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Ireland’s property market may finally be stabilizing after a sustained three year crash according to two new internet surveys.
Both surveys indicate a crash of up to 43 per cent in prices since the height of the Celtic Tiger induced boom in the Irish property market.
But there is also clear evidence now that the rate of decline is starting to ease, prompting speculation that the worst could be over for beleaguered homeowners trying to sell their properties.
The Daft.ie survey of asking prices reveals that, year on year, prices are down 3.1 per cent in the first three months of 2011, the second smallest decline in a three month cycle since the property crash in 2008.
The Myhome.ie survey indicates that Dublin prices fell 15 per cent in 2010 but this was the lowest annual fall for prices in the City in over three years.
Eoin Fahy, an economist with Kleinworth Benson Investors, believes the latest results could indicate that prices are bottoming out.
He told the Irish Independent: “The latest Daft survey shows that the fall in prices may be beginning to slow.”
The average asking price for a house in Ireland now stands at €210,000, down 43 per cent since the peak while properties are now taking an average nine months to sell.
Dublin prices fell by 4.1 per cent in the last three months according to myhome.ie while Galway prices fell by 5 per cent in the same period.
Cork and Waterford both experienced price drops of 3 per cent while house prices in Limerick fell just 2 per cent between January and April.
Rural prices fell by 2.7 per cent over the three months, the smallest fall in three years.
A hike in European Central Bank interest rates, likely to be introduced on Thursday, could hit the property market just when there are signs of a recovery.
Anne Hughes, an economist with DKM Economic Consultants who carried out the Myhome.ie survey, warned of more potential falls on weak employment figures, falls in income and increases in the cost of living.
“The moderating pace of price decline in Dublin is to be welcomed, as is the fact that affordability continues to improve,” said Hughes.