Rating agency Fitch expects Irish property prices will fall further

Rating agency Fitch expects Irish property prices will fall further

Rating agency Fitch has said it expects further falls in both residential and commercial property prices in Ireland. It said it has already factored such falls into its analysis of the country’s rating.

The Permanent TSB/ESRI index for the second quarter of this year, suggests that Irish house prices have declined by 35.2% since their peak, but today Fitch said it believes this will likely understate the full decline.

Fitch already assumes a 45% decline in residential values from their peak levels in its base case analysis,’ the agency said.

It added that the full effect of the mortgage market stress has yet to be seen. It said that while arrears levels continue to increase, very few houses have been repossessed so far.

Earlier this week, Fitch lowered its ratings on Ireland’s debt, blaming the unexpectedly high cost of banking bail-outs and an uncertain economic outlook.

The agency said it was cutting the rating to ‘A+’ from ‘AA-’ due to what it called the greater than expected costs associated with the Government’s re-capitalisation of the Irish banks, especially Anglo Irish Bank.

The agency has put a negative outlook on the rating, meaning a further downgrade is more likely over the next couple of years. Fitch said the negative outlook was due to uncertainty about the timing and strength of an economic recovery and efforts to cut the budget deficit.

Article courtesy of the Evening Echo newspaper.

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