The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Kerry has fallen to €297,500, down 0.8% from €300,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

This was the only price fall reported in the country this quarter.

Across the county, the average time taken to sell rose by one week to eight weeks, the Q2 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Agents reported that this quarter, first time buyers accounted for 45% of purchases.

“Overall, the number of viewers in all properties are down as an effect of the interest rate rise,” said Donal Culloty of REA Coyne and Culloty, Killarney.

“I’d say prices are down slightly in Killarney, while in Tralee prices have stabilized and are only slightly moving up.

“I don’t expect prices to increase for the next six months.

“One positive aspect of the market is that for the first time in 10 years, there is a movement in development land for sale.

“This is because of the new land tax that has been introduced.”

The REA Average House Price Index concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an accurate picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide.

The actual selling price of a three-bedroom, semi-detached house across the country rose by 1.3% over the quarter to €297,056 – representing an annual increase of 6.6%.

The price of a three-bed semi in Dublin city has hit €500,000 for the first time, rising by by 0.3% in the past three months. They are now 14% ahead of their €431,000 Celtic Tiger peak level, with demand being largely driven by first-time buyers in an otherwise cautious market.

Time taken to reach sale agreed nationally has risen to six weeks as REA agents reporting that pricing levels are key in a sensitive market.

Cities outside Dublin experienced a 1.53% rise to an average selling price of €315,000 – an increase of 8.9% in the past 12 months.

Commuter areas rose by 0.4% to €315,389, with 41% of buyers coming from outside the county, a large proportion of them from the capital, with 72% of sales to first-time buyers.

The highest three-bed semi price rises came in the country’s main towns which rose by 2.24% in the past three months to an average of €216,517, with time taken to sell at five weeks.

Areas that attract holiday home buyers have noted an increase in UK or cross border interest with examples such as Bantry and Bundoran both recording €5,000 average increases in the past three months.