New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that residential property prices rose by 8.1% in the year to December with prices outside of Dublin outpacing growth in the city.

However, property prices fell by 0.4% in December on a monthly basis - the first monthly fall in nine months.

The CSO said that Dublin residential property prices increased by 5.7% in the year to December. Dublin house prices increased by 5.8%, while the price of apartments rose by 7.9%.

The CSO noted that the highest house price growth was in South Dublin at 9.7%. The lowest growth was seen in Fingal, with house prices rising 3.2% there.

Meanwhile, residential property prices outside of Dublin were 12% higher in the year to December. 

House prices in the rest of Ireland increased by 12.1% over the period, while apartment prices were up 9.5%. 

Today's figures show that the West region showed the greatest price growth, with house prices increasing 17.8%, while the Mid-East region showed the least price growth, with house prices increasing 7.6%. 

The CSO said the average market price paid by households for a dwelling was €240,947 in the year to December.

But the average price paid for a Dublin home was higher than in other region or county at €392,233. 

Of the four administrative areas of Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown was the most expensive, with an average price of €549,697 over the 12 month period. South Dublin was the least expensive, with an average price of €311,556.

The next most expensive region was the Mid-East, where the average price paid by households was €241,940. 

Within that region, Co Wicklow was most expensive with an average price of €312,621, making it the second most expensive county after Co Dublin.

The least expensive region for household purchases over the last 12 months was the Border region, with an average price of €113,049. 

And the cheapest county was Co Longford in the Midland region, with an average price of €87,003.

Today's CSO figures also show that there were 37,229 household market dwelling purchases filed with the Revenue Commissioners in the year to December. 

Of these 25.1% were buys by first-time buyer owner-occupiers, while 51.7% were purchases by former owner-occupiers and 23.2% were purchases by non-occupiers.

In December alone, 897 first-time buyer purchases were filed with Revenue, up 3.3% on the same time the previous year.

Residential property prices nationally are on average 32.1% below the 2007 peak hit at the height of the property bubble, the CSO noted.