CSO: House prices up 7% in first five months of year

House prices have risen by almost 7% in the first five months of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), property prices rose by 6.9% in the year to May. This compared with a 7.1% rise in April and an increase of 13.8% recorded in the year to May 2015.

Residential property prices increased by 0.2% last month, compared to an increase of 0.3% in April and an increase of 0.5% recorded in May of last year.

In Dublin, residential property prices rose by by 0.1% in May and were 4.8% higher than a year ago. House prices increased by 0.4% in the month and were 5.7% higher compared to a year earlier. Dublin apartment prices were 1.1% lower when compared with the same month of 2015

The price of residential properties in the rest of the country increased by 0.1% in May compared with an increase of 1.1% in May of last year. Prices were 8.5% higher than in May 2015

Overall, house prices in Dublin are 32.8% lower than at their highest level in early 2007. Apartments in Dublin are 42.5% lower than they were in February 2007.

Residential property prices in Dublin are 35.2% lower than at their highest level in February 2007. The price of residential properties in the rest of the country is 35.7% lower than their highest level in September 2007. Overall, the national index is 33.2% lower than its highest level in 2007.

Chief economist at Davy, Conall Mac Coille said that although prices in Dublin were showing stronger growth, overall the picture was one of modest price increases. He also said the impact of Brexit would not hit the housing market until at least the end of the year.

“It may be simply a matter of time before the strength of asking price increases starts to be seen in transactions. However, the housing market will now have to adjust to the uncertainties created by Brexit. We do not believe many homebuyers will put off transactions until there is clear evidence of a negative impact on the Irish economy,” he said.

Alan McQuaid of Merrion Stockbrokers said the housing market may be in even better shape than the CSO figures suggest.

“Still, the better economic backdrop, particularly in relation to the labour market and better employment prospects should see house price growth remaining in positive territory on a year-on-year basis for a while yet even with credit restrictions and ‘Brexit’ concerns.

“It is also worth keeping in mind that the official Central Statistics Office (CSO) data is based on mortgage draw-downs only and don’t include cash transactions, which by all accounts are still quite sizeable. As such, the housing market is probably stronger than the CSO numbers would suggest.”

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