Financial expert Professor Brian Lucey has warned that the average price of real estate in Ireland is set to decline for another 18 months.

While other parts of the US, Europe and the world confidently emerge out of the recession, Ireland firmly dips into a depression.

Lucey estimates that the average house price wills half from their peak of over $400,00 in 2007.

Lucey has called for a property price index that will reflect real time or monthly prices of the average house.

This, he says, may help to reduce deflation and negative equity.

Lucey firmly believes that the deepening of negative equity will hamper Ireland's economic growth.

The fact is that house prices will never return to their peak prices. The property bubble is what got Ireland into a $30 billion, banking bailout mess. is Ireland's leading real estate website, the site estimates that only 5% of the stock of house available since the middle of last year have been sold.

Frankly most people think that these houses will ever be sold. The fact is that many of the empty houses were approved by corrupt planning officials and built by cowboy developers.

Unfortunately many houses may have to be pulled down, although some groups have called on local county councils to fill the empty housing estates with the homeless and disadvantaged.

Opposition politician, Fine Gaels Kieran O'Donnell criticized the Minister of Finance Brian Lenihan for announcing that property prices had reached rock bottom.

"The reality is that thousands of people are already stuck in negative equity because of the property bubble stoked by Fianna Fail. Many have lost their job and now face losing their home.

"This is a truly disastrous situation.

"For Minister Lenihan to be encouraging more young people to enter the housing market at such a risky time is downright irresponsible." said O'Donnell.