House prices 'resilient' during height of Covid-19

House prices have fallen by 2.9% so far this year but held remarkably steady during the peak months of the coronavirus crisis, a new report has revealed.
House prices 'resilient' during height of Covid-19
House prices have fallen by 2.9% so far this year but held steady during the peak months of the coronavirus crisis. Picture: PA
House prices have fallen by 2.9% so far this year but held steady during the peak months of the coronavirus crisis. Picture: PA

House prices have fallen by 2.9% so far this year but held remarkably steady during the peak months of the coronavirus crisis, a new report has revealed.

However, while the signs are good, it will be later in the year before the full impact of the virus on the housing market is known.

The latest property report by MyHome.ie, covering the second quarter of the year when the Covid-19 lockdown was at its height, describes the “resilience” of the housing market in general during that time.

In that time, quarterly asking price inflation fell “marginally” after the emergence of the global virus pandemic.

Annual asking price growth meanwhile fell by 2.9% nationally, and 2.6% in Dublin.

The average asking price for a property is now €268,000 across the country, a drop of 1.5% quarter-on-quarter.

That equates to average prices of €372,000 in the capital, and €224,000 elsewhere in the country, with the short-term fall in Dublin equivalent to a 2.1% drop in that three-month period, more than twice the decrease seen everywhere else.

  • Dublin - flat at €320,000
  • Cork - flat at €240,000
  • Kerry - up 6.45% to €165,00
  • Limerick - up €7.69% to €210,000
  • Galway - up 3.41% to €227,500

In Cork county and city prices remained unchanged year on year, at an average of €245,000 in the former and €250,000 in the latter. Across Munster inflation was still seen on an annual basis, though on a more moderate level than in previous quarters.

Prices in Clare were up 2.6% to €200,000, up 2.3% to €179,000 in Waterford, while the largest increase in the province was in Kerry - up 7.6% year on year to €199,000. Limerick city prices were flat at €200,000.

In Connacht, prices were broadly flat, while only three counties across the country - Westmeath, Wicklow, and Monaghan - saw drops over the 12 months surveyed.

The relatively minimal movement seen across the country may be attributable to a far lower level of properties being placed on the market over the three-month period, according to Conall MacCoille, chief economist with Davy.

With the country on full lockdown for nearly two months between March 27 and May 18, the number of houses placed up for sale fell precipitously.

The price measures included in the report were based on just 3,700 new properties being listed for sale between April and June, a drop of 64% from the 10,200 noted 12 months previously, Mr MacCoille, the report’s author, said.

“Observed prices were therefore clearly biased towards those vendors willing to put their homes on the market despite the enormous uncertainty of the Covid-19 outbreak,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said that there remains cause for some optimism despite the highly uncertain nature of all aspects of life at present.

“The negative impact of Covid-19 could still have a more slow burn impact on the Irish housing market than many participants anticipate,” he said. “That said, the clear anecdotal evidence is that activity in the housing market is returning to normal levels and with greater confidence than estate agents had expected.”

Meanwhile, Angela Keegan - managing director of MyHome.ie - said the relative stagnation of prices is “not hugely surprising” with so many buyers adopting a wait-and-see approach.

“Over the next three months we will have a better sense of how the overall economic picture has affected the housing market across the country,” she said.

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