Irish real estate: Still a disaster

This just in. Ireland’s residential housing market is still a disaster.

Home prices are some 50% lower than they were when the market peaked in September 2007, according to the latest update from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office. Through April, prices are down 1.2% nationwide, though that’s something of an improvement. In the 12 months that preceded April 2012, prices tumbled more than 16%. As for bright spots, the Dublin market showed signs of stabilizing.

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Give the volume of overbuilding and speculation in Irish real estate, you’d expect that prices would decline for an extended period of time. But as we’ve told you before, Ireland’s dysfunctional housing market has real costs, and if the troubled island nation’s domestic economy is going to improve anytime soon, housing will have to stop being such a drag.

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