Belfast Telegraph

House prices down 'nearly 40%'

House prices have plunged almost 40% since the peak of the boom, two property reports have revealed.

The daft.ie survey, which records a large number of asking prices nationwide, put the average asking price down to just below 220,000 euro.

But its rival MyHome.ie, which is heavily weighted in favour of the Dublin market, said it recorded an average fall of nearly 35% to 271,000 euro nationally and to 314,000 euro in the capital.

However both firms warned the market was yet to bottom out as consumer sentiment remains fragile in the new year. Ronan Lyons, economist with Daft.ie, claimed parts of Dublin have seen price falls of up to 50% since 2007, with some counties seeing just a 30% drop.

"On the supply side, the number of properties for sale remains very high, at close to 60,000, while on the demand side, a range of factors continue to weigh on prospective buyers, including tight credit and expectations of higher taxes and interest rates in coming years," said Mr Lyons.

"It is the cities and in particular Dublin that are most likely to stabilise first, and it remains to be seen if this happens in 2011."

The Daft.ie house price report review for 2010 showed asking prices for residential property around the country fell by almost 14% in the year, on top of a 20% drop in 2009.

Meanwhile, MyHome.ie said prices fell 13.1% nationally and 15.2% in Dublin during the year, with the total decline from a peak in late 2006 down 34.6% nationally and 41.2% in Dublin.

Annette Hughes, from DKM Economic Consultants, who compiled the report, said it was clear consumer sentiment was fragile as accessing credit remained difficult for potential house buyers.

"Although prices are back to 2002 levels it is clear we have not yet reached the bottom of the market," said Ms Hughes. "Other issues which will continue to adversely impact the market include the amount of unsold and vacant housing stock and the precarious financial position of some households following the December budget combined with the need to repay debt."

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