House prices saw their biggest first-quarter fall in more than a decade during the first three months of this year, but the number of available properties is still a fraction of what it was pre-pandemic.
The continued dearth of available homes comes as the Government will this morning face a no-confidence motion over its decision to end the ban on evictions from March 31.
According to the latest Daft.ie report, house prices nationally fell by an average of 0.3% in the first quarter of this year. That is the biggest drop since the first three months of 2012. The only region not to see prices fall in the latest analysis was Munster, where they actually rose by 0.6% in the three months to March.
The average listed home price nationally is now €308,497, according to Daft.ie. That is 2.7% higher than a year previously, the slowest inflationary increase since mid-2020.
Yet while the number of homes for sale also rose by 30% compared to the same time last year, with 13,100 properties available to buy on March 1, that is still well below the 2019 average of 24,000.
“With demand weakening, prices should fall this year,” said the author of the report, associate professor in economics at Trinity College Dublin Ronan Lyons.
"The stock of homes available to buy is indeed higher than it was a year ago — 13,000 compared to 10,000 — but that is still barely half the level of supply that prevailed before covid-19.
“Ultimately, even in a cyclical downturn, it is hard to escape the overall lack of housing that has emerged in Ireland since the early 1990s.”
Lack of homes remains an issue for the majority of Daft.ie's 1,000 survey respondents, with more than 70% of them citing it as a factor in delaying home purchase, down from 80% two years ago.
In the Dáil yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government is to increase targets for the number of houses that the Land Development Agency will build. That was after an LDA report given to Cabinet said 67,000 houses could be built on the land, but only 10,000 of them within the next decade.
The Government is expected to survive a motion of no-confidence in the Dáil this morning as Opposition parties continue to mount pressure on the Coalition over its decision to lift the eviction ban.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar warned that in the unlikely event that the Government were to lose the vote, it would trigger a general election and the eviction ban would lapse regardless.
The Government has the majority to defeat the motion put forward by the Labour Party, but there will be a focus on which Independent TDs support the Coalition.
Sinn Féin has also urged TDs to support their legislation to extend the ban until January 2024, telling politicians: “Don't vote to evict your own constituents into homelessness".