Residential property prices increased again last month, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office.

The CSO figures show that national prices were 14.9% higher in August compared to August 2013 - the 15th annual increase in a row.

Residential prices across the country rose by 2.3% in the month of August compared to July.

Dublin saw property price increases of 3.5% in the month, while they were 25.1% higher than a year ago.

In the rest of the country, prices rose by 0.8% in August on a monthly basis, while they were 5.6% higher than this time last year. 

The CSO said that Dublin house prices rose by 3.5% in the month of August, and were 24.7% higher compared to the same month last year.

It also noted that Dublin apartment prices were 32.6% higher on an annual basis, but it added that apartment transactions are based on low volume levels and therefore suffer from greater volatility.

Today's figures show that house prices in Dublin are more than 39% lower than at the peak of the market at the start of 2007. Dublin apartments are 45.8% lower than their 2007 peak.

The prices of residential properties outside of Dublin are 44.6% lower than their highest level in September 2007. 

Today's CSO figures are based on mortgage draw-downs and do not include cash transactions.

Alan McQuaid, chief economist with Merrion, said August's numbers represented the 15th annual increase in a row.

He pointed out that the underlying housing market was a lot more robust than the official data would suggest as the figures are based solely on mortgage draw-downs. 

"Although cash sales are not as high now compared with the start of the year, they are still significant, with three to four of every ten transactions a cash purchase," he said.

"The generally improving economic backdrop should help to sustain the house price recovery in the short-term even with limited credit availability for potential buyers."

"Longer-term, however, the flow of credit needs to be a lot higher than it is now. Following an average increase of 1.8% in house prices last year, we are now looking for an increase of around 13.5% in 2014."

Conall Mac Coille, chief economist with Davy, said there appeared to be little evidence that the recovery in Irish house prices was abating.

He pointed out, however, that the market was exceptionally illiquid with just 15,688 residential property market transactions in the first half of 2014, comprising around 0.8% of the housing stock.

"This suggests that the average house is being sold once every 64 years at current transaction rates. That said, year-to-date transaction levels are up almost 50% on 2013," he said.

"The pick-up in house price inflation increasingly reflects negative factors, preventing the Irish economy from achieving its potential. Specifically, activity and employment in housing construction remain at moribund levels, holding back the supply of fresh homes to satiate demand from first-time buyers," Mr Mac Coille concluded.