Decline in house prices getting sharper

House prices in the third and fourth quarters of last year maintained a downward trend evident throughout 2008, the Central Bank says in its Quarterly Review, just published.
It said the bank’s property price indicator showed an annual decline of 3.2% in advertised prices, following contractions of 0.7% and 2.7% in the previous two quarters.
During the third quarter, lower prices were observed in six of the eight categories surveyed. Prices of finished flats, the most common type, were down by 5.5% on a year earlier, though the largest reductions, of 9.6% and 9.1%, respectively, were reported for villas and maisonettes in shell form.
Prices rose in only two categories: maisonettes in finished form and town houses. The prices of the latter, which account for 6% of the market, reported a sharp rise during the quarter, but these tend to display a high degree of volatility.
Data for the fourth quarter of 2008 revealed a further drop, of 4.4%, in house prices.


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