Monthly increase in house prices the first of over 1% for six years

House prices may still be almost 50% lower than at their peak in 2007, but last month saw the first rise of more than 1% in prices since Dec 2006.

According to the CSO’s residential property price index, house values fell 5.7% in the year to November. However, the decline in prices appeared to be slowing. In the 12 months to October, the decline had been 8.1% and in the year to Nov 2011, prices had fallen by 15.6%.

Furthermore, between October and November of this year, prices across the country increased by 1.1% — they had dropped by 0.6% between September and October.

Dublin accounted for the lion’s share of the price increases between October and November. There, properties went up in value by 2.4%.

Across the rest of the country, it was a much more modest 0.3%.

The CSO found house prices across Dublin are now 54% lower than at their highest level in early 2007, and apartments there are 64% cheaper.

The fall in residential property prices across the rest of the country since the peak is somewhat lower at 47%, while the national index for the whole country is 49% lower.

Philip O’Sullivan, chief economist with NCB Stockbrokers, said monthly gains have now been recorded in four of the past five months.

“The annual rate of decline in Irish residential property prices, at 5.7%, is the lowest recorded since Jun 2008. Overall, the data strengthens our view that the Irish housing market entered a new phase during 2012, following four consecutive years of double -digit price declines.”

He said data recorded by the Property Services Regulatory Authority showed total residential transactions nationally were up at least 31% year on year in the first 11 months of 2012, with Dublin up 44% and the rest of Ireland up 26% as an element of confidence returned.

“In saying that, as with the latest data, we see divergences across the country, with the prospects for the Dublin market continuing to look brighter than for other areas, where oversupply remains a concern.”


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