Prices in the 20-member eurozone fell 2.1pc in the three months to September last year, compared to the same period the previous year. Prices were down 1pc in the 27-member EU, year on year.
In Ireland, however, prices rose 1.4pc year on year in the third quarter and were up 1.5pc compared to the second quarter, the April to June period.
Irish prices had fallen slightly earlier in 2023, but that trend looks to have ended. Analysts are now predicting prices will pick up this year, particularly outside Dublin, due to population growth and the prospect of interest rate cuts.
“All the indications on the ground are that Irish house prices will stabilise – and indeed, gain momentum, this year,” said Ian Lawlor, managing director of Lotus Investment Group, which lends to developers. “Predictions by a number of estate agents suggest that house prices will continue their upward climb, particularly in areas outside of Dublin. This growth is fuelled by demographic trends, the potential for falling interest rates, and a strong economic backdrop.”
The figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, show house prices in Luxembourg — which had been rising the fastest in the bloc — dipped by 13.6pc in the third quarter. German house prices were down by more than 10pc year on year in the third quarter.
Prices were also down in previously fast-growing markets such as Denmark and Sweden.
The latest quarterly house price report from property website myhome.ie shows that Irish house prices rose in the second half of last year.
Asking-price inflation was 4.1pc nationwide, 4pc in Dublin and 3.9pc in the market outside of Dublin.
The median asking price nationally was €325,000 in the final three months of last year. Bank of Ireland economist Conall MacCoille, who wrote the property ¬report, expects prices will keep rising this year.
Markets expect the European Central Bank to start cutting interest rates by the middle of the year, which could add further momentum to property prices.
Portugal’s central bank chief Mario Centeno told Bloomberg this week that the recent inflation slowdown has brought “the moment of easing” closer, despite some central bankers fearing that wage demands could push inflation back up. The ECB said it will make its decisions based on inflation data, wages and bank lending figures.
Irish inflation spiked higher in December, as did prices in the rest of the eurozone. The ECB meets on January 25 for its first rate-setting meeting of the year.