The economic downturn of recent years may have hit property prices in Britain, but it's fair to say that the UK market has escaped relatively unscathed compared to the sharp decline in the value of housing witnessed in the eurozone.

Property owners everywhere from Spain to Greece have seen the prices of their assets decline rapidly since the crisis began, and this is also the case in Ireland where Dublin in particular has struggled to recover from the effects of the shock.

And as the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) have revealed, Irish property prices dropped in October, experiencing a 0.6 per cent slip after enjoying a steady rise in the previous four months.

Indeed, despite the 0.9 per cent jump recorded in September being a cause for optimism, the latest developments suggest that Ireland still isn't out of the woods and has a long way to go if it is to see any form of substantial recovery.

"We believe general market sentiment is that the Irish housing market has potentially reached a bottom and will continue to a modest recovery next year," said Owen Callan, senior fixed income strategist at Danske Bank.

"This is particularly the case in Dublin, with increasing signs that international investors are upping their exposure to some of the city's prime property currently on the market."

With Dublin's house prices now 55 per cent lower than the peak they hit in early 2007 and the value of apartments 63 per cent lower than in February of the same year, the capital is representative of the problem that faces the whole country.

While this isn't great news for Eire, it is promising for those who are thinking of picking up a holiday cottage in Ireland's vast countryside.

So as property prices across the Irish sea continue to suffer, Brits may decide to strike while the iron is hot and pick up a bargain - just remember to make sure that you don't forget second home insurance to protect your scenic getaway from damage.