Estate agents Lisney have hit out at yesterday’s CSO report, which shows that residential property prices fell by 0.5% in December and by 1.3% in Dublin.
Commenting on the results, Head of Research at Lisney Aoife Brennan, said the CSO’s findings were “absurd”.
She said: “December’s decrease in both the Dublin and national indices produced by the CSO is unfortunate news. For Dublin, it is absurd and totally out of line with what is happening on the ground.
“The declines are due to how the index is constructed. It is based on mortgage drawdowns and totally ignores cash buyers who account for 45% of all sales nationally and an even higher percentage in Dublin. Obviously this has to skew the results.
“In the Dublin market, we have found that in many cases, it is the cash purchasers who are buying the better properties. Consequently, the properties that are displaying the largest price increases are not being accounted for by the CSO indices. If they were, we believe an increase would have been seen in December’s figures.
“Buyer sentiment improved significantly in 2012 and in fact, 28% more dwellings were sold compared to 2011. If you focus on December, 2,870 units were sold nationwide in the month, which is about twice that sold each month in the early part of the year. Almost half of December’s sales were in Dublin and Cork. This was a trend throughout 2012 and shows that the larger urban areas are driving the market nationally.
“Despite what the CSO indices are showing, we believe that the improved level of activity in 2012 has fed through into rising prices, particularly in the prime city areas. In 2013, we are of the view that prices in Dublin and other city areas will increase further and it will be the cash buyers who drive this,” said Aoife.