Irish September House Prices Decline as Slump Persists, CSO Says

Irish house prices fell in September from the previous month as a four-year property slump persisted, the Central Statistics office said.

Home prices declined 1.5 percent from August and dropped 14.3 percent from a year earlier, the Cork-based statistics office said in a statement on its website today. That compares with an annual drop of 13.9 percent in August.

Irish house prices have fallen 44 percent since peaking in 2007 as the ending of a decade-long property bubble was compounded by the global credit crisis and tighter lending criteria by banks. Ireland’s economy contracted about 15 percent in that period and unemployment almost trebled.

“Given weak labour market conditions and the continuing lack of available bank credit, it is hard to be optimistic on the prospects for the property market in the immediate future,” Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Bloxham Stockbrokers in Dublin, said in an e-mailed note. “The level of any rise over the next few years is only likely to be in the low single digits.”

Home prices in Dublin fell 15.6 percent from a year ago and are down 49 percent since the 2007 peak, the statistics office said. On the month, home prices fell 2.1 percent in the Irish capital.

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