The future of property prices: Are we at the bottom?

The future of property prices: Are we at the bottom?

The future of property prices: Are we at the bottom?

In the recent Autumn Property Survey participants were asked to give their view on the future direction of price movements in the residential market over the next twelve months.

  • 13% expected prices to increase slightly
  • 18% of respondents expected prices to remain static at current levels
  • 25% expected prices to fall by between 1% to 5% …
  • 23% expected prices to fall moderately, between 5% and 10%.
  • 14% expected prices to fall significantly from current levels (10% to 15%)
  • 7% expected prices to fall by 15% or more.

Therefore almost one third believe that prices are now at their lowest levels and almost half of all those surveyed expect prices to decline by less than 10%.

Does this mean that we are now at or are very close to the bottom of the market in some segments? Or are the opinions expressed more “hope” than belief? What does it say about when is the “right time” to purchase? Is there a belief that the establishment of NAMA will put a floor to the market in the year ahead?

Have your say:

  • Should people now be seriously looking at the bargains that are evident in the market? or
  • Should people wait for more certainty to emerge before starting their search?

If they wait for visible signs of certainty does that mean they have “missed the boat” in terms of buying at the bottom?

There are 41 comments for this article
  1. James at 12:02 am

    Being a Home Owner,and not a House Hunter I have an acceptable bottom at which my property can be. House Hunters need to realise,that Property may well be overpriced in their mind, but many home owners have large mortgages and will not be able to reduce to a price that will be acceptable in the mind the house hunter. I think that there is going to be a complete shift in attitudes to property ownership, where they will opt out and do nothing and the house price will remain inflated due to what the home owners can afford to sell at. I can see there will be a generation that will rent rather than buy. However, there will be a time, when the housing market will pick up, but I do not see the prices reducing lower than where they are at at the moment. I feel home owners have suffered enough.

  2. Finbarr O’Meara at 12:54 pm

    I see conflicting reports as to the rate of property price decline from different sources every day. website ascertains that property prices have fallen by close to 11% as of the third quarter of this year (year on year decline). Other reports state that the year-on-year decline is around 7.9%.
    It is difficult to get a clear picture of the true nature of the decline when the figures available to the “person on the street” are so conflicting. I do not see how given the current bleak economic outlook, with banks reluctant to finance buyers, that house prices can go any way but down. There are 15 Billion reasons to support my argument according to the proposed savings the government intend to make over the next four years. My outlook is defined as follows: house prices will continue to fall until stability is returned to the exchequer; hopefully in four years time.
    In case you have doubts, here is a sensible argument explained in simplistic terms.
    1. Less money in people’s pockets means less money saved and less money available to service expensive mortgage loans.
    2. More taxes on incomes means less money in people’s pockets.
    3. Less spending means more taxes necessary to service government debt; even less money in people’s pockets; even less money to service mortgage repayments.
    4. More properties on the market. I predict the figure for Dublin alone to jump to 7,000 by February of next year.
    5. More properties on the market, house prices drop further.


  3. Gerry at 2:40 pm

    There will be more falls in 3 bed semis etc over the coming two years.

    The savings made paying rent and suffering higher rates are questionable.

    To buy a home now that you get 50% off boom time “value” that you will live in for at least 10 years is no mistake. These are the homes people want to end up in and sitting on their own will never loose value like the average semi detatched.

    The most interesting aforementioned issue is the issue of all those feckers who have 100k deposits sitting in their accounts. I must know 15 couples (FTB’s) waiting to buy soon who average the 100,000 deposit.

    What impact will these type of folks have???????

  4. Daniel Duggan at 11:36 pm

    ‘To buy or not to buy, that is the question’. It is the first time I have started a comment on this property site by paraphrasing Shakespeare but it gets us to the nucleus of the issue without wasting words on any other considerations.

