Irish house prices rise almost three times euro zone average

Irish prices up 11.8 per cent in fourth quarter compared with 4.2 per cent across euro zone

Ireland’s house prices increased by double digits in percentage terms for much of last year. Photograph: iStock

Ireland’s house prices increased by double digits in percentage terms for much of last year. Photograph: iStock

 

House prices in Ireland rose almost three times more than in the euro zone in the fourth quarter of last year.

Figures from the European Union’s official statistics office, Eurostat, show that Ireland had the highest annual house price increases in the fourth quarter, at 11.8 per cent, while prices rose just 4.2 per cent in the euro zone. Across the entire EU, prices rose by 4.5 per cent in the period.

The next highest yearly price increases came from Portugal, with 10.5 per cent, and Slovenia, with 10 per cent, in the quarter, while prices in Italy fell 0.3 per cent.

For much of last year, Ireland’s home prices were increasing by double digits in percentage terms, while the EU as a whole saw prices edge up by between 4.2 and 4.5 per cent.

Despite a fall-off in prices in the fourth quarter, the Czech Republic was the only country with higher growth in the second and third quarters, while in the first quarter Lithuania and the Czech Republic recorded higher price increases.

European pillar economies such as France and Germany recorded growth of 3.9 and 3.7 per cent respectively in the final three months of 2017, both falling below the average across the EU and euro zone.

Italy was the only country that recorded price decreases in every quarter last year but in Croatia prices fell 0.4 per cent in the first quarter, ultimately increasing 7.6 per cent in the fourth quarter compared with the previous year.

On a quarterly basis, European prices rose 0.7 per cent and 0.9 per cent in the euro zone, while Irish prices increased 2.6 per cent, the second-fastest quarterly increase in the EU and 0.1 percentage point behind Cyprus.