Dublin asking prices fell by 3.4% in 2007


MarketResearch:  Dublin experienced the sharpest fall in property asking prices in the country in the last quarter of 2007 - bringing the capital's total decrease for the year to 3.4 per cent, according to a report from MyHome.ie and NCB Stockbrokers.

While Dublin saw a drop of 1.4 per cent for the quarter, nationally the figure was down 0.2 per cent, bringing the total decrease for the country for 2007 to 1.7 per cent.

The report, published in Property Barometer in today's edition of The Irish Times, found that the decline in asking prices nationally is continuing but, apart from Dublin, at a less rapid rate in the fourth quarter than in previous quarters. The report is based on data for the asking price for houses and apartments on the MyHome.ie internet site.

New homes fared worse than second-hand homes with a 0.9 per cent drop in asking prices nationally in the last quarter with second-hand homes down just 0.1 per cent.

On the apartment front, one-beds in north Dublin fell by 3.8 per cent while in south Dublin they rallied in the last quarter with a 0.5 per cent increase. The asking prices of two-beds fared worse with a 6.7 per cent fall in north Dublin and an 8.6 per cent fall in south Dublin.

In west Dublin, where the most common property type is three and four-bed semi-detached houses, three-beds rose on average by 0.8 per cent per quarter in the first nine months and then fell by 2.9 per cent in the final quarter. Four-bed semis fell by 0.6 per cent per quarter in the earlier part of 2007 and rose 2 per cent in the fourth quarter.

The sharpest drop in the country for three-bed semis was in Roscommon, by 7.7 per cent. The decline in asking prices of four-bed detached houses was more modest nationally, with increases recorded in some counties - the biggest being Monaghan at 3 per cent, with Limerick close behind at 2.56 per cent. Leitrim saw a rise of 1.35 per cent in the last quarter in three-bed semis, and a substantial 7.71 per cent increase in the asking prices in two-bed apartments compared to the last quarter.

The report also finds in the last 12 months that the fall in sales prices has consistently exceeded the more modest drop in asking prices. Jim Miley, chief executive of MyHome.ie, says the report confirms that we are now firmly in a buyers' market. "However the further drops in asking prices over the final quarter of 2007 indicates that sellers are beginning to face up to the reality of the market and accept lower prices."

NCB economist Eunan King says confidence remains weak in the housing market for the moment "but the underlying need for accommodation continues to be firm, as evidenced by rising rents". But yields from rentals are still not high enough to attract investors, especially since the risk of a capital loss is now perceived to have increased.

King cites the influx of immigrants - 100,000 in each of two years to April 2007 - the prospect of interest rate cuts later in the year and relatively low unemployment levels as reasons to be optimistic.