Price reports bring hope but there's still some way to go yet

Price reports bring hope but there's still some way to go yet

The property market resembles an inexperienced swimmer in many ways.

Prices are likely to go up and down in different areas

When you’re not a great swimmer and you dive into a pool the gush of water hitting you is exciting but not knowing when your feet are going to hit the bottom can be terrifying.

That’s the way the property market is for many people at present. There are plenty out there who want to make the plunge but there are even more who are worried about just where exactly the bottom lies.

No one likes the experience of struggling for breath or gasping for air and there are far too many examples of that from the recent property crash for a new wave of prospective buyers to land themselves in the same type of bother.

If the experience of the last few years has taught us anything, it is that no one wants to get stung by the property market ever again.

Having said that, life goes on and for many people, the dream of owning their own home remains constant.

Couples get married, have children and their needs change. Many people in apartments want a house, plenty of those in houses want and need bigger houses, while those waiting in the wings want to find their own ideal setting.

Property prices have taken a bashing in the last few years though, and so, many people are holding off on taking the plunge.

They want to wait until the bottom of the market is reached to get the best value for their investment.

The big question is, when will the bottom be reached or has it already?

Figures released this week from the CSO showed that house prices increased last month for the first time in five years.

While all these reports can be critiqued, a number now have shown an upturn in prices in areas of Dublin as micro markets emerge due to a combination of increased demand and a lack of supply.

That, combined with Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s reiteration that the current mortgage interest relief deal will not be renewed next year, mean that many people are now heading into the second half of 2012 wondering whether now is the right time to buy or not.

The reality is that the only right time to buy is the time that suits the individual. While the recent property price indexes have been positive for the industry, more consistent results of the same variety are needed in order for anyone to declare with any great certainty that the bottom of the market has been reached.

Prices are still falling on houses in many areas but it is certainly fair to say that the falls are moderating and some house houses are beginning to sell again for significantly above their asking price. While there is always an exception to every rule, there is good value to be had in the market at present if you find the right house in the right location.

The recent launch of’s Price Change tool has made it convenient for potential buyers to track how prices are fluctuating in their respective areas. Now, it is easier than ever before to keep track of those change with the new MyHome Price Change Twitter account.

The recent reports of an upturn in the property market are welcomed but they are also just a ripple. Many more are needed before the waves return to an industry whose success will likely coincide with the upturn in Ireland’s fortunes as well.

Let us know your thoughts on the recent reports:

[poll id=”64″] [poll id=”65″] [poll id=”66″]

There are 14 comments for this article
  1. Tony Murray at 3:41 pm

    Price is not the key issue, it’s cost. What will an ‘average’house cost (if you can define average) over 30years factoring in rising interest rates, lowering wages, water rates, household charge… The answer: probably a lot more than if you purchased the same property during the bubble on a tracker rate. So…! Sum that!
    What do you say to the crew trying to create a big cheer with sensational reporting on a posisible property surge to come!An no supporting data! They have a implicit duty of care, its enshrined! In good faith reporting is another phrase that comes to mind.

    -The new price register for property sales will offer very little – unless you can trust the source of the data!
    in my opinion the game is all paying to try favour estate agents; it’s still rolling out like a sellers market. Can you imagine!
    Should estate agents and others’ be made to disclose if they hold property under new legislation. This type of data may go someway to helps explain what determines house prices that are completly disconnected from reality.

    Also who are the cash buyers? Hmm! Should this data be available? Anyone I know?

    I’ve been in about 60 houses over the last year. Probably 2% required no work – the remainder required 40 – 100 Thousand Euros refurbishment work. They were a mess basiclly.
    Add that cost to the present asking price for a ‘city pad’, to ‘put your own stamp on it’.

    Well Now! I’ll reserve my response to that crew…!

    Comments, Corrections and Criticisms welcome

  2. Tom at 11:46 pm

    Another factor is what property tax rate will come into play in the future. When people see what their annual payment is going to be, it may give pause beyond the actual purchase price. A 400,000 Euro semi in Dublin in 2012 might look affordable; a 400,000 Euro semi at an annual tax rate of say 2% of valuation (which is around what you typically see in the US for example) in 2014 would look a heck of a lot less affordable when you’re staring at an 8,000 Euro bill every year….and once the politicians get their nose in the tent on property taxes, only 2% might be optimistic. In 1982 in Massachusetts, they had to have a referendum to limit the property taxes to 2.5% because the politicians were increasing the rate to the point of being out of control…it was all free money for them to spend as far as they were concerned….and spend they did.

