The price of the average three-bed semi in County Carlow is expected to rise by 4% in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Prices in the county increased by €4,000 between September and December, a rise of 2.3%, the Q4 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Three-bed semi-detached homes in the county now cost an average of €179,000, up 4.7% on the December 2019 average of €171,000. 

And as supply struggles to keep pace with demand, the time taken to sell the average house in the county fell from seven weeks in September to five weeks at the end of Q4 2020. 

The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide. 

REA agent Harry Sothern in Carlow reported being practically sold out in December – with five properties up for sale when he would usually have 25. 

Carlow Town prices rose by €5,000 in the last three months of the year, up 2.7% to €190,000, and properties selling in four weeks on average.

“People are realising that the market is strong, and we carried out a lot of appraisals for sales in December, which will have a positive impact on supply levels,” said Mr Sothern, who is predicting a 4% rise in 2021. 

In Tullow the average price of a three-bed semi-detached home has risen in the last quarter of 2020 from €165,000 to €168,000 and the time taken to sell has dropped from nine weeks to seven in the same time period. 

“We are seeing strong demand for starter homes up to €180,000,” said John Dawson of REA Dawson in Tullow. 

“Also, a number of sales were agreed in this quarter for good quality homes in the countryside with large gardens and good broadband.”

Looking to the market this year, he said demand will remain good although stock is in short supply.

“This may encourage some builders to consider new builds in this area, which has not happened for a number of years.”

Nationally, average house prices rose by almost 1.5% over the past three months in a market fuelled by a combination of record mortgage approvals and an unprecedented lack of supply, the Q4 REA Average House Price Index found. 

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by more than €3,000 over the past three months to €239,194 – an annual increase of 1.9%.

The biggest rises in Q4 came in Ireland’s secondary cities and the commuter counties – both of whom had experienced the least movement in prices over the preceding 18 months. 

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

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

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

Reflecting the flight to rural locations, prices in the rest of the country’s towns rose by 1.2% in 12 weeks to €165,397.