The number of available houses has increased

Housing prices rose by 5.5% during 2018, according to a new Daft.ie report.

The property website says the average price nationwide in the final quarter of 2018 was €254,000.

This was down 1.1% on the figure for the third quarter.

While the annual increase of 5.5% - or just over €1,000 a month - was smaller than increases of between 8% and 9% seen in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

This marks the lowest year-end inflation rate since 2013.

Source: Daft.ie

In Dublin, prices rose by 2.9% during 2018, compared to an increase of 11.7% in 2017.

Prices in Cork rose by 5.8%, compared to 5.1% in 2017, while in Galway city prices rose by 6.3% compared to 8.1% a year earlier.

Inflation in Waterford city held steady at 8.6% - while in Limerick inflation picked up with increases of 9.8% in 2018 versus 6.9% in 2017.

Source: Daft.ie

The number of properties available to buy on the market nationwide grew by 10% during 2018.

There were over 23,500 properties for sale in December 2018, compared to 21,200 a year earlier.

This is the first year-end increase in availability in a decade.

Author of the report is Ronan Lyons: "The demand is still there, but the supply situation has improved.

"More new homes are being built and that's filleting into the sales market in particular - not in the rental market - this report is about the sales market.

"And we're seeing that, especially in the greater Dublin area, prices are starting to level off a little bit".