    So you want sound property advice, should you buy or not; where is this to be found? Who do you ask for an opinion? Whose opinion is trustworthy or even remotely accurate? The most quoted opinions are those of property industry experts such as Aine Myler president of the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute and Michael Grehan Managing Director of Sherry FitzGerald who were extensively quoted in an article in an Irish Times special report titled “Personal Savings and Investment” dated Friday, February 19th 2010.

    Incredibly, Grehan and Myler reached a unanimous conclusion, which was; that you should buy a house now! To propose that these opinions were influenced by even a scrap of self-interest is naturally preposterous; never would an Irish property professional stoop so low as to entice an unsuspecting, trusting, naïve home buyer into over-investing in a pile of brick.

    So Jay, that is the collective opinion of our property experts, you should buy NOW. In fact this opinion is so sound, so honourable, it has never changed. Through the valleys of economic depression and emigration to the peaks of fraudulently bid-up property boom rip-offs and back down it has never, not even once, not been the right time to buy. The opinion of anyone who earns his living from the sale of property is absolutely worthless, as valuable as a turkey’s opinion on Christmas or Christian Brother’s opinion on child protection.

    Ask these people their opinion of our chances in the four nations, the weather, the best place to take your summer holiday, but never, never ask the “should I buy now” question of someone who earns their daily crust from the commission you pay when buying a house.

    As for the value of my opinion, you judge; I have over the years been a house owner, a landlord and a tenant. All three circumstances have pros and cons.

    Owner pros
    • Pride of ownership – It is nice to be able to say ”this is my house”.
    • You can improve the house to suit your requirements
    • Can be used as collateral should you need to borrow and a mortgage is the cheapest money

    • It is a fixed asset that can not be moved as with cash in the bank
    • A big lump of your cash is no longer available to take advantage of a life’s cash only bargains
    • Maintenance will average out at minimum 1% of the property value each year
    • Expensive to buy (9% stamp duty) and sell (?% agent’s commission)
    • House hunting, buying, extending, decorating, re-selling is fun the first one or two times but it rapidly becomes an expensive and time consuming pain in the arse.
    • Should knackers move in next door, you have no hope of selling your house at former market value, you are stuck in hell.
    • If you have a big mortgage, lose your job and can’t find another in the same area you have a problem. In today’s economic climate this is a critical issue as the forced sale of a house at a substantial loss could devastate your financial health for many years to come. In these difficult times just one mistake and you may be in deep trouble.

    Even in good times there are quite a few cons to consider, house buying is not for everyone all the time. Today we have the added cons of job insecurity, difficulty in finding a replacement job, rent being lower than mortgage repayments, a dam of NAMA property that is about to burst on to the market and a property sector cunningly trying every trick in the book to maintain house prices at unrealistic levels.

    Probably best to continue to rent and invest the maximum possible in your pension and if possible in an ESOP at your company. Both of these investments are fully tax and PRSI deductable, it is hard to lose when the tax man pays ½ the initial investment. Compare this to buying a house where you pay 9% to the tax man and get a minimal tax concession, or none!

    Also, the standard of housing may be about to improve dramatically due to minimum room sizes and ceiling heights, also compulsory utility space and storage. Triple glazing, heat recovery systems and very thick insulation will reduce heating costs by perhaps 90%. These new standard houses will be very much more desirable than the jerry-built boxes churned out during the boom years creating a two-tier market. House costs should not increase as prices are driven not by material costs but principally by local authority housing policy, land prices and developers profits.

    In conclusion,
    Jay, wait, bide your time.

  5. zz at 12:54 pm

    In Response to Jay..

    I think everyone who bought over the years did not think their house prices were going to be deflated in values, and so now are trying to recoup their loses. I as you have been waiting on the prices to drop to make it affordable to buy. For years I wondered how people were able to purchase houses at the crazy prices they were fetching, and now we see that they couldn’t; they basically were living on the edge of debt and the minute there was a fluctuation of their wages or interest rates…they can’t afford the mortgage.

