Irish house price decline halts

Irish house prices rose in May, though they remained down annually, according to the newest data published yesterday. This is the first increase since 2007, though the magnitude of the rise is tiny, at 0.2 per cent. The arrest in declines is a relief for Irish banks, whose mortgage portfolios were devastated by the bursting of the property bubble. However economists polled by Reuters still expect prices to fall some 12 per cent in 2012 and a further five per cent in 2013.