House price rises here were third highest in world
Property price rises in Ireland were the third highest in the world last year.
A global study shows that only Iceland and Hong Kong experienced stronger house price growth.
Prices for homes and apartments surged by almost 12pc here last year. This was the fifth year of strong growth in prices, according to the Global Property Guide study.
Surging house prices in the State are mainly driven by strong demand as well as supply shortages.
The economy grew by around 7.3pc last year and is projected to expand by another 4.4pc this year, the study noted. According to the guide: "With Ireland's economy growing by 7.3pc last year, it is not surprising that the housing market is growing at breakneck speed. It moved up by four notches in 2017 to third place, with residential property prices rising by 11.92pc."
In the last three months of last year, prices were up 2.22pc due to strong demand for houses to buy and an acute shortage of supply. The study, which covers 101 countries, found that the rise in European house prices continues unabated. Three of the five strongest housing markets in the global survey are in Europe, with rising house prices in 15 of the 23 European housing markets.
In Ireland, vibrant economic growth again this year and the inability of developers to keep up with demand is expected by economic commentators to keep prices elevated.
The latest figures show that a total of 835 new homes were registered in January, up 52pc on last year, according to Goodbody Stockbrokers.
This means close to 10,000 new homes were registered in the year up to last month.
Semi-detached homes represented the most popular type of unit completed in January, according to economist Dermot O'Leary of Goodbody.
He uses building energy ratings (BER) registrations to track supply.
The analysis shows that 9,765 new homes were registered in the 12 months to the end of January, representing a year-on-year increase of 73pc.