Residential property prices in Ireland have increased for the first month in five years, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show.
Prices increased 0.2% in May, their first month on month rise since September 2007. But they are still falling on an annual basis, down 15.3% in the year to May. This compares with an annual rate of decline of 16.4% in April and a decline of 12.2% recorded in the twelve months to May 2011
But the rate of decline is easing and experts believes there are now signs that the market, which has declined by up to 50% since the global economic downturn of 2008, is moving towards recovery. Prices fell 0.9% in the three months to May, down from 5.7% in the three months to February.
In Dublin residential property prices rose by 0.2% in May but were 17.5% lower than a year ago. Dublin house prices increased by 0.5% in the month but were 17.7% lower compared to a year earlier while apartment prices were 16.3% lower when compared with the same month of 2011.
The price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland rose by 0.1% in May compared with a decline of 2.1% in May last year. Prices were 14.2% lower than in May 2011.
House prices in Dublin are 55% lower than at their highest level in early 2007. Apartments in Dublin are 61% lower than they were in February 2007. Residential property prices in Dublin are now 57% lower than at their highest level in February 2007.
The fall in the price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland is somewhat lower at 47%. Overall, the national index is 50% lower than its highest level in 2007.
‘It remains to be seen if it is the market taking a break or if it is the end of price falls. It would be a surprise if it was as simple as this,’ said Ronan Lyons, an economist with property website Daft.
Daft estimates that price to income and price to rent ratios in Dublin would suggest that property prices are no longer overvalued, but the situation is less clear in other parts of the country.