Loans for house buys dropped by almost 40% in the first three months of the year, it emerged today.
New figures revealed 15,358 loans totalling some €4.4bn were approved for house purchases in the first quarter of 2008.
But the Housing Statistics Bulletin showed the numbers had decreased by 37.6% in volume and 31.5% in value compared to the same period last year.
Elsewhere, the average price of a new house dropped by 3.1% to €311,113 while second-hand homes fell nationally by 5.4% to €359,277.
Launching the report, Housing Minister Michael Finneran highlighted how more than 1,800 social houses and almost 1,000 affordable homes has been delivered in quarter one.
“I am pleased to see the Government’s efforts to increase the delivery of social and affordable housing are paying dividends, due in large measure to the additional investment made available by the Government under the National Development Plan,” he said.
“In the first three months of this year, we have delivered 1,531 social houses with a further 287 new units acquired under the Rental Accommodation Scheme.
“Under the various affordable housing schemes 976 units were provided, which is double the number of units provided over the same period last year.
“We have also seen a 73% increase in delivery of houses and apartments under Part V of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 – 2006.”
Part V requires that a percentage of housing in most private residential developments must be made available to the local authority for the purpose of Affordable Housing.
Mr Finneran said 766 Part V social and affordable units were acquired in the first three months 2008, while a further 5,753 units were in progress at the end of March.
The Housing Statistics Bulletin for the 1st Quarter in 2008 set out details of housing activity and statistics in the first three months of the year.