Reports indicate that local housing market has stabilised

Three-bed semi detached houses in Edgeworthstown are being snapped up for an incredible €50,000, despite the fact that the latest daft.ie statistics on “average” house prices in the county is approximately €100,000. A local auctioneer reacted swiftly to two property reports this week that put the average price for a 3-bed semi at €100,000.

Three-bed semi detached houses in Edgeworthstown are being snapped up for an incredible €50,000, despite the fact that the latest daft.ie statistics on “average” house prices in the county is approximately €100,000. A local auctioneer reacted swiftly to two property reports this week that put the average price for a 3-bed semi at €100,000.

“That’s not the case,” Jonathan Quinn, Quinn Property Partners stated on Monday. “In Longford there is a huge difference between the asking price and the actual sale price; in fact we would be selling three bed semi-detached houses across the County from between €45,000 right up to about €130,000 at the moment.”

The comments from the property expert follow in the aftermath of the latest property prices which indicate that in the midlands counties of Laois, Westmeath, Offaly and Longford, asking prices fell to 4.6 percent between March and June “having been largely stable in the first three months of 2012”. In Longford, the average asking price fell 13 percent between March and June and the average price is now €100,000, a fall of 59 percent from the peak in the property market back in 2007.

“There is a small market in Longford, but at the same time we are finding that there is an over supply in certain types of housing and an under supply in say one-off type dwellings,” Mr Quinn added. “The fact is, that here in Longford prices have neither gone up nor have they gone down and certainly the market seems to be stabilising. In estates, sale prices are lower than those of one-off housing; in some cases 10 percent lower. Apartments and dwellings in estates are definitely down all right and in Edgeworthstown, for example, we were getting nowhere with three bed semi-detached dwellings, so we decided to drop the prices to €50,000 and sold three in the last couple of weeks.”

Mr Quinn went on to say, the prices have most likely dropped to lower levels in Co Longford, compared to other counties because of the over supply of housing in the first instance. He also pointed to increased rentals in developments, and areas where the prevalence of anti-social behaviour is evident “as major factors in securing house sales”. “Overall, right now I would say that there is a feeling that we have hit a base with regard to sale prices here in Longford and the general trend would seem to be that we have hit the bottom of the market; if we aren’t quiet there, then we are very close to it.” In Dublin, Daft.ie reports that the “average asking price” of property in the capital fell by less than one percent in the first half of 2012, compared to 10 percent in the second half of 2011. “This stabilisation of property prices in the capital is in contrast to the rest of the country, which has seen prices fall by a further 7 percent since the start of the year, following an 8 percent drop in the last six months of 2011,” it stated. “Between March and June, Dublin prices fell by 1.2 percent, with largely stable prices also in Cork city, where prices fell by 0.3 percent and in Galway and Limerick cities, prices fell by 3.4 percent and 3.9 percent respectively. The national average asking price now stands at €172,000, down 2.6 percent in the last quarter and 53 percent from the peak in 2007. Meanwhile according to myhome.ie, the second quarter mix-adjusted property prices nationally fell 3.2 per cent - down from over 7 per cent in Q1. The annual rate of decline was 15 per cent. Looking at property types, the data on 3 bed semi-detached properties is encouraging with median asking prices nationally unchanged in the quarter at €185,000, according to the agency.

The median price of a 3 bed semi in Longford remained unchanged during the quarter at €100,000 – the cheapest in the country. There was a slight fall in the price of a 4 bed semi in the county, down by 0.3 per cent to €147,000 but overall the figures suggested that prices may be stabilising. In Dublin mix-adjusted prices declined by 4.7 per cent in the second quarter while the annual rate of decline in the capital was 17.6 per cent. However, the author of the report, Annette Hughes, Director DKM Economic Consultants said that despite the fall in mix-adjusted prices in Dublin there are positive developments in some sub-markets.