Housing, housing, housing. It really is one of the main economic stories of 2017 and the problem is receiving a lot of attention in the media as the homeless crisis grows and millennials are finding it more difficult than previous generations, to get on the housing ladder. In the year to September, house prices at a national level increased by 12.8%. Overall, this national index is 27% lower than its highest level in 2007. However, since 2013 national house prices are up 70%, but the spatial divergence of house price changes across the country is increasing. There is a two story Ireland - East and West. Most roads are leading to the Dublin City Region. However, Cork is also experiencing increases.
The spatial divergence in median house prices in Co. Cork can be identified in Figure 1. Median house (i.e. most commonly bought property) prices are used as these represent purchases of your ‘typical buyer’. The maps are also by Eircode which means some Eircodes represent a combination of areas like Carrigaline: includes locations like Crosshaven and Shanbally, as they share the same Eircode. To date in 2017, the median house price in Kinsale was the highest in Cork at 307,000 euros. This was three times higher than the median house price of the least expensive area in Charleville at 103,000 euros. The most expensive areas now are Kinsale, Crookstown, Watergrasshill and Carrignavar. The least expensive locations in 2017 are Charleville, Youghal, Mallow and Dunmanway. In comparison, median house prices are 240000 euros in Carrigaline, 256,000 euros in Ballincollig and 249,000 in South Cork city.
The percentage change since the bottom period of house prices following the 2008 recession to now (2012-2017) is presented in Figure 2. Dark brown represents the areas with median house price increases of greater than 25 per cent. Macroom and Kinsale recorded the largest increases. Carrigaline was not far behind with an increase of 30% during this period. This was roughly on par with Ballincollig, Cork Southside, Glanmire, Carrignavar and Watergrasshill. Areas outside the typical Cork city commuting region that had significant increases were Skibbereen and Mitchelstown. The housing markets of Dunmanway, Rylane, Charleville and Bandon actually experienced negative growth during this time. It is important to note that there is likely to be significant variations within Eircode. A small area population based level of analysis with the deprivation index would suggest that places like Carrigaline are also very different to Shanbally and Passage with respect to house prices. And the variation at even a more local level is likely to be large even in different places of Carrigaline. Local experience in analysing house price differences from estate to estate would identify this.