Wednesday, January 08, 2020

HOUSE prices in Kildare in the final quarter of 2019 were 1% lower than a year previously, according to the latest House Price Report. The average house price in the county is now €260,000 – 66% above its lowest point.

Drilling down into their latest figures for the Lilywhite county, average asking prices have dropped virtually across the board. A one-bed apartment, for example, had an average asking price of €107,000 in Q4 2019 (annual change of -5.2%), a two-bed terraced house was €141,000 (-6.4%), while a three-bed semi detached was €195,000 (-2.8%).

The average asking price for a four-bed bungalow dropped by 1.6% to €382,000 though there was a slight (0.1%) rise when it came to five bed detached homes with a figure of €406,000.

Overall, Irish housing prices fell by 1.2% during 2019, the report notes, the first calendar year recording a fall in prices since 2012. The average price nationwide in the final quarter of last year was €250,766.

A review of the decade noted that it began with rapidly falling prices and ended with gently falling ones, with a sale price boom lasting for six years (national average).

“In the first and final quarters of the 2010s, sale prices were falling – but that is where the similarities end. Over the last ten years, the sales segment of Ireland’s housing market has transformed, albeit slowly,” said Ronan Lyons, an economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the report.

“As it enters the 2020s, there appears to be relatively good balance between the pipeline of newly built owner-occupied housing and the number of households able to buy that housing, given constraints such as the mortgage rules. Where falling prices represent the ability of developers to build new homes for less, this fall is good for the country’s competitiveness.”

Mr Lyons did warn that, just because the sales segment is “by and large in balance” it doesn’t mean that the country’s housing system is healthy. He noted that huge issues remain with the other segments of the system – including private rental and social housing – and that there is a “huge mismatch” between the existing housing stock and housing needs.

“A huge mismatch exists between the existing stock of housing, which is predominantly for households of three or more persons, and the country’s housing needs, with one and two person households not only the majority of households already but also accounting for the overwhelming majority of new households the country will add over coming decades,” he explained. “This is what policymakers need to focus on in the coming decade.”

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By Conor Forrest
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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