Property prices see fastest growth since May 2015

Residential property prices rose by 10.5% in the year to April with prices outside of Dublin again increasing at a faster pace than those in the city.

This marks the fastest pace of growth since May 2015.

Prices on a monthly basis increased by 1.1% in April from March.

The figures from the Central Statistics Office show show that residential property prices outside of Dublin rose by 13.4% in the year to April.

House prices nationwide increased by 13.4% in the 12 month period, while apartment prices outside of Dublin grew by 16.3%.

The CSO said the West region showed the greatest price growth, with house prices jumping by 17.8%, while the Midland region showed the least price growth, with house prices there increasing by 9.3%.

Meanwhile, Dublin residential property prices climbed 8.2% higher in the year to April. Dublin house prices rose 8.1% while apartment prices in the city grew by 8.6%.

The CSO noted that the highest price growth was seen in Dublin City, with a growth rate of 11.1%, while the lowest rate of growth – 2.3% – was seen in Fingal.

The average market price for a home nationwide was €247,771, today’s CSO figures show.

The average price for a home was higher in Dublin than in any other region or county, hitting €400,305.

Of the four administrative areas of Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown was the most expensive, with an average price of €563,011, while South Dublin was the least expensive, with an average price of €317,655.

After Dublin, the next most expensive region was the Mid-East, where the average price paid by households was €247,358. Within this area, Co Wicklow was most expensive, with an average price of €315,013.

The cheapest area to buy a home in the 12 months to April was the Border region, with an average price of €116,842.

The least expensive county was Co Longford in the Midland region, with an average price of €88,837.

The CSO noted that the last two month’s residential property prices are provisional and so are subject to revision.

Commenting on today’s figures, Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said the lack of supply of houses has pushed up the cost of a property and until this issue is addressed, prices will likely remain elevated – and unaffordable to many.

Mr McQuaid said the easing of mortgage lending restrictions imposed by the Central Bank combined with the tax-incentive scheme for first-time buyers announced in the October Budget will keep upward pressure on prices until new supply comes on the market.

The economist urged some radical thinking on the housing issue.

“We need to start treating houses solely as a place to live and not as an investment asset. Government policies, tax or otherwise, need to be geared towards favouring those wanting the house to live in over those who are buying purely for investment purposes,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the TASC think tank has said that housing crisis is set to worsen substantially unless the Government takes radical approaches to increase house building.

At the current rate of building, it could take over 40 years to provide permanent homes to people on Dublin City’s housing waiting list.

TASC said the Government needs to take radical approaches to increase house building, summed up in the idea of a “New Deal” programme of state-led provision of affordable rental housing through a new Irish Affordable Homes Company.