Irish property prices continue to fall

Updated: 2012-01-04 09:43


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DUBLIN - Property prices in Ireland continued to fall in the last quarter of 2011, Irish property websites and said on Tuesday.

MyHome said house prices declined by 2.4 percent in the last quarter, while Daft reported asking prices for residential property around the country fell by an average of 7.7 percent between September and December of 2011.

Daft reported an annual decline rate of 18 percent and MyHome said prices fell 13 percent annually.

Asking prices nationally are down by 43 percent compared to the peak in the third quarter of 2006, while Dublin prices fell by 50 percent over the same period, according to MyHome.

Annette Hughes, author of the MyHome report and director DKM Economic Consultants, said the Irish economy remains in a fragile position and prospects for economic growth in 2012 remain uncertain.

"House prices will not stabilize until we have a period of sustained economic growth and employment growth," Hughes said. "Right now the ongoing debt crisis in Europe, combined with less than encouraging news on the international economic front, as well as the fiscal consolidation program underway, means the chances of sustained economic growth in 2012 are questionable."

Daft said the average asking price in Ireland is now just over 175,000 euros ($227,745), 52 percent below the 2007 peak of 366,000 euros.

Commenting on the report, Ronan Lyons, economist with, said looking ahead to 2012, confidence and finance were central.

"It is vital to remember that recovery in the property market does not mean an increase in prices. It means an increase in transactions. This is ultimately down to the banks, who will not resume lending until the Government's stress tests stop punishing them for doing so," he said.

The Irish government in December last year introduced a range of measures in the 2012 budget to encourage people to buy property and stimulate the struggling market. (1 euro=1.3 US dollars)