Asking prices for houses fall

ASKING prices for residential property around the country fell by an average of 3.1% during the first three months of 2011, according to the latest report published by property website Daft.ie. The national average asking price for property has fallen 43% since the peak and now stands at €210,000, while the average time to sell a property is now 9 months, the same as a year ago.

ASKING prices for residential property around the country fell by an average of 3.1% during the first three months of 2011, according to the latest report published by property website Daft.ie. The national average asking price for property has fallen 43% since the peak and now stands at €210,000, while the average time to sell a property is now 9 months, the same as a year ago.

In Dublin, asking prices fell by 4.1% during the past 3 months, while in Galway, prices fell by almost 5%. In Cork and Waterford, prices dropped by about 3%, while Limerick city saw falls of just 2% between January and April. Outside the main cities, asking prices fell by an average of 2.7%, the smallest fall in three years.

Offaly & West Leinster

In the West Leinster counties of Laois, Westmeath, Offaly and Longford, asking prices fell by 2.1% in the first three months of 2011, compared to a fall of 5.3% between September and December last year. The average asking price in Offaly in the final quarter of 2010 was €180,000, a fall of €130,000 from the peak in 2007.

Ronan Lyons, economist with Daft.ie said: “An ongoing mismatch between supply and demand is pushing prices further down. Prospective buyers find it difficult to get the finance, while owner occupiers are often restricted by negative equity. As a result, the market is moving very slowly. Of the 3,000 properties posted for sale fifteen months ago at the start of 2010, one in three is still for sale, although in Dublin the figure is closer to just one in six.”

Commenting on the report in light of the bank stress tests, Eoin Fahy, Chief Economist with Kleinwort Benson Investments, said: “The first wave of house prices falls, from 2006 until now, have been driven largely by high initial prices, unemployment and a hugely restricted supply of credit. A second wave of factors may keep downward pressure on house prices. This will be mainly due to higher interest rates, but there is also an outside risk to house prices from repossessions and even from strategic default.”

The full report is available from www.daft.ie/report and includes a commentary by Eoin Fahy, Chief Economist with Kleinwort Benson Investments.