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new research House prices rise by almost 1.5pc over three months, report finds

A record number of mortgage approvals and a lack of supply have driven the increases, according to research.

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Average house prices in Ireland have risen by 1.5% in the last three months, research by the Real Estate Alliance shows (PA)

Average house prices in Ireland have risen by 1.5% in the last three months, research by the Real Estate Alliance shows (PA)

Average house prices in Ireland have risen by 1.5% in the last three months, research by the Real Estate Alliance shows (PA)

House prices have risen by almost 1.5pc over the last three months, a new study has found.

A record number of mortgage approvals and a lack of supply have driven the increases, according to the quarter-four Real Estate Alliance (REA) House Price Index.

The average three-bedroomed semi-detached house is now reaching sale agreed status after just six weeks on the market – a significant fall from the 10-week average in June.

Many estate agents are reporting that houses are reaching sale agreed status within a four-week period, as mortgage-approved buyers chase a limited amount of stock.

It is hard to imagine that the market would perform better during the crisis than before it, but we are witnessing the highest demand levels that I have seenBarry McDonald, REA

Despite fears of a downturn in the market during the Covid-19 crisis, the price of a three-bed semi across the country rose by more than 3,000 euros over the past three months to 239,194 euros – an annual increase of 1.9pc.

REA spokesman Barry McDonald said: “People are watching the market very closely, and our agents are finding that as soon as they put a property up on our sites, the majority of the inquiries are coming within the first 48 hours.

“It is hard to imagine that the market would perform better during the crisis than before it, but we are witnessing the highest demand levels that I have seen.”

The biggest rises in the fourth quarter of the year came in Ireland’s secondary cities and the commuter counties.

Both of these experienced the least movement in prices over the preceding 18 months.

The upsurge in demand is nationwide and was illustrated by REA agent Harry Sothern in Carlow, who has reported being practically sold out – with five properties up for sale when he would usually have 25.

The situation is mirrored in the capital, where there are just nine three-bed properties for sale in total in the Dublin Four area, according to agents REA Halnon McKenna.

Mr McDonald said: “Putting a house on the market in early December would previously have been considered naive – however this year, any suitable properties placed on the market have been sale-agreed before Christmas.”

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house in Dublin City rose by 0.6pc to 431,833 euros during the past three months, an annual increase of 1.41pc.

Buyers want homes with a garden more than ever and we have up to 40 couples viewing each property Jim Gallagher, REA

However, with demand for homes with gardens as a main buying driver, interest in capital city areas such as Clontarf (+4% to 625,000 euros) has skyrocketed in the past few months.

“A lot of employees from the big tech companies are moving over to Clontarf area and trading up from apartments in the city,” said Jim Gallagher from REA Grimes in Clontarf, where prices have risen by 25,000 euros in the past three months (+4pc to 625,000 euros)

“Buyers want homes with a garden more than ever and we have up to 40 couples viewing each property. Buyers are decisive and they know what they want.”

North County Dublin prices rose by over 6,500 euros on average to 311,670 euros – up 2.2pc on the Q3 figure, while South County prices increased by 0.5pc to 418,791 euros.

Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford cities shared a combined increase of 2.4pc in the past 12 weeks with prices rising by 6,000 euros to an average of 262,500 euros.

Waterford City showed the biggest increase in this category, with prices rising by 15,000 euros in 12 weeks to 230,000 euros – a change of 7pc since September.

Galway City saw prices rise by 5,000 euros (1.8pc) in the same period, with any property with Home Office Potential (HOP) continuing to attract attention, according to agents McGreal Burke, and properties going sale-agreed after four weeks.

Cork City saw its first price movement in over a year with a 1.6pc uplift to 325,000 euros, while Limerick prices remained stable.

Commuter counties are now feeling the benefit of the migration towards space and home working potential, with three-bed semis rising 2.2pc by almost 6,000 euros on the Q3 figure to an average of 253,111 euros.

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