Housing market

The most recent figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show a jump of 7.6% in property prices for the year to the end of January. This compares with an increase of 15.5% in the 12 months to January 2015.

Residential property prices fell by 0.5% last month compared to an increase of 0.5% in December and a decrease of 1.4% recorded in January of last year. In Dublin, house prices were down 1.1% in January but 3.2% higher on a yearly analysis. House prices in the capital rose on an annual basis for 37 months running. Dublin apartment prices were 4.8% higher when compared with the same month of 2015.

However, the CSO said the data was based on low volumes of observed transactions and consequently suffer from greater volatility. Residential property prices outside Dublin are up 0.1% on a monthly basis. Overall, residential property prices are still down 33.8% from the height of the boom in 2007. Commentators will say that a lack of supply of houses had clearly pushed up prices, particularly in the Dublin area in the past three years but that this shortage should ease in the next year or two.

The pick-up in planning permissions, albeit from historically low levels, should also help to dampen house prices over the next year or two. It is understood that one of the major difficulties the I D A has experienced in attracting new foreign direct investment into the country is the continual rise in  commercial and residential property values

Meanwhile, new figures from the Banking & Payments Federation of Ireland show that the average number of mortgage approvals fell by over 10% to 2,133 between November of last year and last month. On a yearly basis to January, mortgage approvals fell by 15%.

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