House prices in Northern Ireland had jumped by nearly 7% to an average of £175,803 - before the coronavirus pandemic effectively put the housing market on hold, according to a report.
Research by Ulster University and Progressive Building Society said the average price grew by 6.8% between the first quarter of 2019 and the same period of this year.
However, the early 2020 average was down by just under 1% compared to the last quarter of 2019.
And house sales in March had been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to a lockdown in the second half of the month.
Overall, the total transactions during the quarter were down 22.8% to 1,922 between January to March.
Estate agents told the survey there had been a pick-up in enquiries and sales of homes in new build developments up until then, but added: "The lockdown in mid-March curtailed this market momentum.
"The long-term implications of the pandemic are still unclear; however, the perception of many agents is that the market is 'on hold' until daily life regains a semblance of normality."
The research said that average prices of detached homes fell by 2.6% quarter on quarter to an average of £241,934.
However, year on year the price of detached homes was up 9% - though apartments saw the biggest increase in value year on year, up 13.6% to £149,509.
Estate agent Art O'Hagan of Armagh-based estate agents CPS said: "As there have been no viewings, the build-up of buyers has created significant demand.
"With lenders in the marketplace presently lending up to 90% again, demand will be high when government guidelines allow all agents to facilitate viewings."