State's property prices fall 12%
Residential property prices throughout Ireland fell by almost 12 per cent over the year to August, but the pace of decline slowed from July, the Central Statistics Office said today.
In comparison, prices fell by 13.6 per cent over the 12 months to the end of July.
Over the month of August, prices rose slightly, gaining 0.5 per cent, outpacing the 0.2 per cent rise the previous month.
In Dublin, prices were 0.5 per cent lower in the month, and had fallen 13.8 per cent compared with a year earlier. House prices were 14.4 per cent lower compared with August 2011, and apartments were down 13.4 per cent. To date, Dublin house prices have lost 56 per cent from their peak reached in early 2007, and apartments have fallen by 63 per cent.
Throughout the rest of the country, the price of homes was down an average of 10.7 per cent year on year, with property prices showing a 1.3 per cent rise in August. Overall, prices have declined 46 per cent since the 2007 peak of the property boom.
"The upturn in prices outside Dublin represents a levelling off of prices in a dysfunctional market with low transactions and lending," Davy said. "By comparison, in the more liquid Dublin market, prices have continued to fall in recent months. Prices will likely dip again once lending picks up, with rises possible in illiquid rural markets in the meantime."
But Merrion Stockbrokers said the figures may not be as bad as it seems. The CSO figures are based on mortgage drawdowns, and do not take into account the cash transactions that are taking place in the market.
"By all accounts according to estate agents around 40 per cent of activity in the housing market at the moment is being done through cash, which suggests things may be stronger than the CSO numbers indicate. Furthermore, research in recent months from both the Irish central bank and ESRI has concluded that the housing market may be close to a bottom, with signs of pent-up demand among under-35s seeking to buy a family home, especially in Dublin," Alan McQuaid said.
"However, on a practical level it is difficult to see people rushing out to buy a house and to make such a big monetary outlay when labour market conditions remain very fragile."