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House prices are marching upwards again

Property got a bit cheaper at the start of the year – but that’s changing now.

AFTER DROPPING BACK slightly over the start of the year, house prices are on the rise again.

Residential property prices were up 0.9% across the country in March, pushing the annual increase to 16.8%.

The latest price index from the CSO, which is based on sales backed by mortgages, showed the rise was highest in the Dublin apartment market – where prices went up 2.1%.

That compared to a 1% price rise for Dublin houses and a 0.7% increase for properties outside the capital.

The March figures were the first monthly price increase since the Central Bank’s new mortgage rules – which capped the amount most buyers could borrow based on the sizes of their incomes and deposits – were unveiled in January.

The restrictions were widely tipped to put the brakes on price rises, although they were also expected to push rents up further. Average prices had fallen 1.4% in January and another 0.4% in February.

CSO2 Source: CSO

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‘Approvals hoarding’

Property agents Savills said the latest rise could be the result of “approvals hoarding” – those with loan offers in place before the Central Bank’s rules were announced buying ahead of their approvals expiring.

Head of research John McCartney said when the regulator’s plans were first flagged there was a “stampede” for loan approvals.

“With these offers generally lasting for six months, time is running out for buyers with pre-existing approvals to borrow under the old regime,” he said.

It may be that demand from these motivated buyers is behind the rebound in price growth seen in today’s figures.”

READ: A whole estate of 46 houses sold for nearly €3 million today >

READ: Thousands of homeowners are drowning in debt – this is one of their stories >

About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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