Ronan Lyons | Personal Website
Ronan Lyons | Personal Website

“Killiney mansions – get ’em while they’re cheap!” Tiered house prices in Ireland

Stephen Kinsella recently pointed me in the direction of tiered house price indices, such as this one, based on Case-Shiller and discussed earlier this month on Calculated Risk. While Irish data at that level of detail don’t go all the way back to 2000, it is certainly possible to use’s sizeable database to monitor what has happened in particular price brackets over the last couple of years.

For example, have a look at four-bedroom properties in the Killiney area, the median price of which is shown in the graph below. Just short of 100 such properties have been listed on daft since the start of 2008. At the start of 2008, the median price for a Killiney 4-bed was over €1m. As you can see from the graph below, by Q2 2009, the median price had fallen over 35% to €660,000.

Median asking prices for four-bedroom properties in Killiney (€000s)
Median asking prices for four-bedroom properties in Killiney (€000s)

This fall of 36% in 15 months is much larger than the nationwide average fall over the same period (most areas fell on average by between 20% and 25%), suggesting that while in the USA, it may be the cheapest areas – victims of the foreclosures – that are being hit hardest, here in Ireland, so far, the more expensive tiers of property are falling by more.

Some areas are particularly rich in data and allow a longer perspective on trends in house prices. Dublin 6 and Blackrock represent the upper end of the property market. In both these areas, the typical four-bedroom property had an asking price of more than €1m in 2007. In Lucan and Balbriggan, similar properties had an asking price of less than €500,000 that year.

The graph below shows what has happened the asking price of the median four-bedroom property in each of these four areas since the start of 2006. Interestingly, the trend is quite different across the areas. Four-beds in Dublin 6 peaked in 2006 and have been falling since, while Blackrock asking prices – which had been slightly more affordable – rose until 2008. Similarly, Balbriggan has been falling since 2006, while Lucan peaked in 2007.

Median asking prices, 4-bedroom properties, selected areas (2007=100)
Median asking prices, 4-bedroom properties, selected areas (2007=100, 2007 median price shown in brackets)

Nonetheless, some stylised facts do emerge. The more expensive areas are currently witnessing much larger falls in house prices. In Dublin 6 and in Blackrock, the asking price for the typical 4-bed in 2009 so far has been almost 30% below that of 2008. In Lucan and Balbriggan, 2009 asking prices are less than 10% below 2008 prices.

Also, while less pronounced due to the fact that areas like West and North county Dublin started falling earlier, the fall so far from the peak is greater in Dublin 6 (38%) and Blackrock (28%) than either Lucan (21%) or Balbriggan (17%).

This ties in with a message that came from last week’s Daft Rental Report, namely that the top end of the property is currently being hit harder, across both sales and rental segments, due to the greater role that confidence plays in determining price at that end of the market. What of course remains to be seen is how, when confidence turns around, longer-term factors such as per capita housing stock (or overhang) and yields have, across the different tiers of Ireland’s housing market.

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