Monday, 20th August 2018
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KBC Bank Ireland's Chief economist, Austin Hughes, will deliver a presentation on The "new normal" for economies and financial markets to a group of KBC Bank clients in Waterford on July 19th.

In the context of this presentation, Mr Hughes looked at current economic conditions in the South East of Ireland and recent developments in the Waterford housing market.

Economic conditions have improved significantly in Waterford and the South East in recent years. The turnaround has been uneven but the recovery in the South East has broadly mirrored that seen across the Irish economy as a whole although this upturn has been more modest than that seen in Dublin.

New developments and initiatives such as the Waterford Greenway should support further gains in activity and employment.

Job gains in the South East have closely tracked the national average. A slightly poorer trend in employment in the South East in recent quarters may be due in part to statistical issues associated with a new labour force survey but it could also reflect the impact of some high profile layoff announcements in the region.

The latest data on county incomes is for 2016. This shows average disposable income per person of €20,658 in Waterford, the highest in the South East and the seventh highest in Ireland.

Between a 2011 low point and 2016, Waterford incomes increased by 14% compared to a national increase of 11% (Dublin +15%).

The pick-up in employment and incomes in recent years has underpinned an improvement in the property market in Waterford but this has been slower and more choppy than across the country as a whole.

Data from the Central Statistics Office suggest Property prices in Waterford rose at a rate above the national average for much of 2016 and 2017 but the pace of growth has eased of late with the trend increase in Spring 2018 running at 9% year on year compared to a national average increase of 12%.

The median residential property sale price in Waterford in early 2018 was in the region of €193k, about 40k below the national average but the latter is heavily skewed by the median Dublin price of €363k. Waterford is the county with the eighth highest median sales prices in spring 2018.

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