The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in county Meath has increased by 2.6% to €248,750 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Across the county, the average time taken to sell has reflected a national trend and fallen to five weeks from six between December and March, the Q1 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Prices in Ashbourne rose 4.9% this quarter to €320,000, with time to sell falling from three weeks to two.

“Q1 2021 has seen pent-up buyer demand and genuine applicants to the fore,” said Paul Grimes of REA Grimes, Ashbourne.

“Successful virtual tours and online marketing campaigns assist us in continuing to agree sales through this lockdown.”

The average house price in Kells rose 2.8% this quarter to €185,000, with time to sell falling from 10 weeks to six.

“We are seeing a very strong demand for both town and rural properties. Stock is low, so houses are selling faster and at higher prices than last year,” said Cara Gavigan of REA T&J Gavigan, Kells.

“We are also seeing an increase of people moving out of Dublin due to working from home.”

Navan prices remained at €240,000 this quarter, with time to sell falling from seven weeks to six.

“Supply will be our main concern in the coming months given the strong demand we have for second hand homes in Navan at present,” said Michael Gavigan of REA T&J Gavigan, Navan.

“With the current restrictions in place, the majority of our vendors are holding off selling due to the lack of alternative properties available for sale, and in our opinion this will be a massive factor with supply in 2021.”

Average prices in Trim rose 2% this quarter to €250,000, with time to sell remaining at five weeks.

“We are seeing very strong demand from first time buyers and investors,” said Thomas Potterton of REA TE Potterton, Trim.

“A lot of vendors are ready to go on the market but are holding off until level 5 restrictions lift.”

Nationally, average house prices rose by almost 2% over the past three months, despite the absence of physical viewing, in a marketplace which is seeing the lowest supply and the shortest time taken to sell in recent history.

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.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by almost €4,500 over the past three months to €243,603 – representing an annual increase of 3.6%.

The average three bed semi is now reaching sale agreed after just five weeks on the market across the country – almost half the nine-week average this time last year.

Not having to schedule appointments has led to potential buyers making swift bidding decisions on the back of virtual viewings, speeding up the selling process according to REA.

The biggest rises in Q1 came in commuter counties as buyers move out further from the city in preparation for long-term hybrid working situations.

Dublin city experienced its biggest quarterly rise in over three years as the price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house rose by 1.5% to €438,500 during the past 12 weeks.

This represents an annual increase of 2.7% and means that the average Dublin three bed semi has now recovered to its December 2017 price level after a period of decreases, mainly in 2019.

Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford cities shared a combined increase of 1.2% in the past 12 weeks with prices rising by €3,000 to an average of €265,625.

Three bed semis in commuter counties rose 2.3% by almost €6,000 in the past three months to an average of €258,889 – with the average home selling in four weeks – down from a high of 11 a year ago.

As the flight to rural locations continues, prices in the rest of the country’s towns rose by over 2% in Q1 to €168,828.