  3. owen at 11:31 pm

    Yes there is shortage of finance. Also if you own a house in negative equity that is taken into account. I know of one case where a loan of 600k was approved to buy a house, but this was reduced to 200k when one of the couple had a negative equity house….its time for good old fashion banking( where the honesty of the borrower in good jobs is what counts) instead of computers telling lenders what you should get. I am fully aware of people providing the “paperwork” to satisfy the lender, and lending personal wanting to obtain the targets, with little rregard for the cusomer. “I’ve achieved my target/bonus the default is someone else’s problem”

  4. James at 5:47 pm

    As soon as the various lenders and banks differentiate the genuinely distressed mortgage defaulters from the Not distressed and capable to pay defaulters and the financial institutions start to seriously repossess in large numbers, we will then see huge reductions in your average semi as the banks try to off load.
    Average semi prices next year will be €150,000 dropping further in 2014 and even 2015. One would be mad to buy now, unless of course money is no object.

  5. Paddy at 3:11 pm

    According to what I have read in the newspaper the price increase mentioned in this article is a 0.1% increase in average price and as no supporting information is provided it is impossible to properly analyze the report or comment on it’s validity or relevance. Perhaps a number of more up-market proprieties were sold, thereby inflating the average during the period in question; perhaps there is another answer, but in such an information vacuum who can tell. In any case, 0.1% is well within the margin of error of property price reporting tools, this is a non-story.

    In contract, the interesting bit of info to escape into the public realm is that 40% of sales are cash sales, and 60% of mortgages approved by banks are not drawn-down. This blows out the water the oft-spewed theory that a lack of finance is preventing house sales. The only reason Irish houses are not selling is that they are marketed at unrealistically high prices by owners and agents stuck in the bad old days of the recent economy destroying property price boom.

  6. Richard Fleming at 2:57 pm

    we have to get back to the bonds market ,get the ball rolling again,our soverign debth will stimy massive growth which will have a knock on effect on employment and wages for a few years yet,we have a long way to go but i see confidence returning to the bonds market within the next 6 months all going well

  7. owen MacCarthy at 2:09 pm

    THe proposals announced today to deal with the property problems are flawed in at least 2 respects.
    1. The banks become the landlordsd and will benefit from the upswing in house prices, not the tenant.
    2. The arrangemennts and “whats really going on” between banks and debtors will be done in secret and unfairly as the debtor will have no clue as to what others benefit by any arrangement. The banks will plead “confidentiality” and insist on non disclosure clause. Of course the plea of confidentialty is nonsense , as the information need not be disclosed on a personal level but by in general not disclosing any individual. The banks have always acted this way. Thats why they want it to be “on a case by case basis”
    3 Why do banks charge higher interest to more risky customers ? this only makes them more risky. THe EU are doing the same thereby making the country more risky.
    4 Have German banks been stress tested ? After all as our banks owe them it should be more risky for German banks. Why does it stop just short of German banks. Who owns Moodys and other stress groups ?

  8. Rez at 1:51 pm

    While prices are obviously a lot more affordable than the bubble prices, the massive uncertainty at a macro level plus the reduced lending by Irish banks (the maximum amount banks will lend me has dropped from €360,000 two years ago to €280,000 two months ago, presumably this will drop again to 270k or 260k when I next apply), there is just too much downward pressure on prices in the short term.

  9. e.m.g at 1:44 pm

    i think the prices are still all over the place in rural areas especially, some houses are still priced at what people hope they will get, and others are priced to sell, also sale agreed prices even on the cheaper properties are 20% less again. however there seems to be more general houseing coming on the market, as opposed to probabe sales, so this shoud free up properties for people trading up or down. i think when actual property prices (ie the selling prices) start to be published then both buyers and sellers can draw their own conclusions

  10. declan de monge at 1:27 pm

    Some great value out there but problem is I won’t get a third of what I paid for mine to move onto bigger and better home,think I will have to commute forever

  11. James at 1:22 pm

    The asking prices posted on various web sites by sellers and by most all estate agents are still unrealistic and in most cases much higher than what statistics are telling us.

    The meagre increase statistics of 0.02% announced last week by CSO for May is simply a blip relating to specific areas of Dublin and does not take into account cash buyers who represent almost 40% of these sales.
    The mortgage interest relief has of course aided these statistics, temporarily only.

    I am of course anxious to buy but I continue to rent and will continue to do so until the time is right. Residential property prices have a way further to fall yet, at least another 20% to 23%
    When the mortgage interest relief is removed at the end of this year there will be further major declines in the first half of 2013. Don’t need to be an economist to figure that out.

  12. Marian Wendel at 1:10 pm

    House prices are still over the top. A 3 bed detached house/ bungalow should be around 200,000/250,000euro in stillorgan area

  13. Stephen at 12:17 pm

    The drop off from TRS is going to have an effect on the lower end of the market. It has to.

  14. Conor at 11:55 am

    its pretty simple:
    There is NO property market without available finance.

    Its not a question of property prices, its the availability and mechanisms of buyer finance. Period.

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