ANN CAHILL: Dublin races ahead with house prices

The latest figures for house prices suggests the market is stabilising nationally while Dublin continues to race ahead with prices up by 6% this year so far.

In the EU, Ireland continues to drop down the list of countries where house prices continue to fall, and is now lying fifth.

The contraction in prices for the first three months of this year compared to the corresponding period in 2012 was 3% according to the latest statistics from Eurostat, and down 2.6% on the last three months of 2012.

This was the smallest quarterly contraction over the last 12 months which showed a drop of more than 14% in prices from April to June last year.

The Netherlands and Italy both experienced a bigger drop in house prices at 7.2% and 5.7% respectively.

According to estate agents Sherry FitzGerald, Irish house prices have increased by 3.6% in the country in the first half of this year and are up 1.8% in the second quarter alone.

The growing gulf between prices in Dublin and the rest of the country continues, with a 6% increase in Dublin in the past six months and 3% for the second quarter — bringing the increase to more than 11% over the past year.

That is double the national rate. Excluding Dublin prices were up by just 0.6%. Over the past six years prices fell by more than 57% and according to Sherry FitzGerald the latest figures continue to show that the market is stabilising — but growth is mainly Dublin-centred.

In the EU, Spain showed the biggest fall in prices, down 12.8% from January to March this year compared to the same period last year, followed by Hungary down by more than 9%.

Two bailout countries which have still not stabilised came next, with Portugal down 7.3% and Cyprus down 4.8%.

The overall average fall in the eurozone was 2.2% — excluding Germany, Greece, and Austria for which no figures were returned.

The two Baltic countries of Latvia, which will adopt the euro next January, and Lithuania, which hopes to in 2015, saw the biggest increase in house prices at over 7%.


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