The recently releaseed Residential Property Price Register provides actual sales prices of houses and apartments in Ireland since January 2010.  Yesterday we put up a set of interactive graphs of the data along with some commentary concerning its scope and quality.  Today is the turn of some maps and a look at the geography of the actual sales prices.  Below are five maps – the median price of property in each local authority for 2010, 2011 and 2012, actual change in price and percentage change in price 2010-2012.  We’ve used median rather than the mean to try and control for the skewing effects of outliers and errors in the data (as detailed in our post yesterday).

What the maps show is a clear drop in prices across the country (click on the maps for higher-res versions).  In 2010 no local authority had a median below €127,000.  By 2012, nine local authorities have median prices below €100,000 and a further nine below €127,000.  All of these local authorities are predominately rural in character with a clear divide evident between the principal cities and their commuting hinterlands and everywhere else.  In absolute terms, the biggest drop in median prices between 2010-2012 were in Wicklow, Laois and Waterford, all with inexcess of €67,000 drops in median prices. In percentage terms, Laois and Waterford both sustained large drops in median prices, in excess of -40%, and are joined by similar drops in Longford and Roscommon, with Monaghan not far behind (-39.8%).  In contrast, median prices in Dublin, Kildare and Limerick only dropped by between -20-25%.  Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the percentage median change for Leitrim is only -23.5%, though this is partly reflective of its overall, relatively low prices.  Also see the interactive graphs.

What the maps reveal, in contrast to CSO price index which only provides an overview of residential property prices for Dublin and elsewhere, is that there is a geography to actual sales prices, with prices falling more in some parts of the country than others, affected by local conditions and markets.  There will also be a geography to the market bottoming out and to market recovery.  Whilst the Central Bank report that the market may take up to 18 years to recover, where and when will vary spatially, and we’ll now be able to track such patterns using the PSRA data.

Median residential property price, 2010 (PRSA data)

Median residential property price, 2011 (PRSA data)


Median residential property price, 2012 (PRSA data)

Absolute change in median prices 2010-2012 (PSRA data)

% change median prices 2010-2012 (PSRA data)


Eoghan McCarthy and Rob Kitchin


As noted in Monday’s post, the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) has launched the Residential Property Price Register (RPPR).  It provides sale price for individual properties for all residential sales, including cash sales.  The data includes the address of each property sold, the date of sale, and the price.  AIRO has been examining the data and has produced a set of interactive data visualizations that summarize the entire dataset by local authority and individual property.  These provide average sales price per local authority and also the median sales price to reveal/compensate for the skewing effect of a small number of very expensive properties, prices of individual properties, box plots of sales per local authority, number of new/secondhand properties.

The data visualisations use the full dataset as published.  Whilst we are confident that the vast majority of the data are robust, it is also clear that there are a small number of errors/issues in the dataset that are having a skewing effect.  These are of two types.  First, some properties have the wrong sale prices attached to them (some checking online reveals that the asking price was radically less than the recorded sales price).  We think that a number of them are probably decimal point errors (e.g. the sale price should be recorded €241k not €24.1m).  Second, several properties have been clumped together and not disaggregated (e.g. an entry of 30 apts for €4.5m, rather than 30 entries for €150K each).  We have not cleaned these errors/issues as we do not know what the correct values should be (the use of the median prices compensates for their skewing effect). We did also try and map all of the properties.   This has proved difficult because the PSRA have not used Geodirectory to clean, standardise and geocode their address format, with a variety of formatting used and many spelling mistakes that make matching to Geodirectory not straightforward.  Even for Dublin we only got a 60% address match on a first pass run, meaning the other 40% would require additional work to match.  Despite these issues, the data does give us a good picture of number of sales and sales prices post January 2011 in different parts of the country.

Eoghan McCarthy and Rob Kitchin

It’s probably no coincidence that the Residential Property Price Register (RPPR) was finally launched yesterday by the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) just ahead of the latest quarterly reports by and  The latter two have been key sources of information about house prices over the past few years, providing asking price information at local authority level, along with the CSO’s Residential Property Price Index that provides average selling price but aggregated to two zones, Dublin and everywhere else.  All three existing sources of property price data have problems, either providing asking rather than selling price, and/or having very weak spatial resolution that enables an analysis at a local level, or in the case of the CSO not including cash sales.

The RPPR addresses these issues in that it provides sale price for individual properties for all residential sales, including cash sales.  The data includes the address of each property sold, the date of sale, and the price.  It is not without its shortcomings, however. Details about the property sold are limited, with no infromation about the size of the property (e.g. number of bedrooms) or site size or if the property is a house or apartment (although it does report if it is new or secondhand).  It only includes property sold since January 2010 meaning that whilst it gives an indication of current values it provides no long-term detail on the drop in value since the start of the crash.  In addition the PRSA notes that ‘In a small number of transactions the price reported does not represent the full market price of the property concerned for a variety of reasons. For example, the price declared may reflect the retention of an interest in the property by the previous owner, or the fact that a part or fraction only of the property is being purchased; alternatively, the property may have been purchased at a reduced price under the Affordable Homes Scheme.’

That said, the RPPR marks a significant step forward in filling a large data gap with respect to residential property in Ireland.  It means that for the first time buyers and sellers will be able to see how the market has been performing locally, rather than having to rely on estate agents guidance.  It also provides property analysts with a much better picture of the state of the housing market.  It therefore is to be very much welcomed.

Rob Kitchin