DNG chief: Property prices will rise by 8%, not 20%

The chief executive of the Douglas Newman Good (DNG) has contradicted economists who predict rising house prices.

“Up until last week, I had no plans to discuss property prices in any detail but when I heard one of the country’s most well-known economists on the radio the other day, saying prices were going to rise by 15% this year, and others saying they’re spiralling out of control, I felt I needed to set the record straight,” said DNG chief Keith Lowe.

Last week, the Economic and Social Research Institute said house prices could rise by as much as 20% in real terms — where inflation is taken into account — over the next three years.

Mr Lowe used data from DNG’s own property price gauge which is based on quarterly valuations, to back up his assertions.

He predicted the annual rate of increase will be at around 8% next year, nowhere near the 15% mark that some economists recently predicted.

“Property prices were up 11% in Dublin and 10.4% in the rest of Ireland in the last 12 months up to the end of September.

“However, the level of price inflation is moderating in Dublin and a new trend is emerging on the DNG property price gauge,” said Mr Lowe. “I predict that the 11% annual rate of increase will be down to 7% or 8% by the middle of 2018.

“The DNG house price gauge, our own data, is based on quarterly valuations of a basket of property, a more real-time measurement of where property prices are at,” he suggested.

Speaking yesterday at the Residential Property Summit in the Aviva Stadium, he went on to discuss the housing crisis and doubted there was one in the “sales market.”

“Do we have a crisis? In terms of the sales market, I’m not sure we do,” said Mr Lowe.

“However, we do have a rental and a social housing crisis. Rents have been rising at an unsustainable level,” he said.

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