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Property prices fall for second month in a row as Covid bites


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Property prices fell in August, as the pandemic continued to infect the housing market.

There was a drop of 0.6pc in prices nationally in the year to August.

Prices fell by the same percentage in July, which was the first annual decrease in seven years.

Transaction levels were down 40pc in August, according to the figures from the Central Statistics Office.

Price falls and transactions dropping reflect the impact of the lockdown earlier in the year. It restricted buying activity and construction output was also hit.

However, the figures also showed that property prices increased in August by 0.3pc when compared with the ­previous month.

This follows a 0.2pc monthly increase in July and 0.1pc rise in June.

In Dublin, prices were down by 1.6pc in the year to August.

The highest house price growth in Dublin was in Fingal at 1.7pc, while Dublin City saw a decline of 3.4pc.

Residential property prices in Ireland, excluding Dublin, were 0.3pc higher in the year to August.

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The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the south-west at 5.2pc. At the other end of the scale, the Border saw a 2.7pc decline.

Experts said the decreases were now coming through due to the disruption to the market from the pandemic. Up to the summer there had been a delay in prices falling.

The pandemic meant there was a 40pc drop in the number of residential property purchases registered with Revenue in August.

Just 2,359 purchases were filed with Revenue in the month.

As well as being down sharply on the same month last year, the number of purchases was almost 8pc lower than the number of purchases filed in July.

The total value of transactions filed in August was €699m.

Households paid a median, or typical, price of €258,500 for a residential property in the year to August.

The Dublin region had the highest median price at €375,000 in the year to August. Within the Dublin region, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price at €530,000, while South Dublin had the lowest at €347,000.

The highest median prices outside of Dublin were in Wicklow at €335,000 and ­Kildare at €307,500, while the lowest price was €108,000 in Leitrim.

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

Brokers Ireland said the fall in prices and transaction levels represented the fallout from Covid-19 when construction activity was curtailed.

Director of financial services at Brokers Ireland, Rachel McGovern, said demand for homes continued to be strong and supply was way off meeting that demand.

She said that with a median house price of €375,000 in Dublin, a first-time buyer would need a household income of €96,428, based on the Central Bank income limit of 3.5 times income, to be able to afford such a home, along with a deposit of €37,500.

She said that acquiring a home, particularly in the most populous urban regions, was no longer affordable for huge swathes of the population.

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