(Bloomberg) -- House prices in Ireland recorded their worst first quarter in a decade by one measure, as higher interest rates made financing more expensive.

Asking prices fell by 0.3% from the previous quarter, according to property website Daft.ie. It was the first time since 2013 that prices fell at the beginning of a year, and the largest first-quarter decline since a 2.4% drop at the start of 2012.

The drop is the latest sign that some of the heat might be coming out of the Irish property market after recent mortgage approval data and house price figures from the country’s Central Statistics Office both showed a decline over recent months. An opening quarter decline in prices is more significant than in any other quarter, said Ronan Lyons, the report’s author and an economist at Trinity College in Dublin. 

“Typically you’d see either no change or a slight fall in prices in the last three months of a year and then there’s usually a bounce as the new year starts,” he said in an interview.

Irish Home Prices Fall in January for the First Drop Since 2020

Asking prices have now fallen for two quarters in a row. Lyons said he expected a “modest” decline of less than 5% over the next three to six months. 

Others, such as Professor Kieran McQuinn at the Economic and Social Research Institute, said house prices may still increase modestly over the course of the year unless interest rates continued to rise. The institute expects the number of new homes to fall from 30,000 last year to about 27,000 in 2023.

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