Ireland leads European house price growth


Ireland is leading rising house prices across Europe, according to new figures, as the country helped bring overall growth in the eurozone to 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2014.

The official data from Eurostat shows that house prices climbed 2.3 per cent year-on-year in the EU, while prices rose 1.1 per cent compared with the second quarter of 2014 – and by 0.6 per cent in the wider euro area.

Ireland’s 15 per cent annual growth was the highest recorded, followed by Estonia (13.2 per cent), Latvia and the United Kingdom (both 11.7 per cent), Sweden (10.3 per cent) and Lithuania (10.1 per cent), and the largest falls in Slovenia (5.4 per cent), Italy (3.8 per cent) and Romania (2.3 per cent).

The highest quarterly increases were recorded in Ireland (6.2 per cent), Latvia (4.9 per cent), and Croatia (4.7 per cent), and the largest falls in Slovenia (1.1 per cent), Romania and Malta (both 0.9 per cent).

Two eurozone housing markets that have been the subject of much speculation recently are Spain and Portugal.

Spain’s property prices grew 1.7 per cent in Q2 2014 and then by 0.2 per cent in Q3 2014 compared to the previous quarter. On an annual basis, it saw prices rise 0.8 per cent year-on-year in Q2 2014 and by 0.3 per cent in Q3 2014, confirming the positive verdict from the IMF that the country’s housing market has now bottomed out.

Portugal’s property prices slipped 0.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter in Q3 2014, but rose 4.9 per cent year-on-year in the same three months, indicating the market’s gradual improvement.