Irish house prices now rising at faster rate than most EU states

Eurostat figures indicate property prices here rose by 4.1% in third quarter of last year

According to the latest Eurostat figures, house prices here rose by 4.1 per cent in the third quarter of last year compared with the previous quarter. Photograph: Alan Betson

According to the latest Eurostat figures, house prices here rose by 4.1 per cent in the third quarter of last year compared with the previous quarter. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 12:24

Irish house prices are now rising at a faster rate than in nearly every other European Union country.

According to the latest Eurostat figures, house prices here rose by 4.1 per cent in the third quarter of last year compared with the previous quarter.

This was the second-highest rate of acceleration recorded across the EU, eclipsed only by Estonia where prices jumped by 5.3 per cent.

Compared with the second quarter of 2013, house prices rose by 0.6 per cent in the euro area and by 0.7 per cent in EU in a sign that economic recovery was slowly gathering pace.

On an annual basis, house prices fell by 1.3 per cent in the euro zone and by 0.5 per cent in the EU in the third quarter compared with the same quarter of 2012.

The quarterly gain was the strongest since a 1.1 per cent increase in the second quarter of 2011, while the annual drop was the smallest since the fourth quarter of 2011.

Among the EU member states for which data are available, the highest annual increases in house prices in the third quarter of 2013 were recorded in Estonia (+11.1 per cent), Luxembourg (+6.5 per cent) and Latvia (+6.2 per cent), with the largest falls in Croatia (-16.9 per cent), Cyprus (-8.0 per cent) and Spain (-6.4 per cent).

The highest quarterly increases in the third quarter of 2013 were recorded in Estonia (+5.3 per cent), Ireland (+4.1 per cent), and the United Kingdom (+2.5 per cent), with the largest declines recorded in Slovenia (-4.0 per cent), Denmark (-3.3 per cent) and Romania (-2.4 per cent).

Only five of the 17 euro area countries - Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia and Finland - saw house prices fall between July and September last year, according to the data.

Meanwhile, mortgage lenders in the UK reported that last month was their strongest December since 2007.

Some £17 billion worth of mortgages were advanced to customers last month, up 49 per cent on the same month a year ago when £11.4 billion worth of loans were issued, according to a report from the UK’s Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

It was also the highest total for a December month since 2007, the CML added.