Unrealistic house price expectations are blocking the sale of houses here, the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland said in its annual residential property review and outlook.

The society said this is the main factor in houses failing to sell and comes ahead of issues around mortgages or house sales falling through because the intended buyer has found another property. 

The SCSI is forecasting house price growth of 4% this year, with Dublin prices rising by 5%.

It said that owners of one and two-bed apartments are likely to see the highest price growth this year, with estate agents predicting that one-bed apartments will increase in value by 6%. 

It also predicts that rents nationally will rise by 5% across all housing sectors, despite the 4% rent cap, with the highest increases for one and two bed apartments.

Landlords exiting the sector in all areas is ranked in the top three issues facing the market by 72% of respondents. 

Aine Myler, SCSI Director General, said that whilst the market remains in good health, sales in 2018 were still taking just over five months to complete, and many were still falling through.

Ms Myler said that homeowners and prospective buyers alike are keen to make the sale happen and move into their next property.

"The challenge for estate agents is managing some vendors' excessive price expectations. Whilst we predict continued house price growth on average this year, there will be winners and losers.  It's likely that the property market may correct for some high value properties in Dublin in particular," she added. 

Ms Myler also said that in order to see the market operate efficiently, it needs a regular turnover of sales to help purchasers and sellers to keep moving up and down the ladder. 

"Potentially unrealistic asking prices can leave all parties disappointed, curtailing market movement when it's needed most and as affordability limits kick in," she said.