Property prices in Dublin city have decreased by an average of €7,500 in the first three months of the year as mortgage finance rules bite, the Q1 REA Average House Price Index has found.
The price of a three-bed semi-detached house in Dublin city has fallen by -1.7% since the end of December, wiping out the average €7,000 gains in value experienced throughout 2018.
The price of the average three-bed semi-detached house in the capital’s postcode districts now stands at €437,500.
“Time taken to reach sale agreed in Dublin is now eight weeks – double that of a year ago –and reflects the difficulties that people are experiencing in obtaining a mortgage,” said REA spokesperson Barry McDonald.
“We are seeing an appreciable drop in people attaining mortgage approval – particularly for properties above €350,000 – which is creating a ceiling that is stifling the market.
“There are essentially two markets – people who have to buy and people who can choose to move.
“The first set of buyers are purchasing properties under €350,000, but the latter are either cautious about values and interest rates post-Brexit and are adopting a wait-and-see approach, or cannot secure mortgage approval.
“There is also no doubt that Brexit is causing uncertainty in the higher end of the market."
“Our agents also report that buyers have been less location specific and more driven by price in Dublin and surrounding areas in the first quarter.”
The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide to the close of last week.
The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €235,898, the Q1 REA Average House Price Survey has found – a fall of -0.16% on the Q4 2018 figure of €236,287.
Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 2.9% over the past year – a decrease on the 4.6% recorded to December and indicating that the market is continuing to steady after a 9.1% overall annual rise to the end of Q1 in 2018.
Prices also fell slightly by -0.3% in the commuter counties in the last three months – an annual rise of 2.7% – with the average house now selling for €248,750.
While there were rises in Kildare (1.1% to €276,500), prices fell in Wicklow (-0.7% to €289,000) and Louth (-3.6% to €202,500).
Prices were static in the country’s major cities outside Dublin with agents in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford all reporting no price movements in the opening quarter, but an annual increase of 3.6% to €252,500.
The highest annual increases (6.3%) were once again seen in the rest of the country’s towns which rose in selling price by an average of €9,400 in the past year and 1.1% in the past three months to €159,433.