Irish house prices rise for first quarter in six years, as IMF gets residential property price transparency
Since the peak of the market six years ago, Irish residential property has lost two-thirds of its average value.
But the latest data offered a glimmer of hope as Dublin house prices enjoyed their first quarterly increase in six years.
The estate agency DNG says there are signs of price stabilisation, as average price are now less than 1% lower than they were at start of year.
Dublin house prices rose by an average of 3.1% in the past three months.
“Whilst it still remains too early to call the absolute bottom of the market for all property types in all areas of Dublin, the latest results add further weight to the argument that the market in 2012 has proved flat in terms of price movement at the very worst and in some cases prices have moved away from their low point, at least for the time being,” DNG boss Keith Lowe was reported as saying.
The news coincides with a new register of every house and apartment sale price over the past two years. The International Monetary Fund had demanded the new register be put in place to make the market more transparent.
Prepared by the Property Services Regulatory Authority, it's been hailed as a key step in instilling confidence in the property market, according to Charlie Weston, the personal finance editor at the Irish Independent.
The website www.propertypriceregister.ie has prices for some 50,000-plus properties, which total €11.9 billion, according to the register.
The register details the decline and apparent stabilisation in the market over the last three years.
The number of transactions declined sharply from nearly 21,000 in 2010 to less than 18,000 a year later.
Just over 14,000 deals have been done to September 21 this year.
The value of the transactions has dropped dramatically over the same period.
In 2010, €5.2 billion changed hands, but up to a fortnight ago, this year's sales were worth only €2.8 billion.
Housing economist Ronan Lyons said the website meant buyers and sellers would now have confidence about pricing.
"If you are buying you will no longer fear that you are paying twice what next door sold for a few months ago," he said.
Up to now the data produced by the Central Statistics Office and other indices, such as those produced by Daft.ie and MyHome.ie, did not keep the market truly informed.
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The current policy solves a short-term problem by creating jobs in the building sector, but in the long run it is likely to place young first home buyers under financial pressure.