Irish house prices slip in winter months

This is the first time since mid-2013 that the average house price fell in a three month period, reveals the website’s latest house price report. Despite this, though, the average asking price nationwide is now €193,000, 12.8 per cent higher than the value of €171,000 a year ago. This compares to €378,000 at the peak in 2007.

Prices in Dublin fell back by 0.7 per cent, the first drop since mid-2012. While there was a fall between September and December, significant increases earlier in the year mean that prices remain higher than a year previously.

Outside Dublin saw a similar trend, with three-month minor falls in the average asking price throughout Leinster. Indeed, this pattern was replicated in other cities, with Cork and Galway cities experiencing quarterly price falls of 1 per cent, while Limerick and Waterford cities saw more significant falls of between 3 per cent and 4 per cent on average. Outside the main cities, the average asking price across the country fell by 1.3 per cent, but remains 7.6 per cent higher than at the same time last year.

The figures follow a similar pattern noted by the CSO, which found that property prices across Ireland rose 0.5 per cent in November, down from the 2.9 per cent rise reocrded in October, while Dublin saw residential values slip 0.1 per cent from October, despite being 22.2 per cent higher year-on-year.

The report attributes the dip at the end of last year to expectations surrounding mortgages, as proposed lending limits by the Central Bank loom over the market.

Ronan Lyons, author of the report, comments: “The intention of the proposed Central Bank limits on mortgage lending is to limit increases in house prices by affecting both buyer expectations and the credit available to them. It seems that, even though the limits have not yet come into force, they have already had some impact. For example, When asked what they expected will happen Dublin house prices over the coming 12 months, survey respondents in September expected an increase of 12 per cent. In December, however, that figure had fallen to 5 per cent.”

“Restricting the amount lent to each household is a necessary first step to ensuring a stable housing market,” he adds. “The second step is addressing the cost base, to ensure an adequate supply of housing. With fewer than 30,000 properties on the market currently – and just 3,500 of those in Dublin – this is the challenge for policymakers as we move into 2015.”

Photo: Dwdyer