The price of the average three-bed semi in County Mayo is expected to rise by 4% in the next 12 months, according to a survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance.

Prices in the county were unchanged this year at €160,000, with time taken to sell remaining static in Q4 2019 at 12 weeks for Castlebar and 10 weeks for Westport.

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

“Castlebar has shown a good increase in the number of transactions at 19 sales per-month, which is up 12% from last year,” said Kevin Burke of REA McGreal Burke in Castlebar.

“The average sale price is up 6.5% for larger properties in the same period in the area, but the standard three-bed semi-detached price has remained stable.

“However, it should be noted that if the high levels of sales by small investors is not abated this could hurt growth in the price of properties in Castlebar.”

Westport, traditionally a very strong performer, has shown a slight correction, with the average price for a three-bed semi dropping slightly from its height of just over €250,000, said Robert McGreal of REA McGreal Burke, Westport.

“We expect this to continue into 2020 with the drop of interest from smaller investors.”

Average house prices nationally fell annually for the first time since the economic recovery, the Q4 REA Average House Price Index found.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country fell by -0.6% over the past year after a 4.6% annual rise in 2018.

The average family home nationally now costs €234,704, the survey found – a drop of -0.1% on the Q3 figure of €235,009.

However, drops across the country are far lower than the preceding quarter (-0.4%), indicating that some confidence returned to the market in the final 13 weeks of the year, with the prospect of a resolution to Brexit uncertainty.

Three-bed semi-detached houses in Dublin city registered a fourth consecutive quarter fall (-0.6%) since the end of September and have decreased by -4.3% compared to December 2018.

The price of the average three-bed semi-detached house in the capital’s postcode districts now stands at €425,833 – down €20,000 from €445,167 a year ago.

The absence of small investors due to Brexit uncertainty and a lack of incentives has also removed stimulus from the resales market and added to supply in many cases as landlords leave the market nationwide.

Prices fell slightly by -0.05% in the commuter counties in the past three months, with the average house now selling for €246,500 – an annual fall of 1%.

Prices in the country’s major cities outside Dublin – Cork, Galway, Waterford – remained largely unchanged

The highest annual price increases (2.8%) were once again seen in the rest of the country’s towns which rose in selling price by an average of almost €5,000 in the past year and 0.3% in the past three months to €162,207.