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Irish house prices plummet by 18% in 2011

Average asking prices for property in Ireland fell by 18% in 2011, as large as the decline seen in 2009, according to research by property website Daft.ie.

A report published today by the firm, which claims to be Ireland’s biggest property site, shows that asking prices dropped by 7.7% in the three months to December, the sharpest quarterly price fall to date.

It takes the average asking price to just over €175,000, 52% below its 2007 peak of €366,000.

Dublin saw a particularly large drop in asking prices in Q4 2011, of 8.9%.

Ronan Lyons, an economist at Daft.ie, says: “Looking ahead to 2012, confidence and finance are central. It is vital to remember that recovery in the property market does not mean an increase in prices, it means an increase in transactions.

“This is ultimately down to the banks, who will not resume lending until the government’s stress tests stop punishing them for doing so.”

Meanwhile a report from another Irish property website, MyHome.ie, published this week, puts the decline in Irish asking prices for 2011 slightly lower at 13%.

It says that based on its data, asking prices declined by 2.4% in the three months to December.

And asking prices are now down by 43% compared to their peak, while Dublin prices have fallen by 50%.

Annette Hughes, director at DKM Economic Consultants, says: “House prices will not stabilise until we have a period of sustained economic and employment growth.

“Right now the ongoing debt crisis in Europe combined with less than encouraging news on the international economic front as well as the fiscal consolidation programme underway means the chances of sustained economic growth in 2012 are questionable.”

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