Dublin house prices up 4.2% this year


House prices in Dublin are showing tentative signs of recovery with latest figures revealing an increase of 4.2 per cent so far this year.

However, while that jump can be seen as a partial return to health, the overall picture remains bleak with values still down 54 per cent on their peak 2007 levels.

And while the numbers show an increase for the year to November, a comparison with this time last year shows prices are still at the minus end of the scale, down 3.5 per cent.

The Residential Property Price Index figures for last month, released by the Central Statistics Office yesterday, also reveal that Dublin-based apartments have plummeted in value by 11 per cent to date in 2012.

At a national level, residential properties have fallen by 5.7 per cent this year.

Encouraging signs

However, some believe that the latest detailed breakdown shows encouraging signs for the new year.

Friends First chief economist Jim Power said he believed the market would return to a relative “semblance of normality” next year, but that a deal on Ireland’s banking debt was essential in order to stimulate any form of recovery.

“There is no big surprise because there was certainly a lot of anecdotal evidence that there was a little bit of life coming back into the market,” he said.

“The turnover of houses has definitely improved in certain areas of Dublin. There is pepped up demand out there; it just needs a little bit of confidence. A debt deal in Ireland would be a game changer.”

The November figures show the largest single hike since the recession took hold, but statisticians urge caution when looking to monthly figures alone, insisting broader scales of measurement give a more accurate state of affairs.

Property transactions

Rises and falls in specific areas outside Dublin are not easy to calculate due to the low level of sales. There was a total of 2,752 property transactions recorded in November although not all of these represent full market value.

The performance of the housing sector is recorded on a monthly basis but the overall picture is best viewed towards the end of any given year, or as a year-by-year comparison. The year-to-date figures – including the 4.2 per cent improvement in Dublin houses – are likely to identify early signs of recovery across a market that has been decimated in the last five years.

“The good news has to start at some stage and it does take time to work its way through these indicators,” said a CSO spokesperson.

“There has been some discussion about a two-tier market in Dublin and it is very evident in this data. Apartments are still falling quite quickly but there are some signs of stability in Dublin houses.”