House prices plummet to half their peak value
HOUSE prices continued to collapse last month and the average residential property is now worth just €175,000 -- almost half its peak value.
Most economists expect prices to continue their rapid decline this year, before falling at a more modest pace next year, and predict prices stabilising in 2013.
Dublin house prices are shedding value at a rapid pace and are now down 49pc from the peak of the housing bubble in 2007.
But the sharpest declines have been recorded for Dublin apartments, which fell 4.8pc in September and are now 59pc below their boomtime high of four years ago, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.
In September, property prices were down 1.5pc across the State and are now down 14.3pc over the year.
The average house price is now 44pc below peak prices in 2007.
The CSO does not calculate the euro value of properties, but based on the percentage figures provided by the statisticians, calculations mean the average residential property in the State is valued at €175,165.
This is down from a peak of €314,000 -- a loss of almost €140,000 in value over the past four years. This means house and apartment price falls in this country have been among the most severe in the world.
Dublin house prices have been diving at an even faster rate, with the average price calculated to be €208,618 -- down from €431,000 during the boom. Property prices outside the capital fell just 1pc in September, and are now down 13pc compared with a year ago.
The decrease in prices outside Dublin is 40pc, prompting economists to conclude that prices still have a long way to fall in places outside the capital city.
A poll of economists predicts prices will decline by a further 12pc of the peak this year, with a fall of another 5.4pc next year.
Bloxham Stockbrokers economist Alan McQuaid said the price falls could be even more severe this year. He sees the falls levelling off in 2013.
"Given weak labour market conditions and the continuing lack of available bank credit it is hard to be optimistic on the prospects for the property market in the immediate future," he said.