The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Louth has increased to €265,000, up 1% from €262,500 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Across the county, the average time taken to sell has decreased by one week to an average of four, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows.

The survey shows that across the county, 73% of purchasers were first-time buyers, and 45% of purchasers were from outside of the county.

A total of 55% of sales in the county this quarter were attributed to landlords leaving the market.

In Drogheda, average prices this quarter increased by 1.8% to €285,000, with time to sell falling by three weeks to an average of four.

“Buyers are predominantly from North Dublin looking for more affordable options within commuting distance of the city and close to main line rail and bus services,” said Darina Collins of REA O’Brien Collins, Drogheda.

The average price in Dundalk was unchanged this quarter at €245,000, with time taken to sell remaining at an average of three weeks.

“We are seeing an understocked market,” said Michael Gunne of REA Gunne Property, Dundalk.

The REA Average House Price Index 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 actual selling price of a three-bed, semi-detached house across the country rose by 1.4% over the quarter to €301,370 breaching the €300,000 mark for the first time since 2007.

House prices in Ireland’s large towns rose by 2% in the past three months and are increasing at twice the rate of Dublin and the major cities as mortgage approved buyers chase properties within their price ceiling.

Time taken to reach sale agreed nationally fell from six to five weeks as low supply continues to drive sales in an increasing interest rate environment.

Prices in Dublin city rose by 0.8% in the last three months, meaning that the average three-bed semi in the capital is now selling at €504,167 – an increase of 1.3% in the last year.

Nationally, 57% of sales are to first-timers, a figure that rises dramatically to 85% in Wicklow, Meath and North County Dublin as mortgage-approved buyers hunt suitably priced property.

Cities outside Dublin experienced a 0.73% rise to an average selling price of €317,500 – with the annual rate of increase halving to 4.5% from the previous survey.

Prices rose in Cork (1.4% to €365,000) and Limerick (1.8% to €285,000) while Waterford city and Galway remained static.

Commuter areas rose by 1.1% to €318,889, with 39% of buyers in areas such as Meath, Kildare and Wicklow coming from outside the county, a large proportion of them from the capital, with 73% of sales to first-time buyers