By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — Home prices throughout Ireland rose by 2.9 percent in April, the largest monthly increase in prices since July 1998, according to the Permanent/TSB index, which is compiled in association with the Economic and Social Research Institute.
Dublin houses prices rose by 2 percent while those in the rest of the country went up by 3.4 percent.
“Since the start of the year we have seen a steady rise in the annual rate of increase — from 2.4 percent in the 12 months to January to 3.2 percent in the 12 months to March,” said Niall O’Grady, general manager marketing in Permanent/TSB.
“Clearly prices are strengthening on the back of last December’s budget, which introduced more favorable tax treatment of investment properties, and the continuing benign outlook for interest rates.
“We expected further increases in the months ahead,” he said.
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Despite the renewed rise in house prices the annual rate is still much lower than in the past. In the year to April 2001 prices rose by 18.4 percent.
Permanent/TSB, which accounts for one in four of new mortgages sold in the country, said the average price paid for a house in Dublin was euro 241,745, while the equivalent price for the rest of the country was euro 169,020.
Nationally, the average price paid by a first-time buyer was euro 166,511.