This week there has been some great news from the Irish economic stand point, employment rates are up and house prices & loan applications are on their way down.
Employment Rates increase
There has been some news from the CSO (www.cso.ie) showing that employment levels in Ireland rose at an annual rate of 3.9 percent in the second quarter of 2007. This is slightly faster than the 3.8 percent recorded in the first quarter of this year.
A breakdown showed that employment in the finance, health and retail sectors also grew strongly. The only segment to show a decrease was public administration and defense.
Of course these figures need to be seasonally adjusted, with this the unemployment rate stood at 4.6 percent at the end of May versus 4.4 percent in the previous three months and 4.2 percent in the final September to November quarter of last year. The number of people in employment in the three months to the end of May rose by 78,400 on the year to 2,095,400 according to the Quarterly National Household Survey which runs from December to November rather than following the calendar year.
Housing Prices start to fall in Ireland
Another report, released yesterday by SRI and Permanent TSB. Show that the average house prices fell since the start of the year. Also new figures show that average house prices have fallen by more than €9,000, or 3%, in the first seven months of this year. The average price paid for a house in July was €301,267, almost the same as the average for June last year.
Also the number of housing loan applications has had a sharp drop. In Q1 of 2007 the figure dropped by 22% from the previous quarter for fixed rate mortgages and variable rate mortages. Minister for Housing Batt O’Keeffe said
“Figures contained within this release confirm that the housing market is evolving to a more balanced and sustainable growth pattern, particularly with regard to house prices and mortgage lending”