House prices in Ireland are rising faster than anywhere else in the European union, according to new statistics.
Prices here were 16.3% higher in the last quarter of 2014 than in the last quarter (Q4) of 2013, according to figures from the Eurostat agency.
This was the highest annual house price increase in the EU, and the figures also show that the rate of increase was higher here than anywhere else in the EU.
However, the rate of increase slowed down as the year passed – from being up by 6.8% in Q2, then up by 6.2% in Q3, followed by a lower rate of increase of 3.8% for Q4.
The year-on-year increase in Ireland is the largest among the EU Member States (for which data are available) for this period, and is followed by Malta (11%), Sweden (10.4%), Estonia (10.1%) and the United Kingdom (10%).
The largest falls in the same period were seen in Slovenia (-4.4%), Cyprus (-3.3%), Latvia (-3.2%) and Italy (-2.9%).
The highest quarterly increases were recorded in Malta (4.6%), Ireland (3.8%), Slovakia (2.1%) and Luxembourg (2%), and the largest falls in Latvia (-10.2%), Lithuania (-4.3%) and Cyprus (-3.0%).