Thursday, July 24, 2014

24/7/2014: Looking for that Property Price Bubble: Dublin, June 2014

Irish Residential Property Price Index for June is out today. Headlines are burning hot with

  • 12.5 hike in prices nationwide (y/y);
  • June m/m rise of 2.9% - faster than 2.3% in May
  • Dublin property prices up 3.3% m/m and 23.9% y/y
  • Dublin House prices up 3.1% m/m and 24.4% y/y
There is no avoiding the talk about a 'new bubble'.

In the past, I clearly said that in my view:
  1. Current levels of prices are not signalling bubble emergence in Dublin
  2. Rates of increases in Dublin prices are concerning, but levels are yet to break away from the national historical averages
  3. Trend-wise, we are way below the levels of Dublin prices consistent with normal long-term behaviour in the series.
Here are updated charts on long-term trends.

First, looking at annual series and applying two trend assumptions: actual inflation and ECB target (long-run inflation). By both metrics, we are still below (using 3mo MA through June 2014 as 2014 figure) equilibrium, but rate of convergence is accelerating:

On monthly basis, here are historical series, linking ESRI and CSO data sets:

As above clearly shows, Q2 2014 levels of prices in Dublin are barely above 2000-2002 average.

So the dynamics can signal a bit of an exuberance on the market demand side, but levels are still very much conservative compared to longer-term trends.

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