Ireland tops EU for fastest rise in house prices
IRISH house prices are the fastest rising in Europe.
The asking price for an Irish home climbed at a rate 15 times greater than the rate across the EU.
New figures published by Eurostat show that across Europe the average rise in house prices was 1.1pc between last September and December.
In Ireland however house prices were 16.3pc higher in the final quarter of 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013.
The price hike slowed somewhat in the last three months of the year but prices continued to rise, driven by a lack of new properties coming onto the market.
Ireland surpassed other European states with price hikes by at least 5pc. Malta saw the next highest increase of 10pc, followed by Sweden.
Estonia and the UK both saw house prices jump by 10pc year on year.
In February, the Central Bank introduced new lending regulations. The mortgage rules now mean that buyers must stump up a deposit of between 10-20pc.
Mortgages are also limited to no more than 3.5 times the borrower's salary.
Ronan Lyons, chief economist with Daft, said that Dublin was driving the increases shown in the Eurostat figures but that the market has cooled down somewhat now.
"The pressure now is outside Dublin in terms of upward pressure on prices," he said.
The effects of the new rules will become clearer as 2015 progresses, he said.
"The new rules are effectively linking house prices with people's incomes, so if people's incomes aren't rising at high rates it will be hard for house prices to do the same," he told the Herald.
"Ireland is unique because it is such an open country. The good times are very good but the bad times very bad," the economist added.
"Ireland's population is growing more than other EU countries which is the ultimate source for growing housing demand."
The latest data from the property markets shows that the national average house price is €201,000.
Meanwhile, the average house price in Dublin varies from €226,000 to €459,000 depending on the area.
South Dublin house prices are at the top of the scale when compared with the rest of the city.