The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Leitrim has increased by 4.7% to €144,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Homes in the county are reaching sale agreed in three weeks, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Carrick-on-Shannon prices rose 1.7% this quarter to €178,000, with time to sell remaining at three weeks.

“The market in Leitrim is at its busiest in over a decade, and first time buyers and owner occupiers are dominating many buyers coming from the East of the country,” said Joe Brady of REA Brady, Carrick-on-Shannon.

“For the first time since Brexit, UK buyers are now back in numbers looking for that escape-to-the-country adventure.”

In Carrigallen, prices increased by 10% this quarter to €110,000, with time to sell unchanged at four weeks.

“The market is very strong both from investors and first time buyers, with no new developments due to be built as the prices are currently not cost effective,” said James Spring of REA Peter Donohoe, Carrigallen.

“Demand has increased in the last year, with most properties going over the guide price, and buyers are bidding their maximum very quickly.”

Average house prices nationally have risen by €3,500 per month since the end of June, with selling prices in commuter areas and small towns increasing by over double the growth experienced in the major cities.

The 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.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by 4.1% over the past three months to €264,056 – representing an annual increase of 12%.

The biggest rises in Q3 came in commuter counties (4.6%) and the country’s large towns (4.9%) as buyers continue to move out further from the capital in anticipation of long-term remote and hybrid working situations.

They are being joined by a surge of interest from ex-pats, anxious to return to Ireland after the pandemic, with more set to return when family homes become available.

The rural and commuter area increases are double those being experienced in Ireland’s major cities, with Dublin increasing by 2.3% to €467,000 and Cork, Limerick and Galway by an average of 2.4% to €281,750.

“The survey’s average of four weeks to sell should be even lower because, while bidding is fast and furious, vendors are not rushing to accept offers,” said REA spokesperson, Barry McDonald.

“With an exceptional shortage of stock, demand is being fuelled by an increase in mortgage-approved buyers on the market.

“The rural flight, which began during lockdown, shows no signs of letting up, even in the face of a return to office working.”