Prices rose in the second half of last year after interest rate hikes put a dampener on price growth in the first half of the year, according to the latest quarterly house price report from MyHome.ie in association with Bank of Ireland.
There has been a 50pc rise in the number of people earning more than €100,000, according to Revenue figures. This has boosted property prices in a market where a chronic shortage of supply is also fuelling price growth.
The report found that annual asking price inflation was 4.1pc nationwide, 4pc in Dublin and 3.9pc in the market outside of Dublin. This is despite a dip in asking prices nationally in the last three months of last year.
However, the decline was of similar magnitude to that which occurred in the same quarter last year and reflects the quieter winter months.
The typical, or median, asking price nationally was €325,000 in the last quarter. In Dublin it was €415,000 and elsewhere around the country it was €280,000.
Bank of Ireland economist Conall MacCoille, who wrote the property report, said prices will keep rising this year.
He is predicting another rise in house prices over the course of the year.
Last year was one of two halves for the property market, the MyHome.ie report indicates.
Houses are now selling for 4pc above their asking prices, but at the start of last year, just 1pc of residential properties were selling for over their asking price.
Property experts said the buoyancy of the labour market has had a huge impact on the market.
Revenue estimates there has been a 50pc rise since 2022 in the number of tax units (single or jointly assessed couples) with incomes exceeding €100,000.
About 357,000 tax units now earn more than €100,000.
Rising property prices and higher incomes meant the average mortgage approval amount in October hit €297,000.
This was up 6.1pc on the year, meaning buyers are taking on greater mortgage debt despite higher European Central Bank (ECB) rates.
However, a supply shortage continues to dog the market.
There were just 11,600 properties for sale on MyHome.ie at the end of last year.
That was down from 13,400 in the summer months.
It was well below the pre-pandemic figure of 20,000-plus.
“If asking prices were under pressure at the start of the year as the market adapted to a new interest rate environment, the picture at year end was very different,” Mr MacCoille said.
He said continuing supply issues meant that the market heated up again and asking prices nationally were up over 4pc by the end of last year.
“Ireland’s buoyant labour market has meant that high interest rates have not had a negative impact on property prices,” he said.
His view is that there will be another single-digit rise in house prices this year.
“There will again be competing pressures on prices coming from elevated rates of interest on the one hand and continuing supply shortages on the other,” he said.
“If anything, the rise may be sharper given the supply issues and the possibility – despite mixed signals from policymakers – of interest rate reductions happening at some point during the year.”
Joanne Geary, managing director of MyHome.ie, said supply shortage is now a very real issue.