The prices of average three-bed semis in both Galway City and across the county are expected to rise by 5% in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Three-bed semi-detached homes in Galway City now cost an average of €302,000, up 4% on the December 2020 average of €290,000, the REA Average House Price Index shows.

At the end of 2021, prices in Galway county had risen by 5% to €178,000, from €170,000 in December 2020.

The 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.

Landlords exiting the market have accounted for almost one in four home sales over the past three months, the data shows.

“The market has remained as strong as it was in the last two quarters, with no sign of it slowing down in this area, and there is massive demand for quality properties,” said Kevin Burke of REA McGreal Burke.

“Investors are leaving the market, which is putting pressure on the rental market, and houses are being bought up by owner occupiers which means that the pool of property for tenants is decreasing.”

Time to sell across the county in the final quarter of 2021 remained at four weeks and in the city, it currently stands at three weeks. This represents an annual decrease of two weeks in the county and one week in the city.

“In terms of supply, the last quarter of 2021 has seen the least amount of properties for sale,” said Alan McKenna of REA Halnon McKenna.

“The traditional autumn selling season was strong from the point of view of sales prices and results, however the supply side that would normally be expected in this period, did not materialise.

“This is particularly true for traditional starter homes and properties located within urban areas.

“There had been a noticeable number of landlords selling up due to new rental legislation being introduced and with more regulation due in early 2022. This will, unfortunately, be a continuing trend this year.”

Average house prices rose by 2.24% nationally in the last three months of 2021, half the rise experienced between June and September as demand eased and the market calmed.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by €5,900 over the past three months to €269,963 – representing an annual increase of 13%.

Selling prices rose in commuter areas (3.34%) and the country’s large towns (2.57%) as buyers continue to move out further from the capital in anticipation of long-term remote and hybrid working situations.

The commuter area increases are treble those in Ireland’s major cities, with Dublin increasing by 1% and Cork Limerick and Galway by an average of 0.8% as agents reported a quieter quarter.

In Dublin city, house prices rose by over €4,000 in Q4, compared to more than €10,000 in Q3, increasing from €467,000 in September to a present rate of €471,667.

Three bed semis in commuter counties rose 3.34% by over €9,000 in the past three months to an average of €291,944 – with the average home selling in just three weeks.

As the flight to rural locations continues, prices in the rest of the country’s towns rose by 2.6% in Q3 to €190,138.

Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford cities shared a combined increase of 0.8% in the past 12 weeks with the average three bed semi now costing €283,000.

While Cork (€335,000), Galway (€302,000) and Waterford (€250,000) were relatively static, prices in Limerick rose by 2.1% to €245,000.