The Central Bank’s new rules on mortgages will encourage investors into the rental market, according to property firm Savills.

In a new report, the company said the rules, which set a minimum deposit for home purchases, would inevitably force people to spend more time saving before they could buy – which would in turn increase the need for rented accommodation. 

Savills said it did not believe the rules would do anything to soften demand for property but would instead lead to a change in the type of buyer in the market.

The firm also said that quantitative easing would help feed investors' interest in Irish property, as they looked for alternatives for their money against a backdrop of falling deposit yields.

The falling value of the euro, meanwhile, would increase the amount of activity coming from overseas – particularly Britain.

Some of this could include emigrants who were looking to move back to be near family and friends again, the company said.

Overall, Savills predicted continued price growth in the Irish property market this year but it expected the rate to be slower than in the past 12-18 months.

Savills said it also expected prices to grow strongly in the areas surrounding Dublin, as potential buyers priced out of the county looked for better deals in Wicklow, Kildare and Meath.