Property prices are up 8% in the last year, official figures have revealed.
While the national picture showed little or no movement in values in February, demand for homes outside Dublin has really driven the growth in the market in the previous 12 months.
Sale prices for properties outside of the capital soared 11.5% in the year to the end of last month, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said.
In Dublin the increase in values over the same period was 4% for houses and 4.3% for apartments.
The figures give further weight to a survey for the Real Estate Alliance which found first-time house-buyers working in Dublin are being forced to buy as far away as Laois and Offaly because they are frozen out of the market in the capital.
The poll suggests the search for affordable properties and Central Bank lending limits are pushing a new wave of house-hunters into hour-plus commutes.
The CSO report said house prices are about 35% lower than at the peak in 2007.
Pat Davitt, chief executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (Ipav), said there is huge divergence in price in several markets in Dublin, rural areas, regional cities and towns and between second-hand and new builds.
He also claimed that about half of the homes being purchased are by cash buyers.
“These buyers are eclipsing first-time buyers who cannot reach the thresholds set by the Central Bank mortgage regulations,” he said.
“We are in a seriously dysfunctional market in terms of value, production and house sales turnover.”
Mr Davitt claimed there were only 43,428 residential transactions last year, about half of what would be considered normal, and he called for urgent action to address the country’s housing crisis.
“It is vital that current talks on government formation result in serious, urgent and unprecedented action to tackle what is now, finally, acknowledged to be the number one policy issue facing the country,” he said.