House prices nationally rose by 5.5 per cent during 2018, according to the latest House Price Report by property website, daft.ie The average price nationwide in the final quarter of the year was €254,000, down 1.1 per cent on the figure for the third quarter.
The annual increase of 5.5 per cent (€241,000 was the average asking price for Q4 2017 ) or just over €1,000 a month, was significantly smaller than increases of between 8% and 9% seen in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and marks the lowest year-end inflation rate since prices bottomed out in 2013.
In Mayo, prices in the final quarter of 2018 were 10% higher than a year previously, compared to a rise of less than 1% seen a year ago. The average house price is now €154,000, 39 per cent above its lowest point.
The number of properties available to buy on the market nationwide rose by 10 per cent during 2018. There were over 23,500 properties for sale in December 2018, compared to 21,200 a year earlier. This is the first year-end increase in availability in a decade. Whereas earlier in the year the increase was being driven entirely by Dublin – where availability is up 40% – better availability has now spread to other parts of the country, including other cities, and the rest of Leinster and Munster.
Commenting on the figures, Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft.ie Report, said: "During the 2000s bubble and crash, the laws of supply and demand were secondary in the housing market to credit market shocks.
"Not least because of the Central Bank’s mortgage rules, the market this decade has returned to the more fundamental drivers of supply and demand. Since 2013, demand has been strong but supply weak.
"The increase in homes being built – especially estate houses – in the last 18 months, though, has helped cool down inflation, in particular in the Greater Dublin area, where construction activity is focused. The hope for the housing system is that the building of new homes continues to increase, and to spread to other urban areas."