Apart from the employment data for the final quarter of last year, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) will also this morning release the residential property price index for January. In the year to December, residential property prices (houses and apartments combined) at a national level rose by 6.4%, the seventh annual increase in a row. Furthermore, it was up from the year-on-year rise of 5.6% posted in November.
Residential property prices were up 0.3% in the month in December, the ninth increase in a row, but the lowest rise since May. Dublin house prices were up 0.1% in the month and 15.3% in the year, the twelfth consecutive annual rise. The price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland (i.e. excluding Dublin) was also up 0.1% in the month, but was down 0.4% on an annual basis, showing that the recovery in the housing market is being mainly driven by developments in the capital.
Dublin apartment prices were 20.8% higher compared with the same month in 2012. However, the CSO points out that the sub-indices for apartments are based on low volumes of observed transactions and consequently suffer from greater volatility than other series.
Despite the pick-up in activity in recent months, house prices in Dublin are still 47.4% lower than at their peak in early 2007, while apartments in the capital are 54.5% down on where they were in February seven years ago. Combined, residential property prices in Dublin are currently 49.1% below their peak, while the overall national index is 46.4% lower.
<b><i>Residential property prices are forecast to be 0.3% higher month-on-month in January, giving an annual rate of increase of 7.3%.
<p><h5>Alan McQuaid</h5>

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