The price of the average three-bed semi in County Meath is expected to rise by 1% in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Three-bed semi-detached homes in the county now cost an average of €296,250, up 5% on the December 2021 average of €282,500, the Q4 REA Average House Price Index shows.

However, house prices in the county fell by -0.8% in the last quarter of 2022 as rising interest rates and cost of living increases combined to dampen the market, with time taken to sell rising from six weeks to seven.

The survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide.˙

First time buyers made up 75% of the market in Q4 2022, with 23% of sales coming from outside the county.

Prices in Ashbourne fell back slightly in Q4 by 1.3% to €380,000, with time to sell increasing to five weeks from four.

“With continued pent up demand, the change in lending rules will assist all market sub-sector inflationary pressures, including costs of construction and energy providers,” said Paul Grimes of REA Grimes, Ashbourne.

“The interest rate environment will keep a lid on demand.

“We continue to see a pattern of landlords exiting the market, which will reduce the supply of rental accommodation further and put more pressures on this sector.”

The average house price in Kells was static in Q4 at €245,000, with time taken to sell increasing from five to eight weeks in the quarter.

“We feel the uncertainty in the market will continue into 2023. We saw a good increase in prices in 2022 and so we expect prices to level out somewhat,” said Cara Gavigan of REA T&J Gavigan, Kells.

Navan prices this quarter fell slightly by 1.8% to €270,000, with homes taking eight weeks on average to sell.

“There are a number of unknown external factors that will directly affect the house prices in 2023, mainly the interest rates with the ECB and the banks individually themselves,” said Michael Gavigan of REA T&J Gavigan, Navan.

“Cost of living is another immense factor that will prevent buyers from purchasing, especially families trading up, as they just won’t have much disposal income to put towards a move.

“Rent is so expensive in Meath at the moment that it is still attractive for first time buyers to purchase a starter home, as the mortgage repayments still work out cheaper than renting.”

Average prices were unchanged in Trim this quarter at €290,000, with time to sell at six weeks.

“The market is characterised by a shortage of residential property in our area, and I would expect a moderate price increase in the year ahead,” said Thomas Potterton of REA TE Potterton, Trim.