Tuesday 12 December 2017

House prices still falling after four years – now 45pc cheaper than 2007 peak

Ed Carty

HOUSE prices fell last month at their fastest rate for two-and-a-half years, official figures have revealed.

In further signs that the crash has yet to bottom out, average property prices are down 15.1pc in the last year, the largest annual decline since March 2010.

The housing index from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also showed the cost of a home is now 45pc cheaper than the peak in early 2007.

A breakdown of the property market revealed that average prices in Dublin are down 51pc while outside the capital the fall is much lower at 42pc.

The collapse has hit apartments much harder, with values down 60pc in the last four-and-a-half years.

The fall of 2.2pc in average property prices in October is the largest monthly drop since April 2009.

It emerged last week that more than 100,000 people are now struggling to repay their mortgages.

This is made up of around 62,000 homeowners in arrears of three months, or more, and just less than 40,000 who have restructured their repayments, Central Bank figures revealed.

It is the first time that the number in trouble with their mortgages has breached the 100,000 figure. This is the equivalent of the population of Kilkenny city and county.

It equates to four out of 10 households in mortgage arrears with the four domestic banks who have now been behind on their repayments for a year or more.

These families have missed so many of their monthly payments that they have run up an average of €27,000 each in arrears, according to the Central Bank.

The Central Bank study of mortgages at AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS and Permanent TSB also found that troubled home loans at these lenders represented 56pc of all the mortgages in arrears.

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