    I could care less what people think of me buying at significantly reduced rates…’s time those people like ourselves can now afford a house. Guess what they are going to drop further! Not my problem and not my fault!!


  6. Jay at 12:29 am

    Thank you to all the people who are giving an accurate and honest perspective on where the market is going. I feel so pressured at the moment to be ‘buying a house’ because of the ‘great value’ that can’t be missed. I came across this thread accidently and its the best thing that could have happened to me as I’ve just been to see a gorgeous house that is massively overpriced. Love the house but can’t believe what they’re asking for it. It just puts you off even getting involved and yet I’m edgy that I’m missing out on a dream home. It’s great to read the ideas of people, who feel like I do when I’m thinking rationally, that there is no way house prices can recover and that the well built nice family homes (which are still in short supply on the market because they are where you want to end up) I’ve been waiting and saving to buy throughout the boom will, unfortunately for others, be forced onto the market place in the next couple of years at prices that I may be hopefully able to afford. This market is going only one direction – down.

    As an aside: I was recently attacked for having this hope by those who bought in the height of the boom. I was accused of preying on others misfortune by the same people who made a hundred grand buying a house and selling it two years later. Take responsibility for your own decisions. I shouldn’t be verbally abused or feel guilty when I get a house for its true value. I don’t see those who played the game and won knocking on the doors of the houses they sold to hand the now-owners back the excess they paid for it.

  7. kieron at 12:27 am

    where did you come up with this formula ?
    I believe house prices will continue to drop just like the other 70% surveyed
    but i do think it is a good time to go in with a low offer 20% off the asking price at least ,on the house of your dreams …. and that is waht we are going to do …. as cash is king in every economy

  8. thomas at 1:07 am

    good lord wake up ireland prices are 60% to high in dublin. Dublin is a small city huge unemployment high taxes and yet its more expensive than los angeles lol give me a break i wouldnt pay big city prices for a small town with so much poverty.

  9. thomas at 12:46 am

    Well i for see as a ousing realtor in usa and ireland that property bought say for 400k euros in 2006 will be of value by 2011 at a drop unforseen to 110 k euros as irish property is at moment practicially worthless like junk irish goverment bonds are worthless the paper they are printed on is possibly going to end up of more value so i think its time for the IMF.

  10. thomas at 7:23 am

    Irish people need to wake up smell the coffee unemployment is rampant the banks are broke. homes are at ridiculious inflated prices they will fall another 50% to realstic prices for a country with no out put apart from us mulitnationals. So wait till end 2010 prices will be at least 50% less than they are now as the foreclosure sunami is about to start as soon as banks are refilled by tax money. so prepare for 2 things homes drop prices and possible disater in the jobs prospects.The follw up will be the big bad IMF running Ireland.

  11. plumber at 5:26 pm

    I think there are real bargains to be got out there. I am a plumber and the amount of people spending money on bringing up the standard of their house before selling it is off the scale. Before any standard was put on the market and sold. Now its a lot more competitive and I believe by looking around an lookin g at similar properties you can get some real good value for money where people have spent money on doing up the property. I think its close to the bottom.

  12. iball at 3:27 pm

    Hi all firstly I am not an EA or a protagonist for property..So I would advise if you cannot afford to buy a house/appartment do not…I have recently bought a 2 bed for investment purposes and I have a lodger – relative ready to move in . I got it at 50% less than the boom price and than another discount through haggling. I had money put by approx 75% of the cash and got a loan of the rest. The loan repayments are covered leaving me with about 300euros a month pure profit. I think there is a lot of doom and gloom around the place with stikes, flooding, bank bailouts etc..but here are the facts

    Reasons for not buying a house and for further push down on prices.

    *There may well be further reductions
    *There is further budgets within the next 4-5 years to get through and this will pinch more spending power from people
    * Immigration – Less people to buy houses
    * Over supply of houses.
    * Foreign Investment scared away by downturn in Ireland.

