The property price slump may be over, according to a new report published exclusively in the Sunday Independent today.
Figures for sales achieved for the second half of last year show that prices nationwide are beginning to stabilise after two years of falling values.
Nonetheless, prices were continuing to fall in 23 of the 41 areas surveyed, while 14 markets saw prices rise, and four saw prices level off. This contrasts with figures for the first half of 2019 which recorded price falls in 27 local markets and price gains in 11.
Overall, the average price of a house nationwide rose only marginally to €263,686, and still represents a drop of 2.4pc since the end of 2018.
That figure also masks a number of larger price drops and bounce-backs across the country.
The figures are contained in the nationwide Residential Property Price Barometer compiled by IPAV (Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers) twice a year.
Using sales prices achieved by its members rather than asking prices, the barometer is regarded as a reliable indicator of the state of the property market.
The chief executive of IPAV, Pat Davitt, commented that even in those local markets that showed price drops, the percentage of the fall was smaller. "All of which makes us believe that the correction that we had forecast in February 2018 and that we lived through for the past two-and-a-half years is now fizzling out."
He attributes the ''settling down'' of prices in part to a return of confidence in the aftermath of Brexit. "It's all about confidence in the market," says Mr Davitt. "There is little doubt that Brexit had a negative impact on property prices throughout 2019 with the mood lifting towards the end of the year."
The figures chart data across the three most popular types of housing - four-bedroom semis, three-bedroom semis and two-bedroom apartments - for the period July to end December 2019 compared to the first six months of last year. In general, the commuter counties led by Wicklow, Carlow and Louth saw the largest increases in prices, as buyers continued to be driven beyond the M50 in search of affordable housing. Prices for a four-bed semi in Wicklow rose by about 8pc to €397,300, three-beds in Carlow by nearly 3pc to €175,000, and in Louth by 7pc to €210,000. County Longford remained the cheapest place to buy, at an average of €110,000.
Some formerly popular commuter hotspots such as Meath, Offaly and Laois, however, saw continued price falls.
Dublin has recorded the most dramatic price drops over the past two years and that trend continued.
In 11 of the 14 postal districts recorded, values for three-bed family homes continued to fall with Dublin 15 showing one of the largest drops at just under 5pc.
Over the last year, three-bedroom homes in Dublin 4 recorded the largest total price drop in the country at 11.8pc, or an average fall of €150,000 in an area where houses typically carry a price tag of €1m plus. However, prices for four-beds in the Embassy Belt rallied in the second half of the year.
Perennially popular Dublin 6 also saw a fall in values across all types of housing. Nonetheless, it remains the second most expensive place in which to buy.
A continued demand for two-bed apartments countrywide was noticeable with prices rising by 5pc, for example, in Galway city to hit €200,000 or levelling off in half of the areas surveyed.