Monday 16 September 2019

More property experts predict a fall in house prices this year

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

There has been a sharp rise in the number of property professionals who expect prices of homes to fall this year.

Although most expect values to rise, there has been a doubling in the numbers who now see prices decreasing in the next one to three years.

Almost 40pc of those surveyed expect Dublin house prices to fall by the middle of next year on the back of improved supply, according to a survey of estate agents, chartered surveyors and auctioneers carried out by the Central Bank.

The report states: "The share of survey participants expecting residential property prices to increase over the medium-to-long term time horizon has fallen notably.

"The segment of respondents anticipating price declines has grown, particularly amongst those operating in the Dublin market."

Nationally, almost half of the respondents said they expected prices to rise. This is down from 78pc in 2018.

Some 54pc of surveyors, estate agents and auctioneers expect the market to stay steady or fall.

The Central Bank survey indicates that in three years the median, or middle, price will be 5pc higher than now.

Rises in Dublin are expected to be around 3pc.

Economic growth and the availability of bank lending were cited as the main influences on property prices.

Sales activity has been sluggish in the April to June period, according to the report. And estate agents reported fewer inquiries.

Estate agents report sales of second-hand houses are weak with rises in construction costs making it unattractive to buy an older property.

And the time it takes to complete a property sale has increased, the agents say, with the legal process seen as slow.

The latest data from the Central Statistics Office shows price growth cooled to a six-year low of 2pc in the year to June. That compares with 12pc a year ago.

That slowdown followed a 25pc increase in new dwelling completions last year.

Meanwhile, German property fund Patrizia has agreed to pay €52.5m for a 72-unit apartment complex being built in the Dublin Docklands.

Patrizia has agreed to acquire the Benson Building from a development consortium, Targeted Investment Opportunities.

Funds like this have been described as "cuckoo funds" as it is claimed they are pushing potential first-time buyers out of the market.

Irish Independent

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