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Slowest rise in property prices for seven years

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Experts said house prices had stabilised over the last year after surging for five years following the crash more than a decade ago (stock photo)

Experts said house prices had stabilised over the last year after surging for five years following the crash more than a decade ago (stock photo)

Experts said house prices had stabilised over the last year after surging for five years following the crash more than a decade ago (stock photo)

Property prices have stabilised further, falling in the capital while rising only slightly nationwide.

It was the fifth month of falling property values in Dublin. And the nationwide rise was the lowest in seven years.

Experts said house prices had stabilised over the last year after surging for five years following the crash more than a decade ago.

The figures from the Central Statistics Office show that property prices nationwide rose by 0.9pc in the year to December.

But they fell by the same figure, 0.9pc, in Dublin last year.

Price rises in Dublin up until now have meant that many potential buyers can no longer afford properties in the capital.

They are restrained from borrowing more to meet higher prices due to Central Bank lending rules.

The highest house price growth in Dublin was in Fingal, at 2.9pc.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown recorded a decline of 6pc, the CSO said.

Prices outside Dublin were 2.8pc higher in the year to December.

The region outside of Dublin that experienced the largest rise in house prices was the Border, at 6.7pc.

Households paid a median, or middle range, price of €259,000 for a housing unit in the year to December last.

The Dublin region had the highest median price at €370,000 in the year to December.

The lowest price was €110,000 in Co Leitrim.

Dermot O'Leary, economist with Goodbody Stockbrokers, said there was a greater need for housing than is now being supplied.

But demand was being held back by the Central Bank lending rules.

"The lesson here for builders and policymakers is to implement a policy of reducing building costs to match the income distribution of the population," he said.

And he warned of the prospect that the current uncertainty around the formation of a new government could stall the market, as buyers await more clarity.

Irish Independent