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Signs property market has peaked as price increases slow


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Property price inflation has cooled as the cost-of-living crisis looks to be putting a dampener on demand, leading to hopes the market has peaked.

Prices rose by double-digit percentages in April, but the rate of increase was at its lowest level in almost two years.

The Indo Daily: Have we hit peak house prices – Is now the right time to buy?

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New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show prices were up by 14.2pc in the 12 months to April.

This compares with an increase of 15.1pc in the year to March.

However, the monthly increase in April was 0.1pc, indicating the rate of rise is slowing.

It is the first time in almost two years that property price inflation has cooled.

April’s figures suggest prices may have peaked, KBC Bank economist Austin Hughes said.

He added that the easing off in the rate of increases reflects the fact they have risen so much that affordability is now a key issue.

The property market was seeing greater uncertainty related to the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, cost-of-living hikes, higher interest rates and weaker economic growth.

Mr Hughes said demand may be “normalising” after Covid-surge buying that was prompted by a race for space and higher savings.

Housing supply is likely to improve for the remainder of year and beyond, he added.

The news comes after President Michael D Higgins described the State’s housing policies as a “disaster”.

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“It isn’t a crisis any more – it is a disaster,” he said, adding that “basic needs” of “food, shelter and education” should be met.

Insufficient numbers of houses being built means prices are high, experts said.

Mr Higgins issued his criticism at the opening of a supported residence facility for young adults emerging from homelessness in Kildare.

According to the CSO, Dublin residential property prices saw an annual increase of 11.5pc.

Property prices outside Dublin were 16.4pc higher than a year earlier.

The region outside the capital that had the biggest rise in house prices was the Border, at 22.1pc, while at the other end of the scale, house prices in the mid-west increased by 11.7pc. In the south-east, prices were up by 21.1pc in the year.

The median, or mid-point, price of a home bought in Ireland in the year to April was €286,000.

Dublin region had the highest median price, at €410,000.

Within the Dublin region itself, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price, at €605,000, while south Dublin had the lowest, at €375,000.

The highest median prices outside of Dublin were in Wicklow (€395,000) and Kildare (€345,000), while the lowest median price was €137,000 in Longford.

The national index is now just 2.1pc lower than its highest level in 2007.

The number of houses and apartments bought by cuckoo funds and state-supported housing bodies rose to 11,701 last year, the CSO said, referring to Revenue filings.

This represents around 20pc of the 58,152 properties bought in 2021.

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