THE first quarter of this year saw the smallest decline in property asking prices since the market began to fall in 2007, according to the latest Daft.ie report.
Prices fell by 1.4% on average during the first three months of the year, compared to 8% in the final three months of 2011. The national average asking price is now €177,000, down 52% from the peak.
In Limerick city, property prices are now down 41.7% since the peak in 2007, and down 43.5% in the county for the same period.
The average asking price in Limerick for the first quarter of 2012 was €155,874 - representing a 3.6% decline from the previous quarter, while in the city, the fall is smaller at 0.8%. The report shows that the average asking price for a five-bedroom house in Limerick city is €264,000, compared to €277,000 in the county. “The stock of properties for sale on Daft.ie in March 2012 was 54,000, which is the lowest level in four years,” explained Seamus Coffey, a lecturer in economics in University College Cork. “This could be because properties on the market are selling quicker or because the number of properties being offered for sale is declining. The speed at which properties on Daft.ie found a buyer did increase slightly in the first quarter but two-thirds of properties remain on the market for four months or longer before finding a buyer,” said Mr Coffey.
Ronan Lyons, economist at Daft.ie, said the latest figures, which suggest more stable asking prices and increased activity, may come as something of a surprise, given general economic conditions. In Munster, asking prices fell by 4.3% in the first three months of 2012.