Thursday, 7 January 2010

House Prices Dropped...

The average Dublin house price is now €242,000 according to the latest Daft report...

ASKING prices for residential property around the country fell by 19 per cent during 2009 and are now nationally 30 per cent below asking levels in early 2007, according to Daft’s latest house price report published today.

The national average asking price for residential property at the end of 2009 was €242,000 – a fall of €107,000 from the peak in early 2007. In Dublin, asking prices have dropped by up to 42 per cent since the peak says the report.

Earlier this week the country ’s largest estate agency chain, Sherry FitzGerald, said that house prices had dropped 20.3 per cent nationally in 2009, and in Dublin, had fallen in real terms by 45.7 per cent since 2006.

Commenting on the link between price falls and movement on the market, Daft economist Ronan Lyons says that while Dublin saw the largest fall in house prices in 2009 “the total stock for sale in the capital fell by almost 20 per cent over the year”.

Commenting on the report, Alan McQuaid, economist with Bloxham Stockbrokers, said: “Although houses have in general become more affordable in terms of price, this is of little comfort to potential purchasers if credit is still very tight.”

Early indications from estate agents are that buyers, the majority of them first-time buyers, are interested in at least looking at houses for sale. The chiefs of two of the country’s biggest agencies, Douglas Newman Good (DNG) and Sherry FitzGerald, which both have branches around the country, report that they have been very busy since Monday when they reopened their offices.

Daft’s report says that asking prices in Dublin city centre for one-bed apartments is currently €201,000 and €216,000 for two-beds. But Keith Lowe, chief executive officer of DNG, says that entry level prices in Dublin are under €200,000 for a two-bedroom apartment. And just before Christmas, DNG sold a cottage-style house off Cork Street, Dublin 8, for €80,000.

Meanwhile there is also some movement at the top end of the market: contracts for the sale of Rosewarne, a house that came on the market in Carrickmines, Dublin 18, in mid-November were signed before Christmas at close to the €2.25 million asking price according to its selling agent, Sherry FitzGerald. Its Drumcondra office reports four “sale agreed” houses in the past four days. Sherry FitzGerald managing director Michael Grehan says that web traffic is up 20 per cent since Christmas; all indications are that people are actively looking to buy.

Meanwhile DNG reports that a house in Sandycove, Co Dublin, that it put on the market in October, was sale agreed for in the region of €1.1 million on on Christmas Eve after a “Dutch auction”in which four telephone bidders chased the property.

Paul Murgatroyd, economic consultant to MyHome, says that while it is true that many first-time buyers have loan approvals and are ready to buy, the general economic situation, their sense of job security, rather than price falls, will in the end determine whether they will go ahead.

Meanwhile, Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index report for Q3 of 2009 shows that of 42 locations, Ireland ranks 35th. With Spain and Denmark, it is one of three European countries yet to record their first quarter of growth since the credit crunch.

Report by FRANCES O'ROURKE - Irish Times

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