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Property prices fall for the third month in a row as demand eases


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Residential property prices fell for the third month in a row in January, as rising supply of new homes and restricted demand are hitting the market.

Prices rose again year on year, but the rate of increase continues to ease.

January prices, although they fell 0.4pc in comparison to December, were 5.6pc higher nationally in the year. This compares with an increase of 11.8pc in the 12 months to January last year.

Dublin property prices rose by 1.9pc in the year to January, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Prices in the rest of the country were 9.5pc higher in the year to January.

The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in property prices was the mid-west at 16.5pc, while the smallest rise was recorded in the mid-east at 5.1pc.

Households paid a median, or typical, price of €250,000 for a dwelling on the residential property market in the first month of the year.

The Dublin region had the highest median price at €368,000 in the year to January, the CSO said.

Within the Dublin region, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price at €537,367, while Fingal had the lowest at €330,000.

The highest median prices outside Dublin were in Wicklow at €317,500, while the lowest were €98,373 in Longford and €100,000 in Leitrim.

Overall, the national index is 18.4pc lower than its highest level in 2007.

Property prices nationally have increased by 82.1pc from their trough in early 2013.

Dublin residential property prices have risen 92.3pc from their February 2012 low, while residential property prices in the rest of Ireland are 80.1pc higher than at the trough, which was in May 2013.

Economists said first-time buyers continued to be priced out of the market.

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Recent data from the banks showed that investment funds, local authorities and housing associations are snapping up 22pc of all newly built homes.

Another 27pc is accounted for by cash buyers, such as returning emigrants and those who want a buy-to-let property.

KBC Bank economist Austin Hughes said the January data continued a clear slowing trend in property price inflation that began last spring.

"As a result, the year-on-year increase in January at 5.6pc is the smallest rate of increase since June 2016," he added.

He said restricted demand, rising supply and reduced consumer confidence were restraining price growth.

Demand has been restricted by affordability as the Central Bank loan-to-income limits have become impediments to increased borrowing, he added.

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