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Dublin Home Prices Rise on Year for First Time Since 2007

Home prices in Dublin rose for the first time on an annual basis since 2007, when Ireland’s decade-long housing boom peaked, according to figures released today by the Central Statistics Office.

Home prices in the Irish capital increased 2.1 percent in January from a year earlier and climbed 0.5 percent from December, the CSO said. Nationally, prices fell 3.3 percent on an annual basis and dropped 0.6 percent from December.

House prices in Ireland have declined by half since peaking in 2007, helping to plunge the country into the worst recession in its modern history. Unemployment has trebled since then to more than 14 percent. Data yesterday showed Irish payrolls rose in the last quarter of 2012 for the first time since 2008.

“We would caution against expecting any significant rebound in the headline property-price register this year,” said Owen Callan, an economist at Danske Bank A/S in Dublin. “However, we expect in particular a continuation in the fragile, though strengthening, recovery in the prime Dublin market in 2013 as well as further signs of stabilization in prices nationally.”

House prices in Dublin are now 54 percent lower than their 2007 peak, while apartment prices in the Irish capital are 61 percent down, the CSO said on its website.

Irish retail sales fell 1.7 percent in January from December and dropped 1.2 percent on an annual basis, according to data released today by the CSO. Sales at department stores fell 15.1 percent from December, while sales at bars fell 8.1 percent.

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