House prices rise 1% in Dublin in first quarter but fall in rest of country

MyHome.ie report shows prices rose 4.2% on average nationally on an annual comparison

‘Remarkably, new listings for sale in the first quarter were down only 30% compared with 2020.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘Remarkably, new listings for sale in the first quarter were down only 30% compared with 2020.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

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House prices rose in Dublin by 1 per cent in the first quarter of the year compared with the previous three-month period but declined marginally in the rest of the country, according to a new report from MyHome.ie.

Nationally, there was no change in prices quarter on quarter, with a 0.4 per cent decline recorded outside Dublin.

On an annual comparison, prices rose 4.1 per cent on average in Dublin and by 4.8 per cent for the rest of the country. Nationally, the rise was 4.2 per cent.

The house price report indicated interest in the property market remains high, noting that activity should bounce back once lockdown restrictions are lifted. Housing construction is set to return from April 12th as the Government eases lockdown restrictions.

The average asking price for new sales nationally remained at €284,000, while the price in Dublin is €396,000 and elsewhere around the country it is €236,000.

Report author Conall Mac Coille, chief economist at Davy, noted the activity in the housing market had continued despite the current Level 5 lockdown restrictions, which prohibit viewings when a property is for sale.

“Remarkably, new listings for sale in the first quarter were down only 30 per cent compared with 2020 versus 80-90 per cent annual falls during the first lockdown,” he said.

“All the data suggests that housing market activity should bounce back rapidly once the restrictions are lifted. Mortgage approvals in January were up 12 per cent on the year, with the average approval up 8 per cent to a fresh cyclical high of €256,000. So there is no evidence of tightening credit conditions holding back home buyers.”

Reliable indicator

MyHome.ie, which is owned by The Irish Times, bases its findings on newly listed properties, which it says are a most reliable indicator of future price trends.

Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie, said interest in the property website was at an all-time high. “Traffic through the website is up 13-30 per cent on different metrics, such as users, sessions and page views,” she said. “ As such, it is crucial that the construction sector be allowed to return to normal activity in order to address this obvious demand and safeguard the market as we emerge from Covid.”

A recent report from Knight Frank revealed that the majority of new home schemes were delayed by six months or more because of Covid-19 restrictions on building activity.

Demand for housing was already above annual supply, a situation that has been compounded by the pandemic. An estimated 35,000 units a year are required to meet demand. In 2020 the total number of housing units completed was 20,676.