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News : Property Last Updated: Apr 3, 2013 - 11:24 AM

Irish House Prices: Asking prices in Dublin up first time in 6 years; National prices off 1.8% in Q1 of 2013
By Finfacts Team
Apr 2, 2013 - 4:36 AM

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Irish House Prices: Asking prices in Dublin in the first quarter of 2013 were up 0.5% on a year previously, according to the 2013-Q1 report published by property website Daft.ie. This is the first time since early 2007 - -  6 years - -  that asking prices increased in a twelve-month period. For the country as a whole, the annual rate of falls in asking prices eased to 6.6%, down from 15% a year ago. Meanwhile, the rate of decline in property prices nationally has continued to moderate with prices falling by 1.8% in the first quarter (Q1)  of 2013. This compares with a fall of 3% in the previous quarter according to MyHome.ie, the online property service.

Daft says that prices are on average 54.7% below their peak in 2007. The small annual increase in asking prices in Dublin is not seen in other cities, where prices are down by between 9.8% in Cork and 14.6% in Waterford. In Galway, asking prices are down by 10.7% while in Limerick they are down by 12.9%. Outside the cities, prices were down by roughly 10% on average, although the fall was greater in Connacht-Ulster (15%) than in Leinster (8.5%) or Munster (9.5%).

Figures for time-to-sell indicate that there has been some improvement in market conditions over the past 12 months, with 40% of properties finding a buyer within 4 months, compared to 33% a year ago. In Dublin, 55% of properties find a buyer within 4 months.

The total stock of properties sitting on the market nationwide is 43,000. This is its lowest level since mid-2007 but based on figures from the Property Price Register, this still represents just over two years of transactions. In Dublin, however, there is the equivalent of just five months of transactions currently sitting on the market.

Commenting on the report, economist with Daft.ie Ronan Lyons said: “The latest figures show that the gap between prices in Dublin and those elsewhere is growing and growing quite rapidly. A year ago, a 4-bedroom detached home in South County Dublin was 2.6 times the prices of the same property in Mayo but that ratio has since risen to 3.5, well above levels seen at the bubble.

“On its own, the growing differential between Dublin and elsewhere signifies that first-time buyers are no longer prepared to sprawl and pay the costs of long commutes. But with prices actually rising again and only in certain parts of the country, this has even greater implications for the Government, as it suggests that there are not enough properties in areas close to jobs and other amenities that first-time buyers are looking for.”

Daft report [pdf]

The rate of decline in property prices nationally has continued to moderate with prices falling by 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013. This compares with a fall of 3% in the previous quarter.

According to the latest house price survey from MyHome.ie the annual rate of decline in the year to Q1 2013 was 9.8%, the lowest annual rate of decline in five years.

For the first time since the property crash in 2006, Dublin prices have remained unchanged for the second quarter in a row. The annual rate of decline in Dublin was 4.8% in the quarter, down from 12% in Q4 2012.

The figures show that the mix adjusted average house price nationally now stands at €197K down 52% from the peak of the market. In Dublin the corresponding figure is €236K, down 56% from peak.

The author of the report Annette Hughes, from DKM Economic Consultants said the new survey indicated that prices are stabilising in Dublin.

“At 4.8% the annual rate of decline in Dublin is about half the national rate. Overall asking prices in Dublin have been reasonably stable over the last year and this may indicate that they are now levelling off. Nationally prices are continuing to fall, but the annual rate is under 10% for the first time since 2008, and this is also a positive development.

Immediate issues impacting the market include the increasing demands on disposable incomes - - the property tax for example - and access to mortgage finance. Progress on addressing the mortgage arrears challenge over the coming months may lead to an increase in the number of properties coming to the market which may depress property prices further in the short term. This development together with a difficult budget later in the year would suggest property prices are likely to remain volatile through 2013.” Hughes said.

Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie
said that while improved affordability was welcome for consumers, access to mortgage finance while improving remains an issue.

“We want to see a normally functioning property market and hopefully the improved affordability and stabilisation of prices in Dublin and some other areas will persuade buyers and sellers that the time is right to act.

The focus is often on buyers but given that stock levels in Dublin are down 41% year on year it is also clear we need to look at the supply side of the equation. If this situation persists it’s possible we could see falsely inflated prices in some areas in the short term due to the demand/supply imbalance,” Keegan said.

Turning to the local property tax issue which is top of mind for everyone at the moment Keegan pointed out that asking prices are an important indicator of the property market and that is why MyHome included it as a factor in its Property Tax Estimator which is available on the website.

The average time to sale agreed in Dublin is six months, in Galway its seven while it’s eight in Limerick. In Cork its ten months while Waterford is eleven.

The median asking price in Cork and Cork City remained unchanged during the last quarter at €195K while it also remained unchanged in Waterford at €179K.

In County Limerick the median price fell by 2.9% to €165K while in the City it fell by 3.2% to €150K. In Co Galway prices fell by 1.3% to €185K. This was the smallest fall in over a year. In Galway City prices fell by 3.2% to €179K.

MyHome.ie report [pdf]

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