City property prices up 25pc on last year
PROPERTY prices in Dublin are 25.1pc higher than they were a year ago, it has emerged.
Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have shown that prices in the capital rose by 3.5pc last month, with a recent trend of increasing prices showing no sign of slowing down.
House prices in Dublin rose by 3.5pc in August alone and were 24.7pc higher compared with the same time last year.
The CSO also noted that apartment prices in the capital were 32.6pc higher than they were 12 months ago.
However, the CSO qualified this by pointing out that apartment transactions are based on a low volume of sales and suffer from greater volatility.
The stark contrast between the soaring Dublin property market and the rest of the country was also evident from the figures.
The price of residential properties outside the capital rose by 0.8pc last month compared with an increase of 0.1pc in August last year.
Total national prices were 14.9pc higher last month compared with August 2013 - the 15th annual increase in a row.
However, prices are still some distance away from the height of the boom.
House prices in Dublin are 39.2pc lower than at their highest level in early 2007.
Apartments in Dublin are 45.8pc lower than they were in February of that year, while general residential property prices in Dublin are 41.0pc lower .
The price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland is 44.6pc lower than their highest level in September 2007.
Overall, the national index was 41pc lower than its highest level in 2007. The figures were based on mortgage draw-downs and did not include cash transactions.
Alan McQuaid, chief economist with Merrion, said the underlying housing market was a lot more robust than the official data would suggest because the figures were solely based on draw-downs.
"Although cash sales are not as high now compared with the start of the year, they are still significant, with three to four of every 10 transactions a cash purchase," he said.
"The generally improving economic backdrop should help to sustain the house price recovery in the short-term, even with limited credit availability for potential buyers."
Conall MacCoille, chief economist with Davy, said the market was "exceptionally illiquid", with only 15,688 residential property market transactions in the first half of this year.
"This suggests the average house is being sold once every 64 years at current transaction rates," he said. "That said, year-to-date transaction levels are up almost 50pc on 2013."