The latest house price report from property website suggests the first three months of the year saw the smallest decline in asking prices since 2007.

The quarterly survey found that prices fell by 1.4% on average since January, compared to 8% in the last three months of 2011.

Bucking the trend, prices in Dublin city centre rose by 4%, with a 2.3% increase recorded in Galway city centre.

However, according to property website prices declined by 7.2% in the first quarter of 2012, the fastest rate of decline in three years.

According to its latest figures, asking prices nationally are now down by 47% compared to the peak in the last quarter of 2006, while Dublin prices are down 54% over the same period. Economist Ronan Lyons said Daft uses only the properties put up for sale during the period in question.

He said he understood that the MyHome report uses everything on the website at any particular time.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Lyons said asking prices were a good measure of sellers' expectations and the first three months of the year proved interesting and suggested different trends in different parts of the country.

He also said there is evidence that properties are now selling faster, with 33% of properties selling within four months.