House prices appear to be stabilising in Kilkenny with the median asking price of a 3 bed semi-detached home in the county increasing slightly by 0.3% in the first three months of the year to €139,475, according to the latest survey from property website MyHome.ie.
This was the first increase in prices recorded in the county since late 2008. Meanwhile, there was a marginal fall in the median asking price of 4 bed semi-detached homes in Kilkenny as they fell by €2,000 to €167,000 – a decrease of 1.2%.
The rate of decline in property prices nationally has continued to moderate with prices falling by 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013. This compares with a fall of 3% in the previous quarter.
According to the latest house price survey from MyHome.ie the annual rate of decline in the year to Q1 2013 was 9.8%, the lowest annual rate of decline in five years.
For the first time since the property crash in 2006, Dublin prices have remained unchanged for the second quarter in a row. The annual rate of decline in Dublin was 4.8% in the quarter, down from 12% in Q4 2012.
The figures show that the mix adjusted average house price nationally now stands at €197K down 52% from the peak of the market. In Dublin the corresponding figure is €236K, down 56% from peak.
The author of the report Annette Hughes, from DKM Economic Consultants said the new survey indicated that prices are stabilising in Dublin.
“At 4.8% the annual rate of decline in Dublin is about half the national rate. Overall asking prices in Dublin have been reasonably stable over the last year and this may indicate that they are now levelling off. Nationally prices are continuing to fall, but the annual rate is under 10% for the first time since 2008, and this is also a positive development.
Immediate issues impacting the market include the increasing demands on disposable incomes – the property tax for example - and access to mortgage finance. Progress on addressing the mortgage arrears challenge over the coming months may lead to an increase in the number of properties coming to the market which may depress property prices further in the short term. This development together with a difficult budget later in the year would suggest property prices are likely to remain volatile through 2013.” Hughes said.
Angela Keegan, Managing Director of MyHome.ie said that while improved affordability was welcome for consumers, access to mortgage finance while improving remains an issue.
“We want to see a normally functioning property market and hopefully the improved affordability and stabilisation of prices in Dublin and some other areas will persuade buyers and sellers that the time is right to act.
The focus is often on buyers but given that stock levels in Dublin are down 41% year on year it is also clear we need to look at the supply side of the equation. If this situation persists it’s possible we could see falsely inflated prices in some areas in the short term due to the demand/supply imbalance” Ms Keegan said.
Turning to the local property tax issue which is top of mind for everyone at the moment Ms Keegan pointed out that asking prices are an important indicator of the property market and that is why MyHome included it as a factor in its Property Tax Estimator which is available on the website.