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Residential property prices up 1% in March, before Covid-19 impact

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that residential property prices increased by 1% nationally in the year to March. 

The CSO said this compares with an increase of 1% in the year to February and an increase of 3.8% the same time last year.

Today’s figures lag a coronavirus-related collapse in housing transactions.

While the data suggested a continued stabilisation in the market in the first two and a half months of the year, a series of restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19 were implemented in the middle of March. 

The property price index is based on stamp duty returns, which have a 44-day submission deadline.

This means that only a fraction of the two most recent months’ transactions are available for index compilation the following month, the CSO said in a note on the data.

Today’s figures show that Dublin residential property prices rose by 0.6% in the year to March, with house prices increasing by 0.7% and apartment prices up by 1.5%. 

It noted that the highest house price growth in Dublin was in Fingal at 4.7%, while Dublin City and South Dublin both saw a decline of 1.8%. 

Meanwhile, residential property prices in the rest of the country increased by 1.5% in the year to March. House prices saw a rise of 1.7% but apartments prices fell by 0.9%. 

The CSO said that the region outside of Dublin that saw the largest rise in house prices was the Border at 5.4%, while at the other end of the scale, the South-East saw a 1.8% decline.

Households paid an average price of €296,789 for a home in the 12 months to March 2020, today’s figures show. 

The average price in Dublin at €438,693 was the highest in any region or county. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest mean price in the Dublin region at €598,232, while South Dublin had the lowest at €363,240. 

Outside of Dublin, the Mid-East was the most expensive region, with a mean price of €305,541. Wicklow was the most expensive county in the Mid-East region, with a mean price of €365,625. 

The Border region was the cheapest region to buy a home, with a mean price of €145,376. Leitrim (in the Border region) was the least expensive county, with a mean price of €116,601. 

Today’s CSO figures also show that in the year to March, a total of 45,743 home purchases were filed with Revenue. 

Of these, 32.3% were purchases by first time buyer owner-occupiers, while former owner-occupiers bought 52.8% of the homes. The balance were acquired by investors. 

Revenue data shows that there were 1,210 first-time buyer purchases in March 2020, an increase of 25.5% on the 964 recorded the same time last year. 

These purchases were made up of 346 new homes and 864 existing homes, the CSO added.

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