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Property prices still falling, amid some signs of recovery

The latest CSO stats show a year-on-year decrease, but figures for April alone show a slight rise.

Image: Photocall Ireland

PROPERTY PRICES ARE are continuing to fall, but at a slower rate than recent years.

There was a 1.2 per cent decrease nationally in the year to April, according to the latest Residential Property Price Index. That compares with a decline of 16.4 per cent in the previous 12 month period.

Sales recorded in April show there was an average price increase of 0.8 per cent for the month, compared to a fall of just over 1 per cent in April of last year.

April figures for Dublin show homes in the capital were changing hands for 1 per cent more than the same month in 2012.

There was, however, a 2.9 per cent decrease in the value of Dublin apartments compared to a year ago – although the Central Statistics Office is stressing that as there’s a comparatively low number of apartments on the market, the sector is prone to some volatility.

The price of residential properties in the rest of the country grew by 1.2 per cent in April, compared with a decline of 2 per cent in April last year.

Reacting to the figures, David McNamara of Davy Stockbrokers said the expiry of mortgage interest relief at the end of 2012 had depressed the market in the first quarter of the year.

New mortgage lending declined a massive 24.2 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter. This might help explain the sharp dip in prices at the start of the year, following the stabilisation at the end of 2012.

He said the latest statistics showed some semblance of normality may have returned to the sector, as the mortgage market slowly recovers.

Since the peak of the housing boom in early 2007, there’s been a 56 per cent decline in the price of properties in Dublin, and a drop of 48 per cent in the rest of the country.

Photos: Most expensive house in America up for sale priced €145 million >

Read: Revenue has spent €67,000 on the property tax helpline >

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