The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in county Mayo has increased by 3.2% to €195,000 in the last three months, according to the latest national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Across the county, time taken to sell rose by three weeks to an average of seven, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows.

The survey found that 80% of purchasers this quarter were first time buyers, with 25% of buyers coming from outside of the county.

“There is a definite change in demand as some potential purchasers have adopted a wait-and-see approach to see how the COLD (Cost of Living Demand) will impact their monthly disposable income,” said Robert McGreal of REA McGreal Burke.

“With increases in interest rates, food and fuel, which are expected to be short term, some purchasers are waiting until the right property comes to the market.

“Properties requiring work or with lower BER ratings are beginning to see an increase in negative commentary from viewers.

“There is no doubt that purchasers have the calculator out when considering the costs of increasing the energy rating of older properties.

“The current difference between the asking price of an A-rated semi-detached dwelling in Castlebar is 20% above the average house price, and we expect this differential to increase.”

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.