Property prices see slowest growth in six years – CSO

Dublin residential property prices fell for the third month in a row in the year to September, the latest Central Statistics Office figures show today.

Dublin residential property prices decreased by 1.3% in the year to September, with house prices falling by 1.5% and apartments slowing by 0.2%. 

The CSO noted that the highest house price growth in Dublin was in Fingal at 1.5%, while Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown saw a decline of 6.8%.

Dublin property prices had slowed for the first time since 2012 in July.

Meanwhile, residential property prices in the rest of the country rose by 3.6% in the year to September, with house prices increasing by 3.4% and apartments by 4.8%. 

According to the CSO, the region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the Border with growth of 11.8%, while the smallest rise was recorded in the Mid-East at 0.2%.

Overall residential property prices increased by 1.1% nationally in the year to September – the slowest rate of growth in over six years. 

The CSO said this compares with an increase of 2% in the year to August and an increase of 8.5% the same time last year. 

Today’s CSO figures also show that households paid a median price of €255,000 for a home on the property market in the 12 months to September. 

Dublin was the county with the highest median price at €368,000. Within Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price of €527,000, while Fingal had the lowest at €340,000. 

The CSO said the highest median prices outside Dublin were seen in Wicklow with prices of €323,500 and Kildare on €304,999, while the lowest price stood at €106,250 in Leitrim.

It also said that a total of 45,192 household dwelling purchases were filed with Revenue in the year to September. 

Of these, 31.4% were purchases by first-time buyer owner-occupiers, while former owner-occupiers purchased 52.7%. The remaining were bought by non-occupiers.

Revenue data shows that there were 1,325 first-time buyer purchases in September 2019, an increase of 15% on last year. 

These buys consisted of 386 new homes and 939 existing homes.

Separate figures from the CSO today show a 22% increase in the number of new dwellings built in the three months to September. 

60% of all new dwellings were completed in Dublin or the Mid East and the CSO said the Eircode with the most new dwellings was Naas. 

Meanwhile, a total of 1,538 bed spaces were completed in the student accommodation sector in the third quarter.

Residential property prices had shot up from 2013 to 2018 following a property crash just over a decade ago that meant just 4,500 homes were built in 2013 despite the fact that a sharp economic recovery had begun to take hold. 

Prices have risen at more sustainable levels this year due to mortgage lending limits, which put a lid on double digit percentage rises, and as supply started to catch up. 

“In previous cycles, we’ve had rampant house price inflation and rampant supply together whereas this time around you have sedate, stable house price inflation but you’re still seeing the supply response come,” Davy Stockbrokers chief economist Conall MacCoille said. 

“Part of that is because home building is just still at a very, very low level. We’re still building the lowest level of homes since the early 1990s when the population was 3.8 million and now it’s 4.9 million,” Conall MacCoille said. 

Data this week also showed housing starts across the country were up 33% in the last year, which Mr MacCoille said should translate into over 25,000 new homes in 2020. 

That is still below the 35,000 analysts estimate are needed every year to meet demand and Central Bank Deputy Governor Sharon Donnery warned on Wednesday that supply was not rising fast enough, noting that for every 12 new jobs created in Dublin over the past five years, just one new dwelling has been built.

While house prices are 16.9% below the unsustainable 2007 peak, rents have long overshot that mark. 

At more than 40% above the previous peak in Dublin, sky-high rents highlight the major affordability problem in the market and difficulties prospective buyers face in saving a deposit to buy a home.

With the number of homes available to rent also beginning to rise, annual rent inflation has slowed to 5.2% from 12% in mid-2018, property website said this week.

“It’s going to take a couple of years of supply before affordability is dealt with,” Conall MacCoille said.

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