If you read the papers, the Dublin property market is slowing, but is this really the case? As with all stats, the devil is in the detail!
Recent headlines have talked about a slowing housing market in Dublin, which is often coupled with speculation and commentary linking the market to everyone’s Bete Noire, Brexit, but this is misleading.
The CSO is the main source of house price stats in the country and produces a Residential Property Price index, which compares the prices today with a baseline price ( in this case January 2005). So, if the prices are the same as they were in January 2005, the index is 100, if they are up by 10%, the price index will be 110.
The change in the index from month to month and year to year is the percentage change that people report and generates great headlines.
The reports of my demise…..
The headline figure currently is that Dublin property is down 0.3% since the same time last year, which indicates a slowing market, but many estate Agents, including Castles and Fleming Estates, are actually seeing an increase in listings and average prices, so what’s going on.
Now is the winter of our house price discontent!
As well as the 12-month trend, the CSO produces month on month and quarter on quarter data which tells a different story.
Dublin property prices have 5 or 6 months of consistent month-on-month growth on average across the Dublin area and have grown in each of the last three quarters, from a dip in prices from November to March.
The regional story
The biggest area of growth is still outside of Dublin, where the national average, excluding Dublin, is up 4.4% since last year, but month-on-month growth is slowing.
In Dublin itself, property prices are showing a 0.6% month on month growth, and whilst apartment prices are rising slightly faster at 1%, it’s not meteoric, and apartment prices still have a long way to go to recover, as prices are still only 91% of the average values in 2005.
Fingal properties are still showing strong growth with house prices 2.3% up over last year, as are south Dublin properties, with growth of just under 1% over last year.
Dun Laoghaire and Rathdown properties are not as strong, however, and prices in the region have dropped by over 6% since last year, after several years of very strong growth
The CSO lists three types of buyers, basically First Time Buyers, people changing homes (Movers) and investors. Across Dublin as a whole, First-time buyers account for just over one-third of properties sold, Movers around half, and the balance going to Investors.
First-time buyers are obviously limited by the Central bank rules and tend to favour South Dublin, Fingal or Dublin City, whereas a much higher number of movers are to be found across the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Area.
In terms of areas, Dublin City is still the most active area, as that’s where the majority of the smaller properties are.