The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Mayo has risen by 1.5% to €170,000 from €167,500 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Across the county, the average time taken to sell has fallen from four weeks to two, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows.

The average price in Westport has remained unchanged at €247,500 this quarter, and Castlebar prices rose 0.3% to €168,000.

“Demand is extremely strong at all levels of the market, in particular at the higher end, and supply is accounting for a large portion of the upswing in prices,” said Robert McGreal of REA McGreal Burke.

“This supply driven increase is due to continue as the lead in time for new developments and the increase in cost of construction are pushing those who would usually take advantage of buying a new dwelling or building themselves on top of the traditional second-hand purchaser.”

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.”