Tuesday, December 20, 2011

20/12/2011: Residential property prices for November

Today's data focus for Ireland is on residential property price index for November.

Prior to today's release, in the 12 months through October 2011, residential property prices were down 15.1% year on year - steeper decline than in July-September 2011 (12.5%, 13.9% and 14.3% respectively). In 12 months through October 2010 the rate of prices decline was 11.1%, shallower than in the 12 months through last October. So price drops were accelerating before November data release. In fact, mom prices dropped 2.2% in October, against 1.5% mom decline in September.

The latest data, therefore, was expected to come in with some moderation in the rate of decline. And in that, there was no surprise - mom change for November is at -1.54%, ahead of September, but behind October reading. 


November index of all residential properties prices is now at 70.1, down from october 71.2. 3mo MA is down to 71.37 from October reading of 72.63. We have to go back to November 2007 to see the first time that the overall index did not decline (it stayed flat in that month) and back to September 2007 to see the last monthly increase in the index. 12 mo MA of monthly changes is now at -1.41% mom and year-to-date monthly average change is -1.49%.


Nama is continuing taking a hit on its valuations. Referencing back to November 30, 2009 Nama valuations cut-off date, November 2011 prices are down 25.35%, which, adjusting for LTEV uplift applied by Nama implies that Nama valuations on its residential properties portfolio are 32.13% under water. Correcting the above for 'burden sharing' cushion applied by Nama legislation, Nama is nursing a loss of 28.9% on its residential properties-related holdings.


As chart above shows, overall residential property prices are now 46.28% down on the peak and year on year the prices are down 15.64%.

Houses prices index has fallen from 74.3 in october to 72.9 in November - down 1.88% mom, In October, monthly rate of decline was -2.24%, but November decline is second sharpest in the last 5 months. Year on year, house prices are down 15.72%, while in october the same rate of decline was 14.89%. Relative to peak, house prices nationwide are 44.78%.

Apartments fared better this time around, with index reading improving from 52.2 in October to 53.6 in November, a monthly rise of 2.68%. The index is also more volatile than that for all residential prices and house prices. Last time we saw a rise in house prices mom was in August 2010, and last time we saw monthly increase in apartments prices was in December and January 2010.

Apartments prices are now -16.89% down yoy and this marks an improvement on -19.82% decline yoy through October. Relative to peak, apartments prices are down 56.74%.




In my view, the divergence between apartments prices and house prices, if sustained over time, will be signaling the overall collapse of the purchasing power by the first time buyers, as well as demand push toward lower cost commuting locations as cost of transport continues to climb up courtesy of the Government policies. It can also signal the reflection of improving rental yields for some, especially city centre-located - properties. It is worth noting that Dublin apartments drove the monthly change for nationwide figures reported above, with Dublin apartments price index increasing from 50.8 in October to 53.2 in November a strong gain of 4.7% mom and driving year on year decline to -16.1% in November against -21.2% in October.


Prices in Dublin (all properties) posted index reading of 62.2 in November, down 1.43% mom on October reading of 63.1. This was the shallowest monthly decline since July 2011 when the index posted no change mom. Yoy index is now down 17.62% in November from 17.52% in October. Relative to peak the index is down 53.75%.



Updating annual forecasts, I expect overall RPPI to post a reading of ca 71.27-71.30 or a decline of 41.7% relative to peak. For houses, I expect index to run at 74.5-75.1 for 2011, marking a decline of 39.7% relative to peak annual index, while for apartment the same forecasts are for 56.5-56.7 index reading and a decline relative to peak of 49.7%. Dublin prices are expected to end the year on an index reading of 63.5-64.0 - a decline of 47.9% on peak. Mid-points are illustrated below:



So, overall, no surprise - another month of declines, another month on the road toward the average price around 60% off the peak. One to watch here is the sub-index for apartments prices, especially in Dublin.


It's worth noting here that per NTMA (source: Nama, December 2011), commercial property yields have been rising strongly in recent months. See chart below. This can also correlate positively with the rental yields for Dublin apartments, especially for centrally located properties.

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