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House sales came to standstill in '09 as prices plunged

The price of homes in Ireland fell by a massive 20pc in 2009 as the bottom fell out of the housing market.

A survey carried out by the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute (IAVI) said that sales of residential properties were virtually non-existent for most of the year but have indicated that prices are now close to hitting "rock bottom" in some parts of the market.

Dublin house prices fell by the largest amount according to the research of almost 1,500 members of the IAVI.


Detached four- and five-bedroom homes in Dublin plummeted in price by 23pc in 2009, following on from a 22pc decline in 2008.

The value of apartments in Dublin fell back by more than 21pc, while secondhand properties were about 23pc cheaper by the year end.

However, secondhand homes in Connaught were not as dramatically affected as Dublin counterparts where prices fell by 15.7pc in 2009.

Concurrently, rental costs have been cut by between 15 and 23pc over the last two years.

Residential rents in Dublin fell by 16.4pc in 2009, whereas rents in Munster fell only 10.4pc.

IAVI president Aine Myler predicted prices are approaching their lowest levels.

"The survey results indicate that the market floor is close, if we have not reached it already," she said. Expensive retail zones in Dublin have also had their prices slashed, with Grafton Street falling from €9,422 per square metre at the end of 2008 to €7,042 by the end of 2009.

And according to the IAVI, most development land values have at least halved since the market peaked, with some values down almost 75pc.

Separately, AIB has revealed that it has pulled the sale of its Grafton Street branch, which would have generated more than €28m.

At least three of the offers were above the €25m to €26.5m price guided by the agents, CB Richard Ellis, and most of the offers were from UK investors.

But AIB has turned down the highest offer, believed to be close to €28m, and a spokesman for the bank said it was currently considered inappropriate to sell this particular branch.

It's understood that Ulster Bank is close to doing deals for around 12 of the 49 First Active branches that it is currently marketing through DTZ Sherry FitzGerald.