House prices continue to climb nationally but the market is finally showing signs of slowing down, according to the latest Residential Property Price Index from the Central Statistics Office.
The index, which includes data up to and including November 2018, shows that the price of property nationally increased by 7.1% in the first 11 months of last year. For the same period in 2017, the increase was 11.2%, indicating a gradual slowdown.
The figures show the national median or middle price paid for a residential property in the current market was €245,000, with the increases varying widely on a regional basis.
In Dublin, the annual rate of growth was 5%. Outside the capital, prices were 9.3% higher in the year to November. The mid-west region saw the biggest increase, with median prices 20.7% higher than 12 months previous, while the border region saw the smallest increase at just 6.1%.
All aspects of the market are affected, with house prices increasing by 8.8% on average, and apartments jumping by 14.5%.
National prices are now just 18% lower than their peak in 2007. In Dublin, prices are 20.8% lower than February 2007, the highest month on record. Prices in Dublin are now 96.1% higher than their lowest point in February 2012.
In the first 11 months of last year, there were 44,536 residential dwelling purchases filed with Revenue. Of these, 30% - 13,372 - were first-time buyers entering the market. A further 8,100 (18.2%) were non-occupiers, with the remaining 51.8% owner-occupiers.
The figures show the national median or middle price paid for a residential property in the current market was €245,000. Dublin was the region with the highest median price (€365,000) in the year to November. Within the capital, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price (€535,000) of the four Dublin administrative areas.
The highest median prices outside Dublin were in Wicklow (€315,500) and Kildare (€290,000), while the lowest were €96,000 in Longford and €100,000 in Leitrim.
In Cork city, the median price is now €232,000, with those living in Cork county areas paying out an average of €235,000. Counterparts in Galway city are paying even more with a median price of €255,855, while Co Kerry (€159,999), Limerick (€180,000) and Waterford (€161,000) all show similar trends.
Rachel McGovern, Director of Financial Services at Brokers Ireland which represents 1,250 broker firms, said:
“We’ve seen for several months now the growing divergence between servicing a mortgage on a home and renting a similar property, with it being substantially lower to service a mortgage than pay rent, provided you can find a property.
“Daft.ie research shows that for Q3 2018, in every area of the country it’s cheaper to service a mortgage, even building in a 2% margin to allow for an increase in interest rates, which looks like it may not even be on the horizon now for later this year as predicted earlier.
There are areas where rents are as much as double the price of servicing a mortgage.
"What’s really worrying about this situation is there is no apparent solution in sight, particularly for first-time buyers who should be the foremost house buying cohort, particularly given our demographics."