HOUSE prices fell by 0.5pc in December, bucking what appeared to be the emergence of a trend of slowly rising prices.
In Dublin prices were down 1.3pc in the month, according to the Central Statistics Office.
The price of residential property was unchanged in the rest of the country.
Prices are now down 54pc from the peak they reached in 2007.
Over 2012 as a whole, prices were down 4.5pc, one of the lowest annual changes in a number of years.
Prices rose or were flat in six of the 12 months of last year, the CSO said this morning.
The fall in prices in December is surprising given strong demand from first-time buyers to get mortgage tax relief which was withdrawn at the end of last month.
Yesterday, a survey by estate agent Douglas Newman Good said prices paid for second-hand houses in Dublin rose by 2.2pc last year, with the trend accelerating in the last three months of 2012.