Irish property prices have plunged by 50 percent

The price of housing in Ireland has plunged by almost 50 percent according to new figures.

And almost €200m ($270m) has been wiped off Irish property values in the past four weeks alone.

An Irish real estate agent has described the property price drops as "a major dose of reality," for home-owners still living in the boom years.

The biggest price cuts took place at the top end of the market with homes that had been priced at €2.9m ($3.9m) plunging to €1.9m ($2.6m) while the average price drop was about €41,989 ($57,000).

Sales have slowed to a standstill. The report showed that over 80 per cent of houses had been on the market for over three months, 71 per cent for six months, 57 per cent for nine months to sell, and 42 per cent had been on the market for more than a year.

At the high end, a stunning house at Firkale, Glengarriff, West Cork, dropped from €2.5m to €1.9m, a fall of €600,000. The four-bedroomed house features a large pier house with its own private pier set on one and a half acres of private, mature gardens.

Meanwhile, a more pedestrian home in Phibsboro, outside Dublin city center, has dropped from €995,000 ($1.3m) to €575,000 ($780,000).

A top Dublin real estate agent, Peter Wyse, said Irish sellers were finally becoming realistic about what they could sell their homes for.

"For too long people were refusing to budge on price but certainly, in the past couple of months, a major dose of reality has come about and prices are coming down," he said.

Houses in such highly sought-after locations as Rathgar and Dun Laoghaire have also been hammered. Wyse revealed that he sold two properties for €500,000 ($680,000) and €600,000 ($814,000)  in recent weeks. Both originally went on the market for over €1.1m, 

Just this weekend, hundreds of people queued for a shot at buying one to three-bed apartments in Dublin which were on sale for between €210,000 ($285,000) and €295,000 ($400,000).