According to Ireland-based Daft.ie's new 2014 Year in Review House Price Report, the average asking price for a house in Ireland fell by 1% in the final three months of 2014. This is the first time since mid-2013 that the average house price fell in a three month period.
Despite this recent fall, the average asking price nationwide is now â¬193,000 ($230,000 USD), 12.8% higher than the value of â¬171,000 ($204,000) a year ago. This compares to â¬378,000 ($450,000) at the peak in 2007.
Prices in Dublin fell back by 0.7%, the first drop since mid-2012. While there was a fall between September and December, significant increases earlier in the year mean that prices remain higher than a year previously. Annual inflation in the capital has eased from a high of 25% in September to 20% in December. Outside Dublin saw a similar trend with three-month minor falls in the average asking price throughout Leinster.
This pattern was replicated in other cities also, with Cork and Galway cities experiencing quarterly price falls of 1%, while Limerick and Waterford cities saw more significant falls of between 3% and 4% on average. Outside the main cities, the average asking price across the country fell by 1.3%, but remains 7.6% higher than at the same time last year.
Ronan Lyons, author of the Daft.ie Report says, "The intention of the proposed Central Bank limits on mortgage lending is to limit increases in house prices by affecting both buyer expectations and the credit available to them. It seems that, even though the limits have not yet come into force, they have already had some impact. For example, when asked what they expected will happen Dublin house prices over the coming 12 months, survey respondents in September expected an increase of 12%. In December, however, that figure had fallen to 5%."
"Restricting the amount lent to each household is a necessary first step to ensuring a stable housing market. The second step is addressing the cost base, to ensure an adequate supply of housing. With fewer than 30,000 properties on the market currently - and just 3,500 of those in Dublin - this is the challenge for policymakers as we move into 2015."