West sees fastest rate of house price growth

House prices grew faster in parts of the West of the country than anywhere else last year, official figures have revealed.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the lowest rate of growth was in the Fingal region of north Dublin, where values were up by just 3.2% over the course of 2016.

Overall, prices in the West were up 17.8%.

In south Dublin, values grew by 9.7%, while other strong markets were the Midlands, up 12%, and the Mid West, South East and South West all seeing growth of more than 10%.

The CSO said the recovery in the market has left prices about a third below where they were when the property bubble burst in early 2007.

Leading estate agent Savills said there was a big drop in the number of sales recorded in Dublin in December due to uncertainty over mortgage lending restrictions and a help-to-buy scheme.

John McCartney, Savills director of research, said: "With these schemes now active and enabling first-time buyers to pay more in the market, we expect the house price index to resume its upward trend.

"However, due to the time lag required to collect data and compute the index, this might not be seen until March or even April."

The Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers (IPAV) said a lack of supply was driving house prices up.

Pat Davitt, chief executive of the organisation which represents 1,100 auctioneers, said 14,932 new homes were built and ready to be occupied last year.

"Issues impeding supply remain to be addressed. Not enough attention has been focused on why the supply of private homes, in contrast to that of commercial property, is falling so badly short of what is required," he said.

Mr Davitt also called for VAT costs on new homes to be reviewed.

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