Average house prices down €2,000

The average price paid for a house in Ireland in March was €2,007 below the February figure, according to the latest edition of the permanent tsb / ESRI House Price Index.

The fall reflects a decline in national prices of 0.6% in March - the first reduction in national house prices since January 2002, when prices declined by 0.9%.

The average price paid for a house nationally in March 2007 was €309,071, compared with €310,632 in December 2006.

Over the first quarter of the year (January to March inclusive) prices nationally decreased by 0.5%, compared to growth of 3.5% in the same period last year.

However, the average price paid for a house in March this year was still 7.4% higher than the average price paid in March last year. This was a lower increase than the 9.5% difference in national prices which occurred between February 2006 and February 2007.

Head of marketing with permanent tsb Niall O’Grady said: "The reduction in average national house prices in March has been reflected in all market sectors with the exception of Dublin and houses bought by first-time buyers.

"Clearly stamp duty uncertainty (and) recent ECB rate rises are both impacting on demand for houses."

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