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Irish property prices down almost 12% in last year, new index shows

This compares with an annual rate of decline of 10.8% in February and a decline of 15.1% recorded in the twelve months to March 2010.

Residential property prices fell by 1.7% in the month of March. This was the same as the decrease recorded in the previous month and compares with a decrease of just 0.4% in March of last year.

In Dublin residential property prices fell by 1.8% in March and were 13% lower than a year ago. Dublin house prices fell by 1.6% in the month and were 12.9% lower compared to a year earlier.
The index also shows that Dublin apartment prices fell by 2.8% in March and were 13.3% lower when compared with the same month of 2010.

It means that the price of residential properties in the Rest of Ireland (excluding Dublin) fell
by 1.5% in March compared with a decline of 0.7% in the same month of last year. Prices were 11% lower than in March 2010.

This new index provides a monthly data series back to the beginning of 2005 and is based on transactions in the housing market which are funded by residential mortgages.

 On a monthly basis the overall National index grew by close to or above 1% in almost every month between the period June 2005 and March 2007. Between April 2007 and November 2007 there was little movement in the index and it was in this period that prices were at their highest, approximately 30% higher than in January 2005.
In December 2007 a consistent downward movement in prices began with the rate of decline accelerating in 2009 and into early 2010. The monthly rate of decline increased to 1.7% in both February and March of this year, the largest monthly decreases since July 2009.

The index for residential properties in Dublin recorded its first downward movement in late 2006 while the index for residential property in the rest of Ireland recorded its first decline in June 2007.

House prices in Dublin are now some 45% lower than at their highest level in early 2007. Apartments in Dublin are 52% lower than they were in February 2007. The fall in the price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland is somewhat lower at just over 35%. Overall, the national index is almost 40% lower than its highest level in 2007.

The new index meets a national need for an official measure of the change in residential property prices and will also fulfil a new European Union data requirement which obliges all member states to produce comparable national residential property price indices on a quarterly basis from 2012.
The new national index will be published on a monthly basis approximately six weeks after the end of each reference period. The next release, for April 2011, will be published in early June.