Property prices in Ireland have hit what economists are describing as rock bottom. With a 68 percent drop in prices since the boom of 2007, prices are expected to stay where they are for some years to come.

The Irish Independent writes that a report found that the average price for property in Ireland is now at $130,000, a steep decline from the nearly $410,000 in January 2007.

The new average price of $130,000 means that it requires just under 3 times the salary of a single owner to purchase a home. Again, that figure is a decline from a peak of 8.6 times income in Ireland.

The commissioners of the report have made it clear that the low prices are a result of the current mortgage lending famine.

Dermot O’Leary, the economist who conducted the report, said that the 68 percent decrease “was far greater than the 48 percent recorded by the official Central Statistics Office (CSO) property price index.”

"While it would be our contention that prices are undershooting due to lack of access to credit and a weak domestic economy, this analysis suggests that residential property, at 60 percent-plus from peak, is now transacting for prices very close to, or at, fair value," said O’Leary.

O’Leary’s report contends that the prices achieved in the Allsop auctions more accurately reflected what was really happening in the market.

O’Leary also believes that a lack of up-to-date information and statistics is having an effect on the market.

"Allied to tight credit conditions, housing oversupply and a weak domestic demand environment, the lack of transparency on sales prices in the Irish residential property market has contributed to the prolonged nature of the Irish housing market crash," he said.

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