Property prices down 1.1% in the year to May - CSO

Friday 28 June 2013 23.19
Property prices in the capital are continuing to increase with a 0.5% rise in May
Property prices in the capital are continuing to increase with a 0.5% rise in May

Continued signs of stabilisation in the property market are apparent in the latest property price index from the Central Statistics Office.

The numbers indicate residential property prices nationally fell by 1.1% in the year to May.

That compares to a fall of 15.3% in the year to May 2012.

An increase of 0.3% was recorded in the month of May itself.

The divide between Dublin and the rest of the country is still evident.

Dublin property prices were up 1.4% in the year with growth of 0.5% recorded in May alone.

The price of property in the rest of Ireland, outside of the capital, continues to fall with a decrease of 2.8% recorded in the year to May.

Prices outside of Dublin were up 0.1% in the month of May.

Commenting on today's CSO figures, Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said that the monthly rise in residential property prices was encouraging.

But he said that anecdotal evidence suggests consumer confidence regarding the housing market still remains fragile, with the ending of mortgage interest relief and lack of credit availability depressing activity.

''It is difficult to make a call on the housing market at this stage. House prices were down 11.2% on average in 2012 and indeed have fallen on average in each year since 2007. The odds point to another drop in 2013, but our gut feeling is that the decline will be in low single digits and the smallest annual decrease in the past six years,'' the economist added.

Davy economist David McNamara said that constrained mortgage lending and an increased supply of repossessed homes mean the outlook for house prices is uncertain. However he added that improved affordability and rising rents may underpin house prices in future months.