House prices in Dublin rise 2.1%
The housing market in Dublin is showing increased signs of being on a faster path to recovery than the rest of the country.
Prices for homes in the capital were up 2.1% in the year to the end of January, but on average the rest of Ireland saw a fall of 7%.
According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the value of a Dublin home has collapsed 54% to 199,000 euro since the boom ended in spring 2007.
Industry experts suggested that the rush to buy property late last year under a temporary mortgage interest relief scheme and low levels of housing stock combined to see prices surge.
Marian Finnegan, chief economist with Sherry Fitzgerald estate agents, said there are not enough houses for sale to meet demand.
"The overall market has benefited from more than just a rush to buy," she said. "The CSO figures are closely matching ours, and should really be lagging them. But the trend we are seeing in the Dublin market and levels of price inflation, I would say, will remain positive in the first quarter of this year."
The CSO's property price register put the national market down 0.6% in January but that does not detail the different markets in Dublin, the rest of the country and pockets of demand in Cork and Galway cities where stock levels are also low. There is reportedly just 1.3% of the private housing stock for sale in Dublin and nationally the figure is 2.9%.
The national fall recorded for January was the largest single monthly drop since June of last year and took the drop over the previous 12 months to 3.3%. But this was heavily influenced by the continued lack of demand for homes outside the main cities.
Davy stockbrokers suggested lack of supply may be pushing up prices in the capital.
But the company also said: "However, the reality is that cash buyers account for close to half of the current market, an unsustainable position, as mortgage lending remains at exceptionally low levels. The index remains an unreliable estimate of prices until such time as cash transactions are included."