Just a few days after the Minster of Finance told us the Nation, that the property prices have bottomed out .
we now get this report and again this shows that this Man cannot count and must be on something from the countless Head shops around the country!
The prediction came as property website Daft.ie published data that showed that although the property price crash is slowing, it is not yet over.
The latest Daft.ie house price index showed that asking prices fell by 3.4 per cent in the first three months of 2010, which represents the smallest quarterly fall in almost two years. The average house price nationally has now fallen by one-third from the peak in May 2007 to €234,000.
However, commenting on the report, Prof Lucey said that a total fall of 50 per cent is likely. Based on this assumption and average price declines since the peak, the market will not bottom out for another 18 months, he predicted.
Price falls in early 2010 were steepest in Dublin’s commuter counties, Galway city and north county Dublin.
In Dublin city centre, average prices have now fallen 44.2 per cent since the peak to €238,926. This is the sharpest decline experienced in any region.
The length of time that properties spend on the market has risen slightly in all parts of the country, including Dublin where it increased from four to five months. However in Connacht and Ulster, properties sold in the first quarter had been on the market for a 15-month average.
“Buyers are clearly factoring in further deflation,” Prof Lucey said.
Overall, the stock of houses available for sale has fallen by about 5 per cent since the middle of last year. However, in Dublin, the stock has declined by a more significant 20 per cent, which indicates that the overhang of unsold properties may be clearing in the capital.
“Furthermore, the news that almost one in three properties listed in January is either ‘sale agreed’ or sold suggests that those who price their properties keenly will find a buyer,” commented Daft.ie economist Ronan Lyon.
Prof Lucey said the fact there is no real-time or even monthly house price index produced by a Government agency is “unconscionable”. “We are, as a nation, steering blind, not to mention dumb, on the seas of house price deflation,” he said.
He added that based on the Daft.ie figures, the emerging problem of negative equity will deepen, which in turn will act as a bar “to labour mobility, to discretionary expenditure, and ultimately to economic growth”.
Meanwhile Fine Gael’s Kieran O’Donnell said the figures show the Minister for Finance’s claim that prices had reached rock bottom is “dangerously misguided”.
He said: “The reality is that thousands of people are already stuck in negative equity because of the property bubble stoked by Fianna Fáil. Many have lost their job and now face losing their home.
“This is a truly disastrous situation.
“For Minister Lenihan to be encouraging more young people to enter the housing market at such a risky time is downright irresponsible,” Mr O’Donnell added.