    There may be more but these are just off the top of my head

    Reasons for buying a house
    * There is an estimated 84 Billion in savings in the Ireland bank accounts now as soon as we hit bottom I reckon a lot of people will be buying with gusto.
    * All time low interest rates people can get really good rates on 3 , 5 and even 10 year mortgages
    * EAs willing to undercut prices and negotiate with sellers as I said I got a further 15k off the asking price.
    * A glut of 1st time buyers still waiting for the market to bottom out aswell.
    * Ireland is an ageing ecconomy so there will be a massive wealth transfer over the next 10 – 15 years..Inheritance…and the majority of people who are retired have the house paid off.

    As stated it is a gamble and if you have the cash and can afford it I would go for it, especially if its an investment over 20 – 30 years I can envisage prices to be a fair bit higher in 30 years than present day. The only economy to buck this trend is Japan and there were a lot of other mitigating circumstances with that

  13. Anne at 10:15 am

    I had a mortgage approved and all my finances in order to purchase 2 years ago. For some reason I decided against purchasing and am so glad I did.
    I would not purchase a home now. Too much uncertainty in this country. If I wait and the market falls lower all the better. If I wait and things stabilize, then I would lose nothing. If I wait and by some miracle prices start to rise, well then I am still prepared to purchase and financially secure to do so.
    Regardless I am waiting. There is no way that prices I see on websites and in agents windows are accurate and good value for money. Plain and simple unless prices start reflecting pre or early Celtic tiger days I will not purchase. Lets face it we are no longer in Celtic Tiger days and the prices of food, clothing, housing need to reflect that.
    I can pretty much be confident that I speak for many Irish men and woman when I say we will no longer be manipulated by estate agents/banks/property developers etc into thinking that we need to buy because if we don’t we will miss the boat. Because we don’t and we won’t.
    I am living in a 3 bed/3 bath home that I rent for €900 per month, but have just renegotiated down to €850 per month. I have a garden, a beautiful home and am happy here. I know for a fact the gentleman that owns this home bought it about 5 years ago for €269,000. He did not put a pence into it because it was refurbished when he bought it. I had offered to purchase it from him 2 years ago. He wanted €550,000 for it. When he told me what he wanted for it I said no. He tried to tell me that it would be worth at least €800,000 in a few years. Well guess what it is 2 years on and there is no way this house would sell for €550,000 never mind his dream future price of €800,000.
    I am so glad I did not buy this house then, but I worry for those that did purchase based on that thought that prices would continue to rise. My plans are to continue to rent and continue to ask for rent adjustments to reflect the neighborhood and the current climate and to save save save for that day when prices are normal again.

  14. frank at 9:34 am

    27 and havn’t bought a house yet. first because the houses were too expensive and now because i think in about 18 to 24months the house prices will be less. I remember pre boom you could pick up a house in mayo for under 50,000 euro… i dont think it would be to crazy to think that this will be possible again… it seems only logical… people are speeking of the greed that drove people to buy more houses during the boom. I would call this questionable business sense..but not greed. I think many people followed the herd, as many people do in all aspects of life… many people were buying homes, so the sheep bought homes too…but the word greed doesn’t apply, just the wish to create a better life… i also wish people would stop asking to be bailed out… people need to take responsibility for their actions….this idea that the state is our au pair is not a good way to see ireland… and lets not give out about myhome either… lets just use sound judgement to create our own destiny and accept that advertising will continue whether it is telling the truth or not

  15. Dermot O’Flynn at 3:17 pm

    Too much money chasing too few too few good houses? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

    A tsunami of dollars on its way thanks to Pres. Obama and General Motors. But when will the flood be re-directed into the labirynth of Irish houses?

  16. Parakeet at 11:58 pm

    My house was valued at Euro 580 in 2008 it’s now valued at Euro450. Does anyone think it’s a good time to sell now? I have been living abroad for 8 years and want to sell up but would be disappointed if the prices are due to change again.

