The price of a second-hand, three-bed semi in Co Meath rose by 0.4% in the first three months of the year, according to the latest national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

The average cost of three-bed homes in the county is now €297,500, up from €296,250 in December 2022, the Q1 REA Average House Price Index shows.

By concentrating on the actual sale price of three-bed semis, the survey provides an up-to-date picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide.

Across County Meath, first-time buyers made up 84% of the market during Q1, with 33% of buyers moving out of the cities.

The average time taken to complete a sale in the county is now six weeks, down one from the previous quarter, the survey shows.

In Ashbourne, the average cost of a three-bed semi fell 1.32% to €375,000 from €380,000 in the previous quarter with the time to sell remaining at five weeks.

“Stock levels are improving but we are finding purchasers continue to be cautious in Q1, with further mortgage interest rate increases and concerns on cost of living expenses most definitely at the fore of purchasers’ thoughts,” said Paul Grimes of REA Grimes, Ashbourne.

“This, in turn, means energy efficiencies and BER ratings are playing a further part in property sales. Of our second-hand sales in Ashbourne in 2022, landlords exiting the rental market for their own individual reasons, accounted for 17% of sales.”

The average cost of a similar property in Kells is now €250,000, up 2.04% from €245,000 in the previous quarter, while the time sell fell two weeks to six.

“We've seen a pick-up in the market since the start of the year,” said Cara Gavigan of REA T&J Gavigan, Kells.

“The ongoing issue of supply in our area, along with very few new homes being built, is leading to high demand for second-hand homes.”

In Navan, the average cost of a three-bed semi remained at €270,000 with the time to sell falling two weeks to six.

“There has been a slight reduction of values achieved in 2022 versus 2023,” said Michael Gavigan of REA T&J Gavigan in Navan.

“It is still a very positive market place despite this. A typical three-bed semi is taking about six weeks to sell. Demand is still good, and sale prices achieved are at the asking price or above.

“There is a good level of both supply and buyers at present, and the market is steady and calm.”

The average cost of the traditional three-bed semi in Trim is now €295,000, up 1.72% from €290,000 in the previous quarter, while the time to sell in the town dropped by one week to five.

“We have seen a noticeable increase in families with young adults looking to acquire larger properties or properties with a mews or garage that would lend itself suitable for conversion for larger family units,” said Thomas Potterton of REA TE Potterton, Trim.

Across the rest of Ireland, the actual selling price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached rose by 0.6% over the past three months to €293,343 – representing an annual increase of 5.3%.

House prices in Dublin recovered after a pre-Christmas fall and rose by 0.5% to €498,333 in the past three months, slightly exceeding last September’s prices and showing an annual rise of 3.5%.

Mirroring the capital, cities outside Dublin experienced a 0.4% rise to an average selling price of €310,250.

The smallest percentage increases came in commuter counties where average prices went from €312,778 to €313,056 – a rise of just 0.1% on average over three months.