Residential property prices increase by 5.6% nationally

Residential property prices increased by 5.6% nationally in the year to January.

CSO data shows that consumers paid a mean price of €291,968 for a home in the 12 months ending Jan 2019.

In Dublin, residential property prices rose by 1.9%, according to the Residential Property Price Index. The highest house price growth was in the south of the county at 4%.

Excluding Dublin, residential property prices were 9.5% higher in the year ending Jan 2019, with apartment prices increasing by 18.6%. House prices were up by 8.5%.

Overall, the national index is 18.4% lower than the peak in 2007 and increased 82.1% from the lowest point in 2013. In general, the market appears to be cooling. In January, just 638 new homes were bought - a 6.6% decrease on the previous January.

In the 12 months leading to Jan 2019, there were 44,515 homes bought. Less than one-third of these - 13,580 - were first-time buyers and more than 7,800 were bought by non-occupiers.

The CSO report breaks down sales on a regional basis. In Cork city, buyers paid a median price of €238,950 in the 12 months to Jan 2019. This was slightly lower than counterparts in Cork county, who spent an average of €240,000. Waterford (€162,500), Tipperary (€142,000), Limerick (€187,000) and Kerry (€160,000) all paid less than the national median price of €250,000.

The Dublin region had the highest median price (€368,000) in the year to January. Within the Dublin region, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price (€537,367), while Fingal had the lowest (€329,999).

The highest median prices outside Dublin were in Wicklow (€317,500) and Kildare (€294,999), while the lowest were €98,373 in Longford and €100,000 in Leitrim.

Sales data is also available by Eircode. All 10 of the most expensive Eircodes were in Dublin, and €792,624 was the mean price for dwelling purchases in Dublin 4. Outside Dublin, the most expensive Eircode area was in Greystones, with a mean price of €449,984. The second most expensive Eircode area outside Dublin was Kinsale, where the mean price was €424,479.

The mean price on Cork's Southside was €319,448, while on Cork's Northside, it was €236,384. Carrigaline was €303,023 and Ballincollig was €330,290, according to the report.

Austin Hughes, KBC Bank economist, attributed the market softening to 'restricted demand, rising supply and the return of uncertainty':

"Restricted demand growth, rising supply and reduced consumer confidence are likely all playing some role in restraining the growth in Irish property values as 2019 begins.

Demand growth has been increasingly restricted by affordability constraints as Central Bank of Ireland loan to income limits have become more important impediments to increased borrowing.

The Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV) said the market is steadying but that the number of new builds is 'appallingly low.'

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