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

Prices in the county rose by 1.3% between September and December to €202,500 with average three-bed semis rising by €2,500 as the option to work from home incentivised buyers to move away from urban centres, the Q4 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Drogheda prices rose 2.4% over the past quarter to €215,000, with time taken to sell falling to four weeks from six in this period.

Dundalk prices remained at €190,000 over the past 12 months, with time taken to sell remaining at eight weeks.

“We are seeing pent-up demand and scarcity of supply, with some evidence of investors returning to the market-place,” said Darina Collins of REA O’Brien Collins, Drogheda.

“We anticipate continued demand from first time buyers, particularly for new homes with city accessibility.”

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.

Average house prices rose by almost 1.5% nationally 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.