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Property prices fall as lending limits bite


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Property prices fell in November, in what was the first monthly decrease in months.

Prices were down by 0.5pc in the month, with the cost of an average property €6,000 less than the typical price achieved in the previous month.

Economists said this was because first-time buyers were being priced out of the market.

This is due to a combination of price surges since 2012 and Central Bank lending restrictions.

Despite the fall in the month of November, prices rose when compared with the same month last year.

Prices rose by 7.1pc nationally in the year to November.

But a year ago prices were going up at a rate of 11pc, according to the Central Statistics Office.

Dublin prices rose by 5pc in the year to November.

Central Bank mortgage lending rules are squeezing buyers out of the market in the capital, according to economists. Buyers are limited to borrowing three-and-a-half times their income.

Outside the capital much sharper rises were recorded. Prices were up by 9.3pc annually in November in the rest of the country.

The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in property prices was the mid-west at 21pc, while the smallest rise was recorded in the Border region at 6.1pc.

There was a fall in the typical price paid for a property across the country.

The median, or middle price, was €250,000 in the month of November.

This is down €6,000 from the previous month.

It is the first time in months that the median price has fallen.

Statisticians warned that it was just one month's fall and was not indicative of a trend.

Overall, the national index is 18pc lower than its highest level in 2007.

Dublin residential property prices are 21pc lower than their February 2007 peak, while residential property prices in the rest of Ireland are 22.6pc lower than their May 2007 peak.

Alan McQuaid, of stockbroker Merrion Capital, said: "First-time buyers continue to be priced out of the market.

"Subsidising purchasers through tax breaks is not the answer."

But the good news is that new supply is coming on stream, though it is still not sufficient at this stage to meet overall demand.

He said it was likely that there were 18,500 new dwellings completed last year, with this due to rise to 23,000 this year.

"However, as we wait for more houses to be built, residential property prices will continue to rise, although there is now clear evidence that house price growth has started to ease, especially in Dublin," he said.

Irish Independent