could then make informed choices about their purchases whilst the development industry would be in a position to make informed choices around land and input costs."

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