Which way are house prices heading? Depends on the data

Prospective homebuyers may be raring to go, but house price predictions can be misleading

Prices in Dublin, which had been declining, rose by 1.1%  year-on-year, according to CSO figures, but prices outside of Dublin have risen by 4%

Prices in Dublin, which had been declining, rose by 1.1% year-on-year, according to CSO figures, but prices outside of Dublin have risen by 4%

With extraordinary events continuing to unfold, divining trends from the usual data is becoming problematic. With rolling lockdowns in play, meaningful comparisons between this year and last are fraught. You may need some help to read the runes.

Apples and oranges

The CSO’s Residential Property Price Index published in March gives us a snapshot of where things stood at the start of this year. House prices rose 2.6 per cent in the 12 months to January, the data shows. There has been a world of change in that time period of course. Covid-19 has turned the property market and everything else upside down.

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