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House prices reach first rise in three years

DUBLIN has seen its first rise in house prices in three years, according to official figures.

Property prices across the country continued to fall last month, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.However, prices in the capital increased slightly.

The CSO's Residential Property Price Index showed that property prices fell by 1.2pc in May after a 1pc drop in April.

In the year to May, property prices fell by 12.2pc across the country, the same figure as in April.

Property prices in Dublin rose 0.4pc in May, though they are still down 11.5pc over 12 months.

Last month's increase was the first jump in prices in three years.

Experts warned that the Dublin price pick-up could not be taken as a trend -- but economists prices in the capital at least could be bottoming out.

The rise is evidence of a two-speed housing market emerging in Ireland -- with Dublin likely to recover first.

KBC Bank's Austin Hughes said he new figures were "tentative evidence of a bottoming out in Dublin house prices that contrasts with greater weakness in the property market outside the capital".


It may be premature to talk of a turnaround in the Dublin property market, he said, as prices had fallen more than in any other location.

The CSO warned against reading too much into individual monthly figures.

The Dublin rise was due to an increase in house prices, as apartment prices continued to drop, the data shows.

In the rest of Ireland, property prices dropped 2.1pc in May, with prices 12.5pc lower than in May last year.

House prices in Dublin are now almost 46pc lower than at their highest level in early 2007.

Apartment prices in Dublin have fallen almost 53pc from their peak in February 2007. Outside of Dublin, the fall from the peak is 38pc.

The CSO's residential property price index is designed to measure the change in the average level of prices paid for residential properties sold in Ireland.

The index is mix-adjusted to allow for the fact that different types of property are sold in different periods and starts from 2005.