  17. Emma at 2:23 pm

    Totally agree with mark…took the words out of my mouth

  18. Emma Hogans at 1:42 pm

    I think Property prices have to keep falling.12 years ago before the boom 3 bed houses in towns over 80 -90k would have been overpriced.Since then with the celtic tiger everything went up,,including our wages… its all heading backwards again…As you can see from the talk of the upcoming budget the goverment is again taking from us and will probably continue to do so,,,until we are all back in the time before boom again.

  19. Mark at 11:21 pm

    Prices are set to fall a lot more from where they are now. The real cost of servicing the debt that is out there is going to increase and will prove to be a massive burden for homeowners.

    The current market is frozen and sales by receivers are at 75% reductions. When the biggest receiver of them all (Nama) has to start realising sales from mid 2010 on the penny will drop with everyone that market value is way lower than current advertised prices.

  20. Pat at 4:24 pm

    I have been looking at property the past 4 years!
    In sept 2007 I withdrew a booking deposit from 3 bed semi (read something about a credit crunch!!) and headed of travelling for 18 months.
    I landed home January this year and started looking again.
    I found many suitable properties but was advised by everybody that it was be crazy to buy in this climate and I would be mad in doing so.
    Well, I just bought 3 bed semi in the northeast area last week, I wanted a house , i don’t want to wait another 1-3 years to see if prices fall another 5%, 15% or 50%.
    My house was reduced 40% from peak, should I have waited to another 12 months to see if I can save more??? – I was bored of looking at property!
    I just want to say my peice because I seem to be one of a very few that has actually bought in these crazy times!

  21. Kevin at 10:15 pm

    With a glut of unsold properties on the market, significant interest rate hikes likely next year, stubbornly hugh unemployment and hefty increases in taxes and charges for many government services on the way for the next few years, I’d say property prices will continue to fall for at least another year.

  22. Zap at 8:52 pm

    Well I was just at economists summit only a week ago, and they have said that the USA will not be out of a recession unitl 2012. Europe folks is not expected to be out of a recession 2-3 years after that, so based on my jr schooling that makes it 2014 or 215 before Ireland or any other country will be out.

    Oh, by the way do you know what they mean by “out of recession?” not where the countries were before the downturn….more like 50-60% of the orignial boom. So, if you base the housing boom of years prior to 2008, then my calculations, and again just jr school type sums would tell me that 50-60% of a house price last year is what you are going to see. Anyone thinking they are going to get prices of last year and years prior have a rude awakining.

    Looking at prices of houses I see now; a 1 million euro home will be worth 600k or thereabouts. I am not an eonomist myself, so don’t take these as literal but 1+1=2.

  23. Gavin Hesse at 6:35 pm

    I was compelled to leave a comment upon reading the questionaire,

    Then I read Daniele Duggan + Stephen Kelly’s comments above + realized that I had literally the exact same thing to say so thanks,

    inflated prices were so inflated – we’re only realizing reductions of what, 40% from peak levels- but the peak levels were from pie in the sky land….,

    It’s bad enough that the government, bankers, developers lead us into this mess by being unrealistic – please My HOME…dont go onside with the other auctioneers,estate agents + feed us spin/b*shit to think everything is going to be ok soon, it wont be for a long time, ‘value around the corner’ is in fact way off in most people’s views…

    The only people who are saying that the bottom is near is those that are stakeholders in the property industry.fact.

    hopefully the forum with drive more traffic to your site though :)..

  24. Joe at 4:51 pm

    If interest rates are going to increase significantly in the medium term would you not be better off buying a house now and fixing the rates for 3 or 5 years while they are currently low?

  25. Yvonne at 4:16 pm

    I can’t get over Steve’s comment, that is one of the most ludicrous and irresponsible things I have heard in a while, we should buy overpriced property to help our country???

    Oh please.

    High property prices are not a good thing for any country, the same way high food prices are not a good thing. They are both basic necessities.

