The price of the average three-bed semi in County Sligo is expected to rise by 5% in the next 12 months, according to a survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance.

Prices in the county rose by 11.3% to €137,500 in 2019, with a rise of 3.8% between September and December – the highest quarterly rise in the country.

The REA Average House Price 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.

“Market values are still well below build cost, which leads to strong demand for any existing stock,” said Roger McCarrick of REA McCarrick and Sons of Sligo Town and Tubbercurry. Average time taken to sell in Q4 2019 remained at six weeks.

“On assumption Brexit will get sorted without too much difficulty, I expect the market to continue to rise in value.

“New building is required urgently, but the market is not yet meeting increased build costs.”

Average house prices nationally fell annually for the first time since the economic recovery, the Q4 REA Average House Price Index found.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country fell by -0.6% over the past year after a 4.6% annual rise in 2018.

The average family home nationally now costs €234,704, the survey found – a drop of -0.1% on the Q3 figure of €235,009.

However, drops across the country are far lower than the preceding quarter (-0.4%), indicating that some confidence returned to the market in the final 13 weeks of the year, with the prospect of a resolution to Brexit uncertainty.

Three-bed semi-detached houses in Dublin city registered a fourth consecutive quarter fall (-0.6%) since the end of September and have decreased by -4.3% compared to December 2018.

The price of the average three-bed semi-detached house in the capital’s postcode districts now stands at €425,833 – down €20,000 from €445,167 a year ago.

The absence of small investors due to Brexit uncertainty and a lack of incentives has also removed stimulus from the resales market and added to supply in many cases as landlords leave the market nationwide.

Prices fell slightly by -0.05% in the commuter counties in the past three months, with the average house now selling for €246,500 – an annual fall of 1%.

Prices in the country’s major cities outside Dublin – Cork, Galway, Waterford – remained largely unchanged

The highest annual price increases (2.8%) were once again seen in the rest of the country’s towns which rose in selling price by an average of almost €5,000 in the past year and 0.3% in the past three months to €162,207.