THE LATEST PROPERTY price report from Daft.ie has found a stabilisation in the Dublin market, a stark contrast to what is happening in other, more rural areas of the country.
MyHome.ie’s latest report agrees, noting the lowest annual rate of decline in Dublin in four years.
Daft.ie’s report suggests that although asking prices across Ireland were down nine per cent in the last quarter of 2012 when compared with the previous year, the corresponding figure in the capital was just two per cent.
In general, the rate of price falls in cities is less than elsewhere, with prices down about 10 per cent in Cork, Limerick and Galway. However, Waterford has seen a fall of 17 per cent. Outside the urban centres, prices in the final three months of 2012 were 13.3 per cent lower than in 2011.
The report authors said the figure for Dublin offers a “stark contrast” to this time last year when prices were falling at a rate of more than 20 per cent. Now, asking prices in south county Dublin have grown by 3.1 per cent, while city centre properties remain unchanged.
For the first time since the property crash, the fall from the peak is greater in Connacht/Ulster at 55.9 per cent than in Dublin, where it is 55.4 per cent.
“The contrast between urban and rural property markets has grown substantially over the last 12 months, led by a recovering Dublin market,” said Daft.ie economist Ronan Lyons.
“Ultimately, the difference between urban and rural areas is due to cities having no significant oversupply from the boom years and also enjoying better employment prospects. Nonetheless, the end of mortgage interest relief may have led to a rush of demand in 2012, so it remains to be seen whether the stabilisation seen in the second half of 2012 continues into the new year.”
The report looked at 4,500 Price Register transactions from the past 12 months, concluding that property prices may be stabilising.
“Prices registered were largely stable for the third quarter in a row, with the average transaction price in late 2012 €151,000,” it said. The comparable figure for the first quarter of the year was €154,000.
Figures for time-to-sell indicate that there has been some improvement in market conditions over the past 12 months, with four in 10 properties selling within four months. The total stock of properties sitting on the market nationwide is 47,000 – the lowest since November 2007.
Meanwhile, MyHome.ie’s report outlines an accelerated rate of decline in property prices in the last quarter of 2012. It said that the annual rate of decline increased to 14.8 per cent.
It also believes the average house price nationally is €201,000.
The report’s author Caroline Kelleher said, “While we saw relatively large house price declines in the first six months, this gave away to significant moderation in the rate of decline nationally in the latter half of the year and to price stabilisation in Dublin.”
Kelleher said the outlook remains uncertain with further volatility in prices likely in 2013. She agreed with Lyons that the abolition of mortgage interest relief could impact sales next year.
Angela Keegan, Managing Director at MyHome.ie, pointed out a number of trends that popped up in the report.
“Evidence of an increase in or stabilisation of prices for four-bed homes in some counties suggests that these are now the preferred house type of choice. In Dublin, the stock of available properties for sale continues to decline and is now at just over 4,000. In Q2 it was almost 6,000.
“The varying ‘sale agreed’ times show that a two tier market is emerging, with times equivalent to three months in Limerick, four months in Dublin and five-and-a-half months in Galway. However, the corresponding ‘sale agreed’ times elsewhere are 10-and-a-half months in Munster, nine months in Ulster and Connacht and seven months in Leinster (excluding Dublin).”