The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in Limerick City has increased by 1.9% to €265,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Average prices in the County Limerick area rose 2.3% to €225,000 this quarter, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Across the county, the average time taken to sell increased from four weeks to five this quarter, while in Limerick City, it increased by one week to four weeks total.

In the city, agents report that 60% of purchasers this quarter were first time buyers, with 30% of buyers coming from outside the county.

Across the county, 55% of purchasers were first time buyers, with 45% coming from outside the county.

Additionally, across both city and county, BER-A rated homes are commanding a 15% premium over their C-rated equivalents.

“This quarter has seen a modest rise in the number of properties coming to market,” said Pat Dooley of REA Dooley, Limerick City and Newcastlewest.

“While there is still growth, particularly in the three and four bed semi market, higher priced property has slowed somewhat, with not as many active viewers. Two interest rates hikes may be a contributory factor here.

“It is quite evident that the number of landlords exiting the market is now somewhere between one in two and one in three.

“A big issue here will be that tenants will have nowhere to go when their termination notices are up. It is important the government introduce meaningful legislation relating to the taxation of landlords, to slow the exodus of properties.

“County landlords seem to be exiting the rental market as much if not more than those in the city. This leads us to believe that its more of a taxation issue and less of a rent pressure zone issue, as none of County Limerick is in a rent pressure zone.”

Nationally, the rate of house price inflation has halved in the past three months as rising costs cause home buyers to be more cautious.

The actual selling price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by 1.4% over the past three months to €290,630 – representing an annual increase of 10%.

This is a marked slowdown on the 2.9% quarterly increase recorded in the preceding three months, signalling a cooling of the frenetic demand in the marketplace.

And the index found that A rated homes are commanding a 12% premium over their C rated equivalents – a figure that rises to 16% in the capital as running costs become more important to home buyers.

The REA Average House Price Survey 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.

Time taken to reach sale agreed rose to five weeks from four as REA agents nationwide reported a less frenzied approach to viewing and buying.

While the actual average selling price of three bedroomed homes in Dublin city is about to breach the €500,000 mark, the 0.8% quarterly rise to €497,500 is half that experienced in the previous three months.

58% of all purchasers in the past quarter were first-time buyers according to REA, a figure which rose to 76% in Dublin as people with mortgage approval look to get on the housing ladder.