New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that residential property prices jumped by 13% in the year to April, the highest annual growth rate since early 2015.

The CSO said that property prices rose by 0.7% on a monthly basis in April, up from growth of 0.6% in March.

Today's figures show that Dublin residential property prices increased by 12.5% in the year to April.

Dublin house prices rose by 11.7%, while the price of apartments in the city jumped by 15.9%

The CSO noted that the highest house price growth was in Dublin City, at 14.9%, while the lowest growth was in South Dublin, where house prices increased 6.9%.

Residential property price growth in the rest of Ireland continued to outpace Dublin growth in April, with prices rising by 13.6%. 

House prices in the rest of Ireland increased 12.9%, with apartment prices surging 17.8% ahead. 

The Mid-West region showed the greatest price growth, with house prices there increasing 18.7%, while the Border region showed the least price growth, with house prices increasing 9.3%.

Despite all the recent rises, Dublin residential property prices are 23.3% lower than their February 2007 peak, while residential property prices in the rest of the country are 26.1% lower than their May 2007 peak.

Today's CSO figures also reveal that the median price paid for a home in April was €233,000.

Dublin was the region with the highest median price of €356,000 in the year to April. 

Of the four administrative areas of Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price at €528,000, while Fingal had the lowest median price of €315,000).

Outside Dublin, the highest median prices were in Wicklow where the cost of a home was €310,946 and in Kildare at €276,000. 

The lowest median prices for a home were in Longford (€91,750) and Roscommon (€92,000).

Today's CSO figures also show that in the 12 months to April,  a total of 43,937 household market dwelling purchases were filed with the Revenue Commissioners. 

Of these, 29% were purchases by first-time buyer owner-occupiers, while 51.5% were purchases by former owner-occupiers and 19.5% were purchases by non-occupiers.

In April, 951 first-time buyer purchases were filed with Revenue. 

This is an increase of 19.8% compared to April 2017 and an increase of 5.3% compared to March 2018. 

These purchases comprised 314 new dwellings and 637 existing dwellings, the CSO said.

Commenting on today's figures, Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said he predicts house price growth will stay in positive territory on a year-on-year basis for the foreseeable future.

He said the annual rate of increase looks like it is set to remain in double-digits for well into 2018 at least. 

"The biggest rise this year is likely to come from outside the capital, with the asking price for houses in more expensive areas rising at a slower rate," he said.

The economist said that changes to Central Bank rules mean that in more expensive areas, the trend of increasing house prices will not be as pronounced. 

He said up to a fifth of mortgages were allowed to exceed a loan-to-income ratio of 3.5 previously, but this is becoming even tighter in 2018 with only 10% of those trading up allowed to breach that rule. 

The allocation remains unchanged for first-time buyers. 

"Dublin prices will be out of reach for more borrowers as a result, while in other areas where buyers will not need to borrow as much, prices will see stronger growth," he added.