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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Property Prices Keep Plunging...

THERE was further gloom for homeowners after property prices plunged again last month. Prices have been diving now for almost four years. And there is no let-up in sight, with economists predicting prices will keep going down next year. The average residential property has lost almost €150,000 in value since the peak and is now worth around €169,000, according to the latest gloomy figures. Around €232,000 has been wiped off the value of houses and apartments in Dublin as the capital continues to suffer much sharper price declines than the rest of the country. The new figures from the CSO also show that the annual rate of decline in prices jumped to 15.6pc in November. Prices fell by 1.5pc last month and are now down 46pc from the peak of the market in early 2007, the official figures show. The CSO only gives percentage changes, but analysts have calculated that the price of an average property is now just €169,000. This is down from €314,000 when the property bubble was at its most inflated in February 2007. Dublin property prices now average €199,325, down from €431,000 at the height of the boom. And outside Dublin the average property has crashed in value to around €154,000, down from a peak value of €268,000. Peak House prices in the capital are now 52pc lower than peak levels compared with the rest of Ireland at 42pc. Dublin prices fell by 2.4pc in the month of November and 18.1pc compared with a year earlier. But apartment prices in the capital are dropping at an even faster rate. They are down 16pc in the past 12 months, and are now down 58pc from the peak. It is estimated that half the almost 800,000 homeowners in the country now owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Alan McQuaid of Bloxham Stockbrokers said: "According to the latest Reuters survey of Irish economists, house prices are likely to continue falling for some time yet. "The poll predicts that house prices will decline by a further 12.8pc on average in 2011, and 6.5pc in 2012. He added that the measures announced this month in the Budget will help the property market, but won't stop property values falling. "Even allowing for the Budget 2012 initiatives to boost the property market, as well as lower interest rates from the ECB, the short-term risks to house prices remain to the downside in our view. "We now think the average fall this year will be around 13pc followed by another 8pc decline next year, and it will be 2013 at the earliest before prices start to pick up." At the start of this month Finance Minister Michael Noonan offered an incentive of higher mortgage tax relief for first-time buyers who buy before the end of next year. And anyone who buys a property and keeps it for seven years will get a rebate on the capital- gains tax. David McNamara of Davy Stockbrokers said: "While these measures are encouraging, house prices should continue to fall into 2012." Report by Charlie Weston - Irish Independent

Saturday, 3 December 2011

92% Sold By Allsop...

92% of lots sold by Allsop...

THE BIDDING was brisk at the Allsop Space auction of mostly distressed property in Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel yesterday, as 1,600 people packed into the auction room and spilled out into the bar and lobby of the hotel.

A total of 97 of the 108 properties sold under the hammer with a further two selling after auction, raising a total of €11.4 million. Around half were cash buyers – 30 per cent less than at previous auctions.

A small group of protesters from a group calling themselves the Anti-Eviction Taskforce held a low-key protest outside the hotel. However proceedings came to a brief halt when one protester stood up in front of the auctioneer and warned about the “ill will” that could affect buyers of distressed property in communities.

“Don’t bid then,” replied auctioneer Gary Murphy from UK-based Allsop, before thanking the protestor for his “kind words”.

Around a third of the lots are apartments, and one of the bargains of the auction was a four-bed apartment in Northwood, Santry which sold for €76,000 – €16,000 over its reserve.

A first floor two-bed apartment at The Cubes in Beacon South Quarter, Sandyford, D18, with parking, sold for €152,000.

A good bargain for someone in the room but not such good news for Jim Kelly who was waiting for the lot to come up. His daughter bought a similar apartment in Beacon South Quarter four years ago for €420,000. “She told me not to tell her what it got,” he said.

There are some big properties with low reserves to whet buyer appetite including a double-fronted period house at 13 Garville Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6 with a reserve of €420,000 – the most expensive house of the auction – which sold for €435,000 – and 28 Grove Park in Rathmines, also in Dublin 6 which sold for bang on the reserve price €380,000. Both were leasehold properties divided into flats. A two-bed apartment at Adelaide Square, Dublin 8 with a reserve of €145,00 sold for €201,000 and a mid-terrace three storey over basement house on the North Circular Road, Dublin 7 went for €277,000 – €72,000 over the catalogue price.

A former nursing home in Rathfarnham on 1.64 acres with planning permission for 32 townhouses with a reserve of €400,000 attracted a lot of bidders and went for €580,000.

“The bidding was very business-like, there was no waiting around,” says Robert Hoban, director of auctions at Space Allsop. “A lot were there to bid, there weren’t as many onlookers as before.” For those that failed to sell, “it was simply because they were priced too high”.

Commercial properties included 174 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4, a freehold mid-terrace building arranged in two restaurants, which sold for €630,000 – the most expensive lot in the auction overall . The smallest lot was a 0.5-acre landholding in Ennis, Co Clare, which sold after auction for €11,000.

In Donegal, five four-bed houses in Beechwood Park in Convoy had reserves of €21,000 each – the cheapest homes going under the hammer but actually sold for between €32,000 and €53,000. A lakeside log cabin-style house on the shores of Lough Sillan in Shercock, Co Cavan, with access to a private marina, went for €131,000 – over four times its reserve.

The next Allsop Space auction will be held on March 1, 2012.

Report by EDEL MORGAN - Irish Times