The latest results from the Sherry FitzGerald property index reveal that Dublin house prices increased, albeit moderately, for the first time since prices began falling during the final quarter of 2006.
According to Sherry FitzGerald, Dublin prices have fallen in real terms by 66.7% and 60% in nominal terms from peak 2006 levels. In effect Dublin prices are back at levels achieved in the opening quarter of 2000. The national market, meanwhile, has corrected by 63.1% in real terms or 57.2% from peak levels.
Results from the second quarter of 2012 reveal that the average price of a second-hand property in Dublin rose by 0.1%. This compares with a drop of 6.2% in the same period in 2011, and a fall of 3.0% in the first quarter of 2012.
House prices nationwide fell by 1.4% in the quarter. This compares with a drop of 5.1% in the same period in 2011, and a fall of 3.4 % in the first quarter of 2012.
The Cork market saw prices fall by 3.1% during quarter two, compared to 3.4% in the same period in 2011. The overall effect of this is a fall in real terms of 59% and 54.6% in nominal terms from a peak in the opening quarter of 2007.
The estate agent also revealed that 81% of the second hand homes transacted in the market through Sherry FitzGerald in the year to date were purchased by owner occupiers. This compares to 88% in 2011.
Interestingly, cash buyers purchased 40% of all properties for which a sale was agreed in the opening six months through Sherry FitzGerald in Dublin.
First time buyers remain an active cohort in the market accounting for 29% of the properties traded in the year.
An analysis of the profile of vendors who sold their property through Sherry FitzGerald in the year to date revealed that 29% of vendors were selling investment properties, compared to 25% during the same period in 2011. Approximately 9% of vendors sold with the intention of purchasing a larger property, compared to 15% during the same period in 2011. Executor sales accounted for 23% of the market.
Commenting on the results, Marian Finnegan, Chief Economist, Sherry FitzGerald Group said; “The second quarter of 2012 has proven to be somewhat of a turning point in the residential market. Prices in Dublin rose moderately during the quarter albeit by only 0.1%.
“This was notable because it was the first price increase since the values began falling in the final quarter of 2006. It is also worth observing that the pace of price deflation outside Dublin has also moderated during the year to date.
“The trend of cash buyers which emerged in the latter months of 2011 has continued throughout the opening six months of the year. In total cash purchasers were responsible for 40% of all sales which were agreed in the first six months of the year in Dublin. There are positives and negatives in this. It is a positive endorsement of the market however one would have greater confidence in the long term stability of the market if there was a notable uplift in mortgage activity.
“On a further positive note, the strength of investor activity which emerged in quarter one continued during the second quarter. This cohort purchased approximately 11% of all properties transacted in the opening six months of the year.
“From the above, one could conclude that the the dynamic of the market is changing. This is particularly evident in the price stability in Dublin and emerging stability in the eastern corridor. The persistent strength of cash purchasing and indeed investor activity further underpins a view of greater market stability. That said, a notable increase in mortgage lending is perhaps one of the most important missing ingredients to overall long term stability.”