Property prices across the country fell at their fastest annual rate in almost two years last month, as the economic crash continues to take its toll on homeowners and investors.

House prices in Dublin collapsed by 20% last year with apartments down by 15.6% according to the latest set of figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The Central Statistics Office said residential property prices dropped by 16.7% in the year to December, the biggest annual fall since February 2010.

Amid the continuing gloom, there is one chink of light however – the price of apartments rose by 1.3% in December, the second monthly rise in a row.

The full month by month table can be seen on this CSO link.

House prices in Dublin are 54% lower than at their highest level in early 2007.

Apartments in Dublin are 58% lower than they were in February 2007. Residential property prices in Dublin are 55% lower than at their highest level in February 2007.

The fall in the price of residential properties in the rest of the country is lower at 43%. Overall, the national index is 47% lower than its highest level in 2007, the CSO said.

There was a 1.7% decline during the month of December after a 1.5% drop in November. Prices nationally are now 47% below peak levels reached in early 2007.

In Dublin, residential property prices fell by 2.4% in December and were 19.4% lower than a year ago. Dublin house prices fell by 3% in the month and were 19.9% lower compared with a year earlier.

Dublin apartment prices were 15.6% lower when compared with the same month of 2010, though they rose by 1.3% in December - the second monthly rise in a row.