Property prices ‘start to fall’

Property prices have fallen for the first time in over two years, a report on the market has revealed.

In Dublin, the average asking price for a house fell by 0.7% during the final three months of 2014 – the first drop since mid-2012, said.

Outside the capital, prices were down an average 1.3% with the largest falls experienced in Munster.

Economist and report author, Ronan Lyons said planned changes to mortgage lending were having an impact.

He said: “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 to Dublin house prices over the coming 12 months, survey respondents in September expected an increase of 12%. In December, however, that figure had fallen to 5%.”

Despite the drop, the national average price remained 12.8% higher than 12 months ago – at 193,000 euro compared to 171,000 euro in 2013 and 378,000 euro during the 2007 property boom.

In Dublin, house prices were also still higher than a year ago and there were 3,500 more properties listed for sale.

In cities such as Cork and Galway quarterly prices dipped by 1% while in Limerick and Waterford there were more significant reductions of between 3% and 4%, the report found.

Just under 30,000 homes were for sale on December 1, the lowest national total since March 2007, and less than half the highest figure seen in 2009.

Mr Lyons, an assistant professor at Trinity College Dublin added: “Restricting the amount lent to each household is a necessary first step to ensuring a stable housing market. 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.”

Meanwhile, the report also claimed around 62% of properties found a buyer within three months, compared to 49% a year ago.

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