Cliff Taylor: We should be glad Dublin house prices are falling

Property market stacked against young buyers and families trading up

There isn’t a lot of point building houses at prices people cannot afford. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

There isn’t a lot of point building houses at prices people cannot afford. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The housing market is back in the headlines, with prices in Dublin now slightly lower than one year earlier. Trends are a bit up and down across the country – including in Dublin. But, overall, more expensive properties, including much of the Dublin market, are static or falling in value – and many are hard to sell. Prices in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown, one of the more prosperous areas, have fallen by more than 6 per cent on average in the last year, and the drop at the top of market in the more leafier parts of this area will have been greater.

If this continues, there will soon be wails of anguish that it will affect the supply of housing by lowering the return to developers. But we should welcome lower prices, certainly in Dublin.There isn’t a lot of point building houses at prices people cannot afford. New home transactions by housebuyers – as opposed to funds or investors – are down sharply in Dublin. And the squeeze at the top end of the market is affecting those looking to move, as well as first-time buyers. The market is getting stuck and needs to be freed up.

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