Happy St. Patrick's Day.
What with the Cunard's QM2 in Sydney Harbour still and a sea of green T-shirts around, George Street was like a humid version of Temple Bar yesterday...at least until the thunderstorms kicked in.
Well, the Irish certainly didn't look like they needed any more reasons to celebrate, but as it turns out they do, with house prices in the Emerald Isle at last on the road to recovery.
The so-called global house price league shows Ireland at #19 with prices up by 6.4% in the 12 months to 31 December 2013.
Dubai topped the table with bust having turned back into boom and dwelling prices up by an outlandish 34.8% in the past year, although that particularly market is still down by a quarter since its pre-financial crisis peak.
Source: Knight Frank
Other notable performers include the UK at #18 (+7.0% y/y), New Zealand at #14 (+9.2%) and Australia at #13 (+9.2%).
The USA is all the way up at #9 with prices up by more than 11% in the 12 month period.
Languishing countries include France at #44 (-1.4%), Spain at #50 (-4.0%) and Italy at #51 (-5.3%).
Prices in Greece fell by 9.3%, in recession-mired Cyprus by 7.3%, and in Croatia by 14.4%.
Although the Eurozone countries continue to prop up the table there are some indicators that in states such as France, Spain and Holland the falls are slowing and perhaps bottoming out.
Prices were up for the year in 39 countries as at Q4 2013, as compared to only 27 in 2012, suggesting that globally low interest rates and stimulus measures are beginning to work gradually.
When prices are rising Knight Frank's table tends to be discussed in a reasonably fair nature.
Yet, rest assured when prices are falling and gains turns to blame, the way in which rising house prices are reported in the manner of weekend footie results will once again be cited as part of the root cause of the malaise.
Housing enjoys a unique status as an asset class, being the only essential item for which rising prices are cheered as something to be enjoyed by owners.