    Is Steve one of the two Brians because they are the only people in the country that I can imagine coming out with something like that?

  26. Alan at 3:22 pm

    Once the banks start lending again and economy turns the corner things will start moving. I expect later half of 2010. Until that time prices will drop. A guess would be another 10%. At the moment, in my area (Malahide), there are bargains big time. Some 3 bed semis with room on side have come down about 40%/45% since peak and I guarantee you they’d take 5% off asking price. The government needs to step in and provide some sort of bridging facility where you can trade up without securing sale on your existing property (subject to sell ability of property). All is it takes is momentum in the chain which is currently at a standstill.

  27. Frank at 2:57 pm

    Sounds like a little more than one-third to me.

    I make it about about two years of debate on this topic now with Tom McParland and Sherry FitzGearld telling us of the incredible value to be had as more and more young couples fell victim to, and continue to fall into negative equity! 80,000 mortgages are now in arrears!!

    Most worryingly of all, [b]and take note[/b], people are quite oblivious to the fact that this is about to get a whole lot worse. Horrific interest rate hikes are coming Summer 2010. I contend by January 2011 many poorly built properties, particularly apartments will be bartered by banks and financial institutions to each other as they will have no resell value.

    When buyers and sellers agree on what a property is actually worth we’ll see that bottom you so desperately yearn for. 30-50% is about right I would say. So why don’t you ask us what we think that is – what is a 3 bed semi actually worth?

    1. What someone is willing to pay? (Applied before the boom)
    2. What someone can pay? (Applied during the boom)
    3. What the seller wants to be paid? (Applied just before the crash)
    4. The price of the land + Build/Rebuild cost + 10-15% profit?
    5. 3-5 times the average industrial wage?
    6. Daniel’s : 12 to 14 years rent (taken as 11-months rent)
    7. I’m estate agent so I never discuss what a property is actually worth!

  28. Duncan at 2:42 pm

    Here’s another angle – even if the market has bottomed out (which I seriously doubt), MyHome’s survey shows that absolutely no-one expects prices to rise any more than “slightly”.

    No need for panic buying, then!

  29. Biff Umpington at 2:14 pm

    Perhaps Thierry Henry could purchase a few houses around the country to give the economy a hand.

  30. Tommy at 1:59 pm

    The bottom? haha dont make me laugh, When all the cut backs finish then we have reaced the bottom, this is just the start, I expect house prices to fall at least another 30%-50%, same as wages.

  31. Boca at 1:41 pm

    [quote]almost one third believe that prices are now at their lowest levels[/quote]

    [b]Almost[/b] one-third! Well that’s convinced me

  32. Yvonne at 1:38 pm

    Yeah exactly what I was going to say Iain!

    You can just as easily interpret these figures as saying that two thirds believe it is going to decline and over half of people reckon that prices are going to fall by MORE than 10%!!

    Look at the price of property in Dublin compared to any other city of a similar size in the world – we are still hugely overpriced. And no we are not comparable to London or New York – these are top cities in the world, Dublin is a tiny city in the edge of Europe.

    We all got completely deluded during the Celtic Tiger and began to believe that half a million euros was a reasonable price to pay for a tiny home in an area not very well served by amenities and public transport. Hopefully people are waking up now and realising that houses are only worth what someone will pay for it.

  33. Steve at 1:32 pm

    People should remember that a house is for living in and should not be used as an investment.The price of property is inconsequential.Either you have the money and can afford to buy and if you don’t,you have the alternative of renting or living in social housing.Minister Brian Lenihan and Tanaiste Mary Coughlan have urged us in the past not to shop up in the North as it is unpatriotic.I think that if you can afford to buy property in the South,then the most patriotic thing you could do is buy a house here as this is the largest purchase you could ever make.As John F Kennedy once remarked:”Think not what your country can do for you,but what you can do for your country” People should remember this,we should all row together and see this recession out.Minister Brian Lenihan will hopefully do his bit in the forthcoming budget and give more tax breaks to property hunters.The rest is up to us then.

