House prices declined by 2.4% in the last quarter and by 13% overall in 2011 according to the latest figures from leading property website MyHome.ie.
The 2.4% fall in the average mix-adjusted asking price was the slowest rate of quarterly decline in two and a half years. In Dublin prices declined by 2.8% in the last quarter while the annual rate of decline in the capital was 14.7%.
The figures show house prices in Tipperary remained relatively stable in the last quarter. The price of a 3 bed semi fell by a modest 0.6% to €168K while the price of 4 bed semis remained unchanged at €175K.
Asking prices nationally are now down by 43% compared to the peak - Q3 2006 - while Dublin prices are down 50% over the same period.
Based on average mix-adjusted asking prices, the average price for a home nationally is now €236K as opposed to €241K three months ago. In Dublin the corresponding figures are €268 versus €275K.
New houses saw the smallest price fall – just 1% - with the average price of a new house now standing at €230K. The average price of a second hand home is €237K, down 2.5%.
The author of the report, Annette Hughes, Director DKM Economic Consultants said the economy remains in a fragile position and that the prospects for economic growth in 2012 remain uncertain.
‘House prices will not stabilise until we have a period of sustained economic and employment growth. Right now the ongoing debt crisis in Europe combined with less than encouraging news on the international economic front as well as the fiscal consolidation programme underway means the likelihood of an acceleration in economic growth in 2012 is questionable’ Hughes said.
The author pointed out that while many households are likely to be worse off in 2012, there was good news for first-time buyers in the December Budget. ‘Several positive measures were announced in the Budget to help the residential property market and stimulate transactions. However if they are to work the market will require a considerable improvement in the supply of mortgage credit for potential buyers during 2012. It will also require evidence of some stability in house prices over a sustained period and this remains dependent on employment growth’ Hughes said.
Angela Keegan Managing Director of MyHome.ie said the measures announced in the Budget, the prospect of lower interest rates, the very modest fall in the price of new homes, indications that credit may be more accessible this year and increasing signs of price stability in the 3 and 4 bed semi-d market were all positives which could be built on in 2012.
‘We estimate transaction prices nationally are down at levels last seen ten years ago while in Dublin they are back at 2000 levels. So affordability continues to improve all the time. There were a lot of positives in the Budget for first time buyers, particularly with regard to mortgage interest relief. A lot of the uncertainty which was out there before the Budget has been removed. Unfortunately uncertainty over the future of the Euro and economic growth remains and this continues to sap consumer confidence’ Keegan said.
Asking prices remained unchanged in Cork City in the last quarter and were down 10% for the year. The median price of a property in the city is €225K, which is the same as Galway. In Limerick the median price is €180K while its €185 in Waterford.