New figures show that average house prices have fallen by more than €9,000, or 3%, in the first seven months of this year.

The house price index, compiled by the ESRI and Permanent TSB, shows that prices fell by 0.4% in July alone, after a 0.5% drop in June. This means that prices have fallen by 0.7% over the past 12 months.

The average price paid for a house in July was €301,267, almost the same as the average for June last year.

A breakdown showed that house prices in Dublin fell by 1.9% in July, while the drop was just 0.2% outside Dublin. House prices in the commuter counties around Dublin were down 0.3%, but these show a 4.2% fall in the first seven months of 2007.

House prices for first-time and second-time buyers fell 0.4% and 0.7% respectively in July. New house prices declined 0.4% in July, while second-hand prices were down 0.3%.