Data just released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that Irish residential property prices fell by 4.5% in the year to December. This is the slowest pace of decline on a year-on-year basis since May 2008. December saw national residential prices fall 0.5% m/m, however, it is worth bearing in mind that m/m gains have been recorded in 4 of the past 6 months (and prices were +1.5% in H2).
In terms of regional performances, Dublin prices were -2.5% y/y in December, the slowest pace of decline in property prices in the capital since December 2007. Within this we see that Dublin house prices were -1.7% y/y while apartments were -10.9% y/y. Outside of the capital prices fell 6.1% y/y in December.
Overall, following four consecutive years of double-digit price falls in the Irish housing market, recent CSO data illustrate that the pace of decline began to be arrested during 2012. Elsewhere, data recorded by the PRSA show a significant increase in transactions volumes during the first 11 months of 2012 (national +31% y/y, Dublin +44% y/y) as an element of confidence has returned to the market. In saying this, as with today’s CSO release, we see divergences across the country where the outlook is concerned, with the prospects for the Dublin market continuing to look more attractive than for rural areas, where oversupply remains a concern.