on the up

Property prices rise at fastest pace in the EU

House price rises in Ireland were the highest in the European Union last year.

They increased by more than six times the EU average in the first three months of this year.

The annual rise was close to 17pc in the three months to March compared with the same quarter last year.

This was the highest rise in the EU, according to the Eurostat House Price Index.

The EU statistical office said the surge in prices here was despite prices actually falling in the three months to March.

Sweden had the next highest rise in prices, at 11.6pc in the year to March, followed by Hungary at close to 10pc.