Monday 11 December 2017

New property register shows house prices are on the rise

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

PROPERTY prices rose across the country in the three months to September, the first analysis based on the new official property price register has shown.

This means that rather than overstating the stabilisation of the property market, recent reports have underplayed it, housing economist Ronan Lyons said.

The Oxford-based academic carried out the first analysis of the details on the new register, which gives the sales price and address for every residential property that has sold in the State since January 2010.

Mr Lyons said his analysis of the newly available sales figures showed that prices rose by 2pc across the country in the July, August and September period, when compared with the first three months of the year.

He said this meant that "if anything, recent reports have understated the extent to which prices have stabilised".

The economist focused on the changes between the first three months compared with the three months at the end of the summer to avoid being accused of hyping the property market.

If the July, August and September period is compared with the previous three months, it shows a dramatic 14pc rise in Dublin house prices alone, he said.

But he warned that the information on www.propertypriceregister.ie was rough in the sense that it was impossible to work out if the sales prices featured were for two beds or even larger houses. That would raise question marks over making claims that there have been such substantial price increases, he said.

Meanwhile, another price index released yesterday showed prices have been rising in Dublin for the past six months.

The latest property price index from estate agency Sherry FitzGerald indicates that second-hand properties were up 1.2pc in the past three months.

Drop

They are the third estate agency to say prices are on the rise.

And figures out yesterday from Myhome.ie show a 1.6pc rise in prices in Dublin, which it noted is the first rise in prices in the capital in six years.

Daft.ie, however, registers a 0.5pc drop in asking prices in Dublin. It also points out that the stock of available properties for sale in Dublin is at its lowest level since 2007.

There are two potential reasons for the discrepancies. Daft.ie has a slightly bigger sample size. And the myhome.ie data are based on all properties listed on its website, while Daft's are only based on those listed during the quarter in question.

The Myhome.ie data reveals that the average property price in Dublin is now €240,000, 55pc below their peaks in the fourth quarter of 2006.

And banking group Danske, which owns National Irish Bank here, said the housing market was starting to stabilise.

But analyst Owen Callan warned that there was a risk that the irrational exuberance that caused prices go too high would now be replaced by irrational pessimism.

Middle income families facing the squeeze: Pages 12-13

Irish Independent

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