Annual house price growth cools to 1.5% in July – CSO
New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that residential property prices rose by 1.5% in the 12 months to July.
This marked the slowest annual rate of growth in almost three years and compared to a growth rate of 13.1% the same time last year.
Prices in Dublin decreased by 1.4% and prices outside Dublin rose by 3.8% in the 12 months to July, the CSO noted.
National prices were up 0.3% on a monthly basis – the second monthly increase in a row after five successive falls from January to May.
House prices in Dublin fell by 1.8% while apartment prices were up by 0.1% in the 12 months to July, the CSO said.
It noted that the highest house price growth in Dublin was in Fingal at 1.4%, while Dublin City saw a decline of 4.5%.
Outside of Dublin, house prices were up by 3.9% and apartment prices rose by 2% in July.
The region outside of Dublin with the biggest increase in house prices was the South-East – Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford – at 4.8%.
At the other end of the scale, the Border region – Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo – saw a 2.2% rise.
Today’s CSO figures show that the median price of a home in the 12 months to July was €320,000.
The lowest median price for a house was €160,000 in Longford, while the highest median price of €630,000 was seen in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.
Meanwhile, the most expensive Eircode area was A94 ‘Blackrock’ with a median price of €735,000, while F35 ‘Ballyhaunis’ had the least expensive price of €127,500.
The CSO said that a total of 4,174 home purchases at market prices were filed with Revenue in July, a decrease of 6.1% compared with the 4,443 purchases in July of last year.
The total value of transactions filed in July was €1.6 billion.
In the year to July, a total of 50,342 home purchases were filed with Revenue.
Of these, 17,222 (34.2%) were purchased by first time buyer owner-occupiers, while former owner-occupiers purchased 27,030 (53.7%). The remaining balance of 6,090 (12.1%) were acquired by non-occupiers.
Property prices nationally have increased by 128.2% from their trough in early 2013, the CSO said.
Dublin residential property prices have risen by 125.5% from their February 2012 low, while prices in the Rest of Ireland are 138.3% higher than their trough in May 2013.
Commenting on today’s CSO figures, Rachel McGovern, Director of Financial Services at Brokers Ireland, said the fact that prices are rising despite massive interest rate increases underscores the fact than home ownership has become the preserve of the better off.
“It is outside of today’s figures that the dramatic and worrying shifts in our demographics are evident,” she said, adding that recent Eurostat figures show that 68% of those aged between 25 and 29 were still living at home last year, compared with an EU average of 42%.
Ms McGovern said it looks like these figures are set to get worse rather than better – forcing young people to emigrate.
“The country’s apparent inability to build homes at affordable prices for a rapidly growing population is an indictment of public policy. In just six years our population has grown by over 387,000,” she stated.
She also said that piecemeal measures in next month’s Budget will not be sufficient.
“The extension of schemes like the Help-to-Buy and First Home shared equity scheme to second hand homes, while welcome, would not be at all sufficient. We need unprecedented measures to build more homes, more quickly and at more affordable prices,” she urged.
Brokers Ireland represents 1,225 broker firms around the country.
Meanwhile, Pat Davitt, CEO of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV) said rising interest rates are only having minimal effect so far on house prices.
“That is largely because those on average wages, who would have been the typical buyer traditionally, have already been locked out of the market,” he said.
“With the exception of the Help-to-Buy and the first Home scheme such prospective buyers have found themselves chasing an ever shifting target, from over-zealous mortgage rules initially and now high interest rates and diminishing lending competition,” he added.
Mr Davitt said it is important that next month’s Budget contains “meaningful and impactful’ measures.
“The Taoiseach acknowledged earlier this year that 250,000 new homes are needed. We need a whole suite of new measures to achieve that level of building along with tackling the major impediments, and indeed the massive tax take on new homes,” he said.