Friday, November 25, 2011

Despite low interest rates, Irish house prices continue falling...83% in one case

The Independent reports that Irish house prices are now down 45% from their 2007 peak and continuing to fall despite a very low interest rate policy.

What makes this statistic particular worrying is that like the banks in the US, the Irish banks have not dealt with the losses in their mortgage book.  Despite the fact that the Irish banks received a significant equity infusion from the government, they have not modified these mortgages so that the borrowers can service them.

The result of not modifying the mortgages is that there continues to be downward pressure on house prices.
HOUSE prices fell last month at their fastest rate for two-and-a-half years, official figures have revealed. 
In further signs that the crash has yet to bottom out, average property prices are down 15.1pc in the last year, the largest annual decline since March 2010. 
The housing index from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also showed the cost of a home is now 45pc cheaper than the peak in early 2007. 
A breakdown of the property market revealed that average prices in Dublin are down 51pc while outside the capital the fall is much lower at 42pc. 
The collapse has hit apartments much harder, with values down 60pc in the last four-and-a-half years. 
The fall of 2.2pc in average property prices in October is the largest monthly drop since April 2009. 
It emerged last week that more than 100,000 people are now struggling to repay their mortgages. 
This is made up of around 62,000 homeowners in arrears of three months, or more, and just less than 40,000 who have restructured their repayments, Central Bank figures revealed.... 
It equates to four out of 10 households in mortgage arrears with the four domestic banks who have now been behind on their repayments for a year or more. 
These families have missed so many of their monthly payments that they have run up an average of €27,000 each in arrears, according to the Central Bank. 
The Central Bank study of mortgages at AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS and Permanent TSB also found that troubled home loans at these lenders represented 56pc of all the mortgages in arrears.

A separate Independent article reports how one Irish house sold at auction for 17% of what its peak price was in 2007.

IF you ever needed proof that the property market had collapsed, here it is. 
A Dublin father yesterday bought his ideal family home for €65,000 -- three years after walking away from the three-bed house when the asking price was €380,000. 
"We looked at that exact house three years ago and it was €380,000," the man -- who didn't want to be identified -- told the Irish Independent as he left the Merlin Property auction in Dublin. 
"It's unbelievable; I thought that when I went in I wouldn't get it. It is the best value I have ever seen.... 
The attractive, three-bed terraced home in East Wall, Dublin, sold for €65,000. 
But the previous owner was happy enough to sell the house he had grown up in with his parents. 
Noel Langrell (55) said that while it had been on the market for a number of years, he was unable to sell it and decided to go to auction when Merlin advertised. 
"If you have a property sitting there and it's going nowhere, this is the way to go," he said afterwards. 
"What can I say? What's the point of holding on to it? It was a family home since the 1920s, my mam died and I was on my own by then." 
Just four of nine properties at the small auction were sold by last night, with three remaining under auction and two withdrawn. 
Their collective earnings were €305,500 compared to a peak market value of €1.03m....
"It's frightening; it's scary," observed a bidder who asked to be identified only as Dermot from Kildare. "And it reflects your own house; if you can pay your mortgage or if you don't have one that's okay but if you have to sell then that's when the issue comes in."

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