Property prices in Dublin are now falling for the first time in seven years, according to the official figures. They show the average cost of a home in the capital fell by 0.2 per cent in the 12 months to July while prices in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, typically seen as a bellwether for the rest of the country, saw a decline of 6.3 per cent.
This is the first time prices in Dublin have fallen on an annual basis since October 2012.
Nationally residential property prices rose by 2.3 per cent in the 12 months to July, which was marginally higher than the previous month, but well down on the 10 per cent recorded this time last year.
The latest figures show the typical cost or median price of a home nationally was €255,000 and €366,000 in Dublin. Within the Dublin region, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price (€530,000), while Fingal had the lowest (€337,000).
The rapid slowdown in property price inflation has been linked to the pick-up in the supply of new homes. New dwelling completions rose by 25 per cent to 18,072 last year and are expected to be up again this year.
The figures show the highest house price growth in the capital was in south Dublin at 3 per cent.
Residential property prices in the Republic, excluding Dublin, were 4.8 per cent higher in the year to July. The region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in property prices was the Border at 16.1 per cent, while the smallest rise was recorded in the mid-east at 0.4 per cent.
Property prices nationally have increased by 84.7 per cent from their trough in early 2013. Dublin residential property prices have risen 93.8 per cent from their February 2012 low, while residential property prices in the rest of the State are 83.6 per cent higher than in May 2013.
The Eircode with the highest median or middle price for a house purchase was Blackrock at €600,000. The 10 most expensive Eircode areas by median price were in Dublin. The least expensive Eircode area within Dublin was Dublin 10 with a median price of €231,250.
Outside Dublin the most expensive Eircode area over the past 12 months was Greystones, Co Wicklow with a median price of €424,999 while the least most expensive was Clones, Co Monaghan with a median price of €67,250.
IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, described the 2.3 per cent headline rate of inflation as a “blip that masks a range of problems underneath”.
Chief executive Pat Davitt while the Central Statistics Office’s numbers are based on stamp duty returns IPAV’s own study of actual prices achieved by auctioneers in the first six months of the year indicates that for the three best-selling property types - three and four-bed semis and two-bed apartments - there has been a drop of 1.34 per cent for three-bed semis and 1.68 per cent for four-bed semis. Two-bed apartments have, on the other hand, seen an average increase of 1.35 per cent, with the cities of Cork, Galway and Kilkenny experiencing a much higher increase for this property type.
It is still the case that second-hand properties in many areas of the country can be bought for less than the cost of building the same property, he said.
“What is more worrying is that while dwelling completions in the second quarter of the year were up 11.8 per cent there was a marked decline of 29 per cent in dwelling commencements,” he said.
“That is likely to mean a lack of confidence among many builders and developers,” he said.