'Entire generation' risks being priced out as property cost continues to surge
Property prices continue to soar at double-digit percentage rates, rising at an even faster pace in March than in the previous month.
Prices outside of Dublin are also continuing to increase at a higher rate than in the capital.
Property prices at national level increased by 12.7pc in the year to March, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
This compares with 12.5pc in the year to February, and was the fastest rate of growth since May 2015. The rise in the month of March was 0.8pc.
The surge in property prices has been labelled a threat to the economy, pushing home ownership out of the reach of many buyers.
Economists expect these double-digit percentage increases to continue in the coming months until supply of new homes improves.
In Dublin, residential property prices increased by 12.1pc in the year to March, the CSO said.
Residential property prices in the rest of Ireland, which excludes Dublin, were 13.4pc higher in the year to March.
The West region showed the greatest price growth, with house prices increasing 18pc.
The Border region showed the least price growth, with house prices increasing 8.8pc.
Overall, the national index is 21.6pc lower than its highest level in 2007.
The average price paid for a property across the country was €282,400. This is €25,400 more than was being paid for residential property a year ago.
Brokers Ireland warned that unless supply of properties ramps up more quickly, a whole generation now in their late 20s and 30s may never be able to recover the financial loss of not being able to acquire a home at an affordable price.
KBC Bank economist Austin Hughes estimated that higher property prices have boosted the value of household wealth by €60bn in the year to March.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions said there was now an urgent need for the Government to take a greater role in the provision of affordable homes.
Congress general secretary Patricia King said that Ireland was in the midst of a very real housing emergency.
"This crisis is doing untold damage to many lives and an entire generation of young workers now wonders if they will be able to afford suitable and secure accommodation," she said.