Property prices in Dublin have fallen by 0.7 per cent in the year to June as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest official figures from the Central Statistics Office also point to a 33 per cent drop in the number of transactions in June compared with the same month last year.
The figures show prices nationally rose by just 0.1 per cent in the 12 months to June, with consumers, banks and developers effectively on pause as a result of virus-containment measures.
The slowdown in activity triggered a 0.7 per cent drop in prices year-on-year in Dublin.
The highest house price growth in Dublin was in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, at 0.1 per cent, while South Dublin saw a decline of 2.7 per cent.
Experts say the latest figures primarily reflect activity before the coronavirus-related shutdown, and that it may be several months before the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is reflected in headline prices.
The CSO’s latest Residential Property Price Index indicates there were 2,268 household dwelling purchases filed with Revenue in June. This represents a 33.1 per cent decrease compared to the 3,391 purchases in June last year.
The typical cost or median price paid for a home in the Republic was €260,000.
The Dublin region had the highest median price (€374,998) in the year to June. Within the Dublin region, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price (€525,000), while South Dublin had the lowest (€347,000).
It is substantially more economical to service a mortgage, if you can acquire one
The highest median prices outside of Dublin were in Wicklow (€335,000) and Kildare (€310,000), while the lowest, of €105,000, was in Leitrim.
Overall, the national price index is 17.8 per cent lower than its highest level in 2007.
Dublin residential property prices are 22.7 per cent lower than their February 2007 peak, while residential property prices in the “rest of Ireland” are 20.5 per cent lower than their May 2007 peak.
Rachel McGovern, director of financial services at umbrella group Brokers Ireland, said: "As the country struggles to reach some semblance of normality in the face of the pandemic, people whose lives had already been on hold because they couldn't meet the requirements for a mortgage are being further disenfranchised in the fallout from the pandemic, with tighter lending conditions."
She said there is still a massive gap between mortgage repayments and the cost of rent for similar properties. “It is substantially more economical to service a mortgage, if you can acquire one,” she said.
The average rate of rent is €1,418 per month. Repayments on a mortgage of €257,997 (90 per cent of €286,663) would cost €1,058 per month, a saving of €359.28 per month compared to the average rent, or €4,311.36 over the course of a year.
“We believe the 3.5 times income limit is too restrictive and should be extended to 4.5 times with loan-to-value requirement set at 90 per cent for all, including second and subsequent buyers,” Ms McGovern said.
“This would result in a fairer process with no exemptions. There would then be no need for lenders to be constantly trying to readjust their criteria on exemptions in a bid to stay within the requirements.”