The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Carlow rose by 4.9% to €212,500 in the last three months, according to the latest national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

45% of purchasers this quarter were first-time buyers, with 33% of buyers coming from outside of the county, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Additionally, agents report that BER A-rated homes are commanding a 12% premium over their C rated equivalents.

Across the county this quarter, prices in Carlow Town saw an increase of 4.8% to €220,000, with time taken to sell sitting at three weeks.

“REA Sothern have noticed a significant increase in enquiries from first-time buyers keen to get away from the overheated rental market, where rents now exceed mortgage repayments,” said Harry Sothern, REA Sothern, Carlow town.

Tullow prices this quarter rose by 5.1% up to €205,000, with the average time taken to sell unchanged at four weeks.

“Demand for starter homes remains strong with first time buyers active in the market place,” said Matthew Conry, REA Dawson, Tullow.

“Second hand homes with a good BER rating are attracting a premium price, but supply currently remains an issue.”

Nationally, the rate of house price inflation has halved in the past three months as rising costs cause home buyers to be more cautious.

The actual selling price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by 1.4% over the past three months to €290,630–representing an annual increase of 10%.

This is a marked slowdown on the 2.9% quarterly increase recorded in the preceding three months, signalling a cooling of the frenetic demand in the marketplace.

And the index found that A rated homes are commanding a 12% premium over their C rated equivalents – a figure that rises to 16% in the capital as running costs become more important to home buyers.

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

Time taken to reach sale agreed rose to five weeks from four as REA agents nationwide reported a less frenzied approach to viewing and buying.

While the actual average selling price of three bedroomed homes in Dublin city is about to breach the €500,000 mark, the 0.8% quarterly rise to €497,500 is half that experienced in the previous three months.

58% of all purchasers in the past quarter were first-time buyers according to REA, a figure which rose to 76% in Dublin as people with mortgage approval look to get on the housing ladder.