Even Ireland's Housing Market is Recovering

Even Ireland's Housing Market is Recovering

Residential News » Europe Residential News Edition | By WPJ Staff | July 24, 2013 7:15 AM ET

Ireland's housing market, which suffered through some of the biggest declines in the world, posted its first annual price increase since 2008 in June, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics office.

Although the increase was a slight 1.2 percent bump from a year earlier, the numbers were applauded as a signal that the residential market may have hit bottom.

"The year-on-year rise in residential property prices is very encouraging and should send a message to consumers that the housing market is recovering after more than five years in the doldrums," Alan McQuaid, an economist at Merrion Stockbrokers, told the Financial Times.

Ireland posted some of the biggest price drops in the world after 2008, with many areas falling by more than 50 percent. While many markets around the world showed signs of recovery over the last two years, Ireland still struggled. Weak credit availability and a sputtering economy continued to drive down prices.

But prices have been "broadly stable" for most of 2013, the Irish Times notes. Although June represented the first year-over-year increase, it was the third consecutive month of rising prices.

The uptick was led by growing interest in Dublin, where prices were up 4.2 percent in June, compared to the same month last year. From May to June Dublin prices rose 1.7 percent, the Statistics office reported.

"Demand is outstripping supply in the Dublin market with the number of properties available for sale falling by a third over the past 18 months," Aoife Brennan, head of research at Lisney estate agents, told the FT. "We are simply not building enough houses in the Dublin."

New number released by estate agency Douglas Newman Good corroborate the upward trend. The firm's research found that existing home prices in Dublin are up 7.7 percent from the start of the year.

The company attributed the increases to an improvement in confidence, the availability of mortgage finance and a limited supply of family homes, the Times reports.

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