Property prices returned to growth in March, rising 0.2 per cent on the month after four months of decline. However, annual growth represented the lowest rate of inflation since prices began to turn around in 2013.
In the 12 months to March, residential property prices increased 3.9 per cent, down from the 4.3 per cent growth in February and significantly lower than the 12.6 per cent growth seen in the 12 months to March 2018.
Dublin prices have pulled back substantially, growing just 1.2 per cent on the year. Apartments rose by 2.5 per cent, while house prices increased by just 0.7 per cent. South Dublin saw the highest growth at 3.4 per cent, with the lowest growth in the typically more expensive area of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown at 0.4 per cent.
Excluding Dublin, prices rose 6.8 per cent in the year, indicating that while affordability limits may have been reached in the capital, that isn’t the case elsewhere. In the midwest, prices rose 11.9 per cent, while the smallest rise was in the mid-east at 1.6 per cent.
Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary said the increase in stock for sale suggested prices may remain flat over the “coming period”. Over the medium term, however, “upward pressure on prices and rents will remain”, he said.
Compared with the peak of the housing boom in 2007, prices are still 18.6 per cent lower, with Dublin off by more than 22 per cent. Since the 2013 trough, prices have risen 81.6 per cent.
The figures, released by the Central Statistics Office , are based on Revenue stamp duty returns, which have a 44-day submission deadline. The Revenue figures detail how 30.7 per cent of properties in the year to March have been bought by first-time buyers.
Households paid a median price of €250,000 in the 12 months to March, with Dublin median prices at €368,000. Within Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price, €540,000. Fingal had the lowest, €330,000.
In the rest of the country, Wicklow had the highest median price, €315,00. Longford and Leitrim tied for the lowest, at €100,000.
The figures also indicate that house deals aren’t expanding hugely in number, with just 1.2 per cent more purchases recorded in March compared to the same month in 2018.
By Eircode, A94 “Blackrock” saw the highest prices in the State with a median property price of €620,000. The least expensive Eircode in Dublin was Dublin 10 with a median of €234,000. The least expensive Eircode in the country was H23 “Clones” in Co Monaghan, where the median property price was €64,000.