Almost €200m was wiped off the value of houses in price reductions in less than a month by sellers desperate to offload their properties, the Sunday Independent can reveal.
In what is being described as the introduction of "a major dose of reality" to the housing market, price drops of over 50 per cent have been reported on many houses, particularly in the Dublin area.
Price reductions before last month had slowed, with sellers refusing to budge below their expectations, but the lack of activity has forced them to massively reduce their original prices in order to sell, industry figures have said.
IrishPropertyWatch.com, which charts property price falls and increases, in a report on the period March 15 to the April 20, showed that over 3,700 properties dropped their prices, while only a small number raised theirs.
The largest drop in price was over €1m, from €2.9m to €1.9m, while the average price drop was €41,989.
It's report showed that over 80 per cent of houses had been on the market for over 3 months, 71 per cent took more than 6 months to sell, 57 per cent took longer than 9 months to sell, and 42 per cent took more than a year to be sold.
Examples of large drops in prices include Firkale, Glengarriff, West Cork, which has dropped from €2.5m to €1.9m, a fall of €600,000; and 38 Rathdown Road, Grangegorman, which was originally listed for €995,000 last year, but now for sale at €575,000.
Peter Wyse, a leading estate agent in Dublin, said yesterday that sellers are finally becoming realistic about what their properties can fetch.
"For too long people were refusing to budge on price but certainly, in the past couple of months, a major dose of reality has come about and prices are coming down," he said.
"I have had to let all my sales guys go because there was nothing moving and I won't take anything on unless people are willing to be realistic about what the house will fetch," he concluded.
Mr Wyse also said that he has sold two houses, one in Rathgar and one in Dun Laoghaire, both of which originally went on the market for over €1.1m, for €500,000 and €600,000, in recent weeks.
Last week, Sherry Fitzgerald estate agents revealed that out of 192 sales in the Dublin area in the first four months of the year, prices had dropped by up to 52 per cent from their original asking price.
The properties covered a wide rage of homes on practically all levels of the market. Many of the houses had been on sale since 2008, with a number on the market since 2007.
The Sherry Fitzgerald figures revealed that at the lower end, price drops ranged between 5 and 20 per cent below asking price. A very small number in this category actually sold for more than the asking price.
In the mid-range market, between €500,000 and €1m, values had fallen by between 35 and 45 per cent. Houses over the €1m mark fell by in excess of 50 per cent, according to the figures.
Elsewhere, hundreds of people queued for over two nights for affordable housing apartments in Dublin, in the hope of buying one of 68 apartments that went on sale yesterday morning.
Over 800 people had registered interest in purchasing the one-, two- and three-bed apartments priced between €210,000 and €295,000.
The apartments, at Sir John Rogerson's Quay, were quickly snapped up by bargain-hunters yesterday.
Affordable housing is offered at a 20-30 per cent discount.
However, in exchange, the property can't be sold for 20 years without a break-out charge being levied.
Report by - DANIEL McCONNELL - Sunday Independent.