  34. Niko at 1:26 pm

    the irish prices are still double than the NORMAL european prices..and the quality is really very bad, not to forget! So, expect the prices to fall more than 30%..we all predict it here! The greed of the last 10 years made you all blind, sorry but its the truth! And you earned already too much, so stop misleading the pure citizens..who believed you and now they are all depressed because they did and you still do it..Greed never brings happiness, dont ever forget this!

  35. Steph at 1:24 pm

    I think we are still a long way off the bottom. There are still some people out there looking to get the maximum amount from the market but they are only going to scare away buyers. I simply don’t believe some of the house prices being advertised on Myhome. It is in their best interests and best interests of estate agents to keep the prices high but we need to stop looking at our homes as investment opportunities and see them as homes and demand our fundamental right to have a home, and be able to afford one. The market has changed but mindsets will take some time to follow.

  36. paddy at 1:21 pm

    As an irish person who has been abroad for a number of years looking at the prices at home they still appear to be quite inflated. As mentioned above prices at the peak were dramatically inflated and comparing to the long term trend in house prices rather than the fall from the peak would indicate that prices have a ways to fall yet. These inflated house prices and the general cost of living caused the average worker to need increased wages just to live and this has undermined our competitivness. These price falls hurt but they reduce the cost of living so they may help in the long term.
    There in the States unemployment continues to grow and house prices continue to fall as new waves of forclosures not from sub-prime borrowers but from prime borrower who have lost their jobs hit the system. I think that any predictions for stabilization of Irish property prices while they continue to fall in other major economies are fanciful. This is especially the case as the average irish take home wage and disposable income falls.

  37. Daniel Duggan at 1:15 pm

    Anyone who buys at the prices now advertised is living in the past where Irish fools were soon parted from their money. A house is worth 12 to 14 years rent (rental year taken as 11-months rent) which for an average Irish house implies the following:

    €770 x 11 x 13 = €110,110 is the value of an average Irish house. Have you seen many advertised at this price?

  38. iain at 12:52 pm

    Put another way. 2/3rd’s of the people questioned believe that for the forseeable future the price of property is going to continue to decline.

  39. Mary Kate O Flanagan at 12:31 pm

    Prices increased at fantastical rates over the last several years and people should be comparing current prices to pre-boom prices. Even after recent drops, people should remember that asking prices are still 6 and 7 times what they were a dozen years ago, when you could buy a 4 bedroom red brick house in Ranelagh for 100,000K. IN other markets, such as London in the 1990s, may many people bought at what they believed was the bottom of the market and ended up in negative equity. This was particularly difficult for first-time buyers who outgrew their starter home (e.g. two-bedroom flat) as their family grew. Or couples who decided to part but couldn’t buy each other out. Wait if you can, offer well under that asking price if you can’t. But if you buy now, make sure it’s somewhere you can live for years, as you may not be able to sell on.

  40. jogitoffbigfella at 12:27 pm

    When will you stop sending emailings encouraging people to buy? I have received many emails from you over the last 2 years “confirming” that prices have bottomed out. As far as I can see it is impossible to tell but your site, run by estate agents for estate agents has a confirmed adgenda to entice people to buy.

  41. Stephen Kelly at 12:21 pm

    Anyone who claims that house prices are near or at the bottom is either deluded or a shill.

    There are no bargains to be had at the moment. Property prices still have a long way to fall before they come back in line with the real fundamentals: significant unemployment levels (still rising); significant income reductions (pay freezes and further taxation for the next three years minimum); net emigration (still rising); expected interest rate increases to normal levels starting next year from the current unprecedented low levels (at which people are still struggling); low rental rates (still falling); significant levels of personal debt (much higher than the European average).

    Credible (and honest/independent) economists would predict further significant falls!

    Stop trying to talk up the market MyHome – the greed of the last 10 years has pushed it way past the point of public opinion being the overriding factor.

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