Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Survey shows housing market revival

Second hand homes have become almost 10 per cent more expensive over the last year, new figures show

The price of a second hand home has jumped by almost 10% over the last year, an estate agent has claimed.

Increased demand for starter semi-detached homes and strong sales of properties in south Dublin helped push the price of houses up by another 3.3% in the first three months of the year, it said. The latest DNG property price gauge maintained demand for houses in the 250,000 euro to 350,000 euro price range also added value.

Keith Lowe, chief executive, said any price increase should be put in context against the previous six years of decline.

"House price increases are also not consistently spread throughout the market, reflecting demand preferences but it is encouraging to see three straight quarters of house price increases," he said. "Properties are still down almost 63% on the peak they achieved in 2006. There also appears to be signs of a two-tier market emerging in terms of price recovery with the capital and some other high population urban areas such as Galway, Cork and Sligo outperforming the rest of the country. Dublin, naturally due to its high population, infrastructure and employment is likely to continue to outperform the rest of Ireland in terms of house price recovery."

Last week official figures revealed the property market dipped again in February despite some signs of improvement in the Dublin market over the last year. Prices were down 1.5% overall in the month, with houses falling by 1% in the capital alone.

However, the Central Statistics Office noted that houses in Dublin are now 2.5% dearer than they were this time last year. But DNG said the average price of a second hand house in Dublin now stands at 262,000 euro, up 5% since January and 9.5% over the year. Meanwhile houses under 250,000 euro on its books recorded the lowest quarterly increase of 2.8%, reflecting the higher concentration of apartments or less favourably located homes on offer.

Elsewhere the latest house price survey from MyHome.ie said the average house price nationally stands at 197,000 euro, down 52% from the peak of the market. In Dublin the corresponding figure is 236,000 euro, down 56% from peak, it found.

Report author Annette Hughes, from DKM Economic Consultants, said the new survey indicated that prices are stabilising in Dublin. "At 4.8%, the annual rate of decline in Dublin is about half the national rate," she said. "Overall asking prices in Dublin have been reasonably stable over the last year and this may indicate that they are now levelling off. Nationally prices are continuing to fall, but the annual rate is under 10% for the first time since 2008, and this is also a positive development."

MyHome.ie said the average time to sale agreed in Dublin was six months, compared with seven in Galway, eight in Limerick, 10 months in Cork and almost a year in Waterford.

Ms Hughes said immediate issues impacting the market include the increasing demands on disposable income, such as the property tax for example, and access to mortgage finance. "Progress on addressing the mortgage arrears challenge over the coming months may lead to an increase in the number of properties coming to the market which may depress property prices further in the short term," she added. "This development together with a difficult budget later in the year would suggest property prices are likely to remain volatile through 2013."

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