Thursday 22 August 2019

REA survey records slow down in County Cork housing market

Bill Browne

The asking price for an average house in Cork County has risen by 4.7% between June and September of this year according to the latest set of figures compiled by the Real Estates Alliance (REA).

Released on a quarterly basis, the REA average house price survey focuses on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the state of the property market across the country. 

Since January, average house prices in County Cork have taken something of a roller coaster ride, with REA recording just a 0.5% increase over the first three months of the year, standing at €152,000 at the end of March. 

Over the second quarter of the year they saw a sharp increase of 4.3%, with the average price standing at €158,000 at the end of June. 

That increase has slowed down considerably over the past three months, with the latest figures showing prices increased by just 0.4% over the period, standing at €166,000 as August drew to a close. 

Overall, the survey found that the average house price across the county rose by 10.7% over the 12-months to the end of August. 

This represented a 0.6% decrease on the same figure for 2017 when compared to 12-months earlier, which in turn was twice that of the increase recorded over the previous 12-month period to September 2016. 

The volatile nature of the housing market in Cork County was reflected in Charleville, with the latest figures showing an increase of 3.8% over quarter three of the year to €137,000, compared to the increase of 7.5% recorded over the previous three-month period.  However, Sarah O'Keeffe of REA Charleville said she anticipated "strong appreciation" over the final quarter of the year. 

"Transaction levels are low due to a lack of supply, leading to increased competition from first-time buyers trying to secure a home," said Ms O'Keeffe. 

The latest survey showed that house prices in Cork City remained static over third quarter of the year, with the average asking price remaining at €317,500 between June and the start of this month. 

The slowdown in house price increases across Cork has been reflected nationally, with the figure rising by just 1% on the figure for the previous quarter. 

Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 5.8% over the past 12-months - a significant decrease on 8% figure recorded to June, with the REA saying this indicated the market was "continuing to steady" after an 11.3% overall rise during 2017. 

REA spokesman Barry McDonald said the Central Bank rule on mortgage lending would appear to be having an impact on the market as they increasingly define affordability in the housing market. 

"There is no doubt that the Central Bank Rules are achieving what they set out to do in terms of keeping a lid on prices," said Mr McDonald.