HOUSES in Ireland are the second least affordable in the world, according to the latest study.
A report published by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has revealed that Ireland's house prices are currently the second-most expensive in the world - relative to income.
Only Switzerland has a more expensive property market.
The study also showed that the ratio between prices and rents was the third highest behind the Netherlands and Denmark, according to the Irish Independent.
"Among the boom/bust/recovery countries, price/income ratios are above trend in Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, but below in the United Kingdom and the United States," said the Bank, which is the central bank for the world’s central banks.
House prices in the country have been rising at an alarming rate over the past decade and property affordability in Ireland has been one of the key issues surrounding the nation's growing housing and homelessness crises.
The lack of affordable housing was arguably one of the major factors which saw Sinn Féin secure its best ever result in the General Election earlier this month - putting them in a very strong position to become part of a coalition government.
Mary Lou McDonald's party has said it wants to freeze rents and build more public housing as well as to empower the Central Bank of Ireland to force banks to cut mortgage interest rates.
The BIS said that in general, the high price to rent ratio seen here meant that it made more economic sense for households to rent.
It also said warned that the high ratio could indicate there was potential for house price declines.
The Central Bank of Ireland has imposed tough loan to value and income rules in order to prevent a re-run of the credit boom that led to the State experiencing one of the biggest economic busts in history.
It calculates that without these controls, property prices would have been 26pc higher by end March 2019.