Per CSO's Residential Property Prices Index released today, property prices in Ireland registered a fall of 4.5% in the year to December 2012.
The spin of 'good news' is seemingly abating in the wake of the figures. While I will cover detailed trends in the next post, here is a snapshot of annual series. Do, please, let me know if you see much of 'return to growth' in house prices:
To summarise the above and extend to the begging of the CSO series:
-- Overall RPP Index fell in 2012 to the annual level of 65.7 down from 75.4 in 2011 and down 49.5% on peak. In 2011 relative to peak RPP Index stood at a 42.0% discount. Y/y rate of fall in the annual index in 2012 was 12.86%, statistically identical to 13.10% drop in 2011. Surely, this is not a 'bottom has been reached' set of figures, no?
-- Houses nationally sub-index fell in 2012 to 68.6 against 2011 level of 78.4 (posting y/y decline of 12.5% in 2012, marginally and virtually dental to 13.0% fall in 2011). Again, please, tell me that decline of 13% followed by 12.5% is some sort of 'bottoming out'. Annual series for national house prices is now at 47.7% below peak having fallen 40.2% relative to peak in 2008-2011.
-- Apartments nationwide dropped from 57.8 in 2011 to 47.8 in 2012, with annual rate of decline in 2012 of 17.3% showing acceleration on 16.4% y/y drop in 2011. Again, the clear 'bottoming-out' of prices for Irish apartments is now in sight. These have fallen 52.7% relative to peak in 2011 and are now at 60.9% below peak.
-- Dublin property prices have posted a drop from 67.9 annual 2011 index reading to 58.3 in 2012 - a decline y/y of 14.14% which follows 2011 y/y drop of 13.9%.
To summarise, the 'bottoming-out' of Irish property prices in 2012 has resulted in prices declines across all four core categories (the few with a potentially sufficient numbers of sales to make any meaningful conjectures about). Not one category saw an annual increase in prices. And, to add an insult to the injury, y/y rates of decline in the prices in 2012 were worse than in 2011 in one case, marginally better in one case, and practically identical in two series.
They have been trying to call the bottom for the last 3 years, but every year prices fall further.
Mortgage holders are leaving for greener fields, and the banks are starting to look more like Estate Agents, desperate to stop the bleeding, yet they are too terrified to cristalize the losses.
Property prices will only stop falling when austerity budgets are no longer in the horizon, so the bottom will be in 2016, maybe..
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