Property prices stable in capital but still falling sharply elsewhere
THE urban-rural divide in the property market continues to grow as prices in the capital stabilise, in contrast with steep falls elsewhere.
The average asking price of houses in Dublin has dropped by less than 1pc in the first six months of the year.
But rural asking prices have continued their downward trend with a 7pc drop, according to the latest Daft.ie survey of the market.
"Market conditions in Dublin have improved noticeably since the start of the year, with largely stable asking prices," Ronan Lyons, economist at the property website, said.
Other factors highlighted by the economist were the sharp fall in the number of properties sitting on the market for long periods and a pick-up in sales.
"Outside of the major cities, there are the additional issues of oversupply and weak medium-term demand," Mr Lyons said.
The stabilisation of asking prices in Dublin follows a 10pc fall in the last six months of 2011.
In contrast, the steep fall-off in prices so far this year in the countryside also comes on the back of a further 8pc drop towards the end of last year.
Property website MyHome.ie has also backed up the stabilisation theory, with its figures showing prices are dropping at a more moderate rate.
The average asking price of a three-bed semi-detached house remains unchanged nationally over the past three months at €185,000.
Annette Hughes, director of DKM Economic Consultants, said there were some positive developments in some areas around the capital.
"Some areas and some house types have recorded price increases, which is significant given that we are in the middle of the sixth year of falling prices," she said.
Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie, said the average time it was taking to sell a property was decreasing in most parts of the country.
"Average time to sale agreed is now down from six months to five in Dublin, is six months in the rest of Leinster and is down from 10 to seven-and-a-half in Munster," Ms Keegan said.
House prices are now down 53pc from the peak of the property market in 2007, according to Daft.ie.
Mr Lyons said a county-by-county breakdown of prices revealed prices could be "volatile" between neighbouring areas.
Prices remained largely stable in Cork city and in Waterford city, while in both Galway city and Limerick city, prices dropped by 3.4pc and 3.9pc respectively.
Daft.ie found asking prices for the average three-bed home in Dublin ranged from €167,000 in suburbs to the west to €320,000 in the south.
Prices in the commuter belt varied from €169,000 in Kildare to €194,000 in Wicklow.
The cheapest three-bed houses are in Longford at €93,000, followed closely by Cavan at €94,000 and Roscommon at €99,000.
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