The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Westmeath has risen by 11% in the past year to €260,000 but remained stable in the last three months, according to the latest national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Across the county, the average time taken to sell this quarter rose by one week to five in total, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows.

A total of 40% of purchasers this quarter were first time buyers, with 20% of buyers coming from outside of the county, the survey found.

Additionally, agents report that BER A-rated homes are commanding a 14% premium over their C-rated equivalents.

“We are seeing that the market has slowed down, with supply now starting to outweigh the demand,” said Donna Hynes of REA Hynes.

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 index shows.

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.