Housing market shows signs of improvement

The number of homes changing hands in the third quarter of 2009 fell 23% compared with the same period in 2008 while prices were down almost 5%, the estate agents’ association NVM said on Thursday.

But compared with the previous quarter, house prices were unchanged. This is a sign of ‘cautious recovery’, the organisation said. The average price paid for a home is now €229,000.
The number of house sales is down 1% quarter on quarter but traditionally 5% fewer homes change hands in the third quarter, the NVM said.
‘We are seeing a calmer, more stable picture. There is no sign of a steep decline,’ chairman Ger Hukker said in a statement. ‘There are no really positive signals but there does appear to be some upward movement.’
The NVM said it was maintaining its earlier forecast of a 5% drop in house prices over the full year. ‘But if the final quarter shows stability as well, it will be nearer 2% than 5%,’ Hukker said.

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