Dublin homeowners have been warned of another dramatic fall in the value of their properties – after confirmation that their properties are now worth almost half their value at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom.
New figures from the Irish government’s Central Statistics Office show that house prices in Dublin have fallen by 49 per cent since the peak of February 2007.
The annual rate of decline for the year to July was 12.5 per cent and analysts have warned that more decreases are likely as banks refuse to lend and the government prepares to introduce a property tax.
The latest residential property price index published by the CSO shows that the annual fall in property prices increased by a half of one per cent when the year to July 2010 was compared with the year to July 2011.
The monthly fall for July 2011 was just 0.8 per cent compared with 1.3 per cent in July, 2010, and a 2.1 per cent decline in June of this year.
Residential prices in Dublin remained the same in July as June and when house prices were considered on their own, they actually rose by 0.3 per cent in July.
Dublin apartment prices dragged the aggregate down however as they fell by 1.9 per cent in value in July.
The annual drop in apartment prices in Dublin is now 13.7 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.
The latest CSO figures also show that apartment prices in Dublin have fallen by just over 54 per cent since their peak level in February 2007.
Excluding Dublin, residential property prices for the rest of Ireland have fallen by 40 per cent since the peak.
Taking January 2005 as a base line at 100 points, the CSO said prices for residential property nationally fell to 75.1 points in July this year.
For houses alone, the CSO said the index showed a drop from 105 points in January 2005 to 78.1 in July 2011.
For apartments, the CSO said the index fell from 102.1 in January 2005 to 57.6 in July 2011.
The 12 months to September 2009 still hold the record for the biggest annual fall in the residential property index of 20.5 per cent.
The rate of decline since then slowed to 11.1 per cent in the 12 months to September 2010 but the annual rate then rose steadily to 12.5 in July.
Dublin’s greatest fall in the ‘all residential properties’ index came in the 12 months to June 2009 when it was recorded at 26.6 per cent.
The CSO report states that the index is: “Mix-adjusted to allow for the fact that different types of property are sold in different periods. In order to smooth out short-term volatility the index is based on a three-month rolling average.”
Commenting on the new figures, Alan McQuaid, chief economist with Bloxham Stockbrokers, offered little hope for optimism as regards the Irish property market.
He told the Irish Times that: “Given weak labor market conditions and the continuing lack of available bank credit, it is hard to be optimistic on the prospects for the property market in the immediate future.”
McQuaid was more optimistic about a rise in property values in the medium term.
He added: “The bottom line is that the property market remains very ‘soft’ at the moment, and is likely to remain that way for some months to come.
“But looking further ahead, we think house prices should increase on a five-year view as the labor market improves.
“That said, the level of any rise over the next few years is only likely to be in low single digits as banks adopt a more cautious stance to lending than in the Celtic Tiger era, interest rates return to ‘normal’ and the introduction of a property tax for ‘principal’ homes of residence all weigh negatively on the market.”
The full CSO report on the Irish property market is available on www.cso.ie