A period of high price inflation appears to be drawing to a close and the property market looks set for a period of price stabilisation, according to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland.

It is being driven by more realistic price expectations, affordability constraints and increased supply in commuter belt areas.

Members of SCSI believe national property prices are set to rise by an average of 2% in 2020 – down from 4% last year. They predict a slightly higher increase of 3% in Munster and Connacht.

Estate agent John O'Sullivan, who contributed to the report, said there is a lack of supply of affordable homes between €200,000 and €300,000.

"It is a big issue for the market. There are various measures that would help bring down the cost of a new home, such as reducting VAT on new homes, and Capital Gains Tax relief on sales of development land."

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There will be a significant lack of rental properties of all sizes in 2020, with almost 60% of respondents experiencing an increase in demand by tenants in the past year.

"About three out of 10 sellers are investors leaving the market, and that's quite a concern to us," Mr O'Sullivan said.

The move away from individual to institutional landlords is driving the long-term rental sector. "It's not happening quickly enough," he said.

"I think it's a good thing because supply is a good thing. The reason why we have seen double-digit increases in values for rent of residential properties is effectively down to the lack of supply."

According to the findings of the survey, the average time for a home sale to close is five and a half months.

Agents expressed concern about the continued existence of paper-based conveyances. The Society said this is an issue which needs to be addressed urgently, and it is keen to engage with the various stakeholders on this matter to help find a solution.

Uncertainty caused by Brexit influenced the property market last year, but once consumers got clarity, confidence was restored, Mr O'Sullivan also said.