Property price growth almost halved last year, CSO figures show

The rate of growth of property prices nearly halved last year, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office.

The CSO’s latest Residential Property Price Index has shown that while prices rose by 6.5% nationally in the year to last December, this increase was lower than the 12.1% rise witnessed in the 12 months to December 2017.

A breakdown of the rising house prices has shown that the rate of increasing property costs is higher outside the capital.

Residential property prices outside of Dublin were 9.6% higher in the year to December, with house prices up by 8.8% and apartments by 16.9%.

This compares to an increase of prices by 3.8% in Dublin across 2018, where house prices rose by 4.2% and apartments by 2.9%.

Blackrock in Dublin was the Eircode area with the highest median property price at €620,000. Dublin 4 (€595,000) and Dublin 6 (€590,360) were the second and third most expensive areas by median price respectively.

These three areas were also top for mean - or average - prices, with Dublin 4 coming ahead of Dublin 6 and Blackrock. All ten of the most expensive Eircode areas by both mean and median price were in Dublin.

Outside the capital, Greystones', (€424,708), Dunboyne (€415,000) and Bray (€360,000) were the three most expensive areas by median price.

At the other end of the scale, Clones in Monaghan was the least expensive with a median price of €65,000, followed by Castlerea in Roscommon (€72,000) and Belturbet in Cavan (€83,000).

In Cork, Kinsale had the highest median price €334,999 followed by Ballincollig (€330,000), and Carrigaline (€295,000).

Bandon was the least expensive by median price (€211,250), followed by the Northside of Cork city (€212,000) and Crookstown (€216,000).

Across the country, property prices nationally have risen by 83% from when they bottomed out in early 2013.

Dublin prices have gone up 94.7% from their February 2012 low, prices in the rest of the country are 79.5% higher than at their trough in May 2013. They are still off the prices seen at the peak of the Celtic Tiger, however.

Dublin prices are 21.4% lower than their February 2007 peak, the prices in the rest of the country are 22% lower than their highest point in May 2007.

One in five of the houses and apartments sold in December 2018 was a new build - a ‘paltry’ level of supply of new homes according to Brokers Ireland.

“What that means is that many aspiring homeowners are still unable to find a suitable home and are being forced to rent for longer at a time when there is a yawning gap between servicing a mortgage on a home and renting a similar property, with it being substantially lower to service a mortgage, if only you could find a suitable property,” Rachel McGovern, Brokers Ireland’s director of financial services said.

This is not a healthy situation for aspiring first-time buyers in particular and it’s not good economically either.

Ms McGovern said there was a ‘disappointing’ level of mortgage drawdowns in December 2018 as lenders refused applications for fear of exceeding their Central Bank-imposed limits for the year:

“The ironic thing is many of these may well get a mortgage now in the early part of 2019, even though their circumstances won’t have changed. The January and February figures will be interesting in this regard."

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