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Property prices in Dublin city decrease but rise across the country

People struggling to get mortgages and concerns about Brexit are affecting the market.

PROPERTY PRICES IN Dublin city have decreased by an average of €7,500 in the first three months of the year, according to new figures. 

The price of a three-bedroom semi-detached house in the city has fallen by 1.7% since the end of December, eliminating the average €7,000 in value that had been added to prices throughout 2018.

The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the sale price of Ireland’s typical stock home, a three-bed semi-detached house, and examines the second-hand property market in towns and cities nationwide to the end of last week.

The average price of such a house in the capital’s postcode districts now stands at €437,500.

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The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €235,898, a fall of 0.16% on the Q4 2018 figure of €236,287.

Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 2.9% over the past year – a decrease on the 4.6% recorded to December. There was a 9.1% overall annual rise to the end of Q1 in 2018.

Prices also fell slightly by 0.3% in the commuter counties in the last three months, which experienced an annual rise of 2.7%, with the average house now selling for €248,750.

While there were rises in Kildare (up 1.1% to €276,500), prices fell in Wicklow (down 0.7% to €289,000) and Louth (down 3.6% to €202,500).

Prices were static in the country’s major cities outside Dublin with agents in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford all reporting no price movements in the opening quarter, but an annual increase of 3.6% to €252,500.

The highest annual increases (6.3%) were once again seen in the rest of the country’s towns which rose in selling price by an average of €9,400 in the past year and 1.1% in the past three months to €159,433.

Difficulties in obtaining a mortgage 

The time taken to reach sale agreed in Dublin is now eight weeks – double that of a year ago. REA spokesperson Barry McDonald said this “reflects the difficulties that people are experiencing in obtaining a mortgage”. 

“We are seeing an appreciable drop in people attaining mortgage approval – particularly for properties above €350,000 – which is creating a ceiling that is stifling the market.

There are essentially two markets – people who have to buy and people who can choose to move.

McDonald said the first set of buyers are purchasing properties under €350,000, but the latter are “either cautious about values and interest rates post-Brexit and are adopting a wait-and-see approach, or cannot secure mortgage approval”.

“There is also no doubt that Brexit is causing uncertainty in the higher end of the market,” he added. 

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