Property prices in Dublin rose by 11pc last year while the commuter belt counties saw an increase of only 1pc, a report has revealed.
Daft.ie said Meath, Wicklow and Kildare saw little change, while the strong growth in pockets of the capital masked figures that show prices still coming down in every other part of the country, including city centres.
Despite the continued poor market outside Dublin – a fall of 6pc and asking prices down 4pc in Galway, 6pc in Cork, 7pc in Waterford and 12pc in Limerick – the property website said that overall it was the smallest decline in five years.
The average asking price for a home in the country is now €171,000, up 0.2pc from the beginning of last year and down 55pc from the peak.
Daft.ie economist Ronan Lyons (inset) urged authorities to look at freeing up brownfield industrial land and some greenfield sites for new developments or impose taxes on the value of derelict sites in Dublin.
"There is plenty of scope for increasing housing supply in the capital once we as a society not only make better use of empty sites but are also prepared to re-designate land so that it can be used more effectively and facilitate building where it pays off," he said.
"If we are not, we will have to accept that Dublin will become an enclave for those with the highest incomes."