House price growth five times lower in first half of 2019 than previous year

Sherry Fitzgerald data shows Dublin growth was particularly weak, rising just 0.1%

The State’s largest estate agent found that second hand house prices rose just 0.6 per cent in the first half of 2019, more than five times lower than the growth rate in the same period in 2018.

Sherry Fitzgerald reported that growth in the average value of second-hand homes in Dublin was particularly weak, rising 0.1 per cent in the opening six months of the year. That compares to 3.3 per cent growth for the same period in 2018.

Price growth was more buoyant outside the capital, according to Sherry Fitzgerald’s figures which don’t encompasses new build sales. Limerick recorded a 2.2 per cent increase while prices in Cork and Galway rose 0.8 per cent and 0.7 per cent respectively.

"The constraints on mortgage lending are effectively controlling price inflation however, they also appear to be impacting activity," said Sherry Fitzgerald chief economist Marian Finnegan.


Capacity issues

“There is some industry evidence that the new homes market may be slowing due to issues around capacity and building controls. However, any reduction in activity needs to be monitored carefully. The underlying challenges in the industry remain and every effort needs to be made to support a significant uplift in the delivery of homes to meet the growing needs of our society,” she added.

Ms Finnegan also analysed property price register data and found that when portfolio sales are excluded, the volume of sales in Dublin fell 3 per cent and grew 0.2 per cent nationally.

Comparing that data to mortgage drawdown figures, Ms Finnegan noted that 39 per cent of single property transactions were paid for in cash, down from 41 per cent in the same period in 2018.

First time buyers, meanwhile, continue to account for more than half of all owner occupiers, the cohort which accounted for 77 per cent of all purchasers.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business