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Property prices slow to the most sluggish in six years


Slump: Dublin property prices dropped. Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Slump: Dublin property prices dropped. Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Slump: Dublin property prices dropped. Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Property prices have slowed to the most sluggish pace in six years, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Overall, the price of houses and apartments increased by 0.9pc across the country up to October.

But in Dublin, property prices dropped by 1.5pc - with a significant fall of 7.1pc in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area.

It's a remarkably different picture to this time last year, when there was an 8.3pc increase in the 12 months to October 2018.

However, there are signs of growth outside the capital.

Residential property prices excluding Dublin were 3.3pc higher in the year to October, with house prices up by 3.3pc and apartments by 4pc this year.

The region outside Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the Border at 10.1pc - this includes Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo.

The CSO also provided the highest median price and lowest median price for households.

The 10 most expensive were in Dublin, with Blackrock (€600,000), Dublin 6 (€580,000) and Glenageary (€570,500) taking the top three spots.

And the least expensive Eircode area over the last 12 months was Clones, with a median price of €75,000, followed by Castlerea at €82,250 and Ballyhaunis at €86,000.

The majority of buyers were people moving house, at 52.7pc, while first-time buyers bought just 31.5pc of the market. The balance of 15.7pc were non-occupiers.

Economist Alan McQuaid anticipated that overall growth will remain poor for the rest of the year and into the beginning of 2020.

"Lack of supply remains the key issue for the Irish housing market.

"First-time buyers continue to be priced out of the market. Subsidising purchasers through tax breaks is not the answer, but at least new supply is coming onstream," he said.

"Overall growth is likely to remain fairly muted in the remainder of the year and into 2020, with the biggest price rises coming from outside the capital."

Meanwhile, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) said it strongly supports the view of the ESRI that the cost of building homes must be driven down and called for the setting-up of an official monthly index of input costs.

Pat Davitt, IPAV's chief executive, said there was "a lack of transparency" around the cost of building homes.

"It is difficult to see convergence between what people can afford to buy, what they are allowed to borrow under Central Bank rules, and how we're going to build the 340,000 homes the Central Bank estimates we need up to 2030," he said.

Comparing the different types of homes, house prices decreased by 1.9pc while apartments increased in cost by 0.1pc.

The highest house price growth in Dublin was in Fingal at 0.9pc, while Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown saw a decline of 7.1pc, according to the CSO data.

Dublin residential property prices are 21.3pc lower than their February 2007 peak, while residential property prices in the rest of Ireland are 20.1pc lower than their Celtic Tiger peak.

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