House prices forecast to fall further

House prices are forecast to fall by up to a further 10% this year.

The prediction is contained in the latest EBS/DKM housing affordability index which shows prices have so far fallen by 27% since the peak of the boom in 2006.

The report also shows the average monthly mortgage repayment for first time buyers fell by almost 50% over the last three years.

Dara Deering, Director of Membership Business at EBS, said houses are becoming more affordable, with prices back to 2003 levels.

“The market for first time buyers is becoming increasingly attractive: over the past three years, property prices have decreased by almost 27%," Deering said.

"This equates to €83,000 for properties nationally and € 137,000 for properties in Dublin."

“First time buyers considering entering the market over the coming 12 months should expect to see this contraction continue, albeit at a slower rate than last year.

"In addition to falling prices there are a number of other environmental factors which are helping to ensure that affordability levels continue to improve. This certainly suggests that it is now a good time for first time buyers to consider investing in the property market.

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