National property prices rose slightly in March, according to the Central Statistics Office, with prices in Dublin showing signs of growth for the first time in five months.

On a monthly basis property prices were 0.3% higher last month – having been flat during February.

Following four consecutive months of decline, Dublin prices rose 0.9% in the month – putting them 3.9% higher year-on-year.

There was growth in the price of both houses and apartments in Dublin during March, up 1.2% and 1.6% respectively.

However, prices in the rest of Ireland, excluding Dublin, fell by 0.2% in March – the first time they have seen a decline since January 2015. 

Year-on-year, prices outside of Dublin were 10.5% higher by the end of March.

Nationally prices rose by 7.6% in the year to March – a slightly slower pace of growth than was seen in February and well behind the annual growth of 16.8% seen in March 2015.

However, the latest CSO figures show a continuing trend of national price growth that began in June 2013, following five years of steep declines.

Overall national prices are now 33.6% lower than they were at the peak in 2007, with Dublin prices down 36.3% and prices in the rest of Ireland down 35.4%.

Alan McQuaid from Merrion Economics said "a lack of supply of houses has clearly pushed up prices, particularly in the Dublin area in the past three years, but it is not something that can be rectified overnight.

"But, one would expect an improvement on this front over the next year or two, keeping prices down as a result.

"It is also clear that the tighter mortgage lending restrictions imposed by the Central Bank are helping to contain house prices, and will continue to have an impact going forward.

"Indeed, the most recent mortgage approvals data from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland show both a monthly and yearly drop," he added.