House prices nationally fell by 0.5 per cent in December and 4.5 per cent in 2012 according to the latest official figures which were published this morning.
The data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) does show that the rate of decline year on year has slowed significantly. There was an annual rate of decline of 5.7 per cent in November and an annual drop of 16.7 per cent in the year to the end of December 2011.
While some positives can be drawn from that, December’s decline is in contrast with an increase of 1.1 per cent which the CSO recorded in November.
In Dublin residential property prices, including both apartments and houses, fell by 1.3 per cent in December and were 2.5 per cent lower than a year ago.
The price of residential properties excluding Dublin was unchanged in December compared with a decline of 1.1 per cent in December 2011. Prices were 6.1 per cent lower than in December 2011.
According to the CSO, house prices in Dublin are now 54 per cent lower than at their highest level in early 2007 while apartments in the capital are 62 per cent lower than they were in February 2007.
The CSO said the fall in the price of residential properties outside of Dublin was somewhat lower at 47 per cent.
Overall, the national index is 50% lower than its highest level in 2007.
Gerard O’Toole- Director of Tuohy O’Toole commented “that the latest CSO figures are fairly reflective of the regional markets last year. We saw more activity, but with a lack of consumer confidence aligned to poor access to mortgage finance meant that prices remained under pressure. However, the rate of decline has changed sharply and we expect to see gradual stability in pricing through the second half of 2013. My only slight concern is the weight of distressed properties that will inevitably come to the market this year that could exert yet farther pressure on a fragile market”.