The price of the average three-bed semi in County Sligo is expected to rise by 3% in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Prices in the county increased by 5.5% between September and December – the second highest rate in Ireland after Waterford city – the Q4 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Three-bed semi-detached homes in the county now cost an average of €145,000, up from the December 2019 average of €137,500.

And as market prices have not yet caught up with building costs, resulting in fewer new builds, homes in the county are selling two weeks quicker, taking nine weeks to sell in September but falling to seven weeks by the end of 2020.

Agents say they have seen strong interest in property from Dublin-based buyers.

The REA Average House Price Survey for the final quarter of 2020 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.

Agents now expect price rises of 3% in three-bed semis across Sligo in 2021 – down on the 5% experienced in 2020.

In Sligo town, average prices remained stable at €175,000 since December 2019, but took a €5,000 jump (2.9%) in the last quarter of 2020.

A significant 10% rise was seen in Tubbercurry, where average prices increased from €100,000 to €110,00 in Q4, but in contrast to the national trend, it took slightly longer for homes to sell there, running from seven to eight weeks.

“There are strong indications from people in the greater Dublin area enquiring and purchasing in Co Sligo and surrounding counties due to the potential for remote working,” said Roger McCarrick of REA McCarrick and Sons of Tubbercurry and Sligo town.

“Strength of broadband is very important due to options for remote working. Lack of viewing opportunities for European and UK based buyers due to travel restrictions in 2020 will result, we expect, in built up demand in 2021 for all types of properties, especially in rural locations.”

Nationally, average house prices rose by almost 1.5% over the past three months in a market fuelled by a combination of record mortgage approvals and an unprecedented lack of supply.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by more than €3,000 over the past three months to €239,194 – an annual increase of 1.9%.

The biggest rises in Q4 came in Ireland’s secondary cities and the commuter counties – both of whom had experienced the least movement in prices over the preceding 18 months.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house in Dublin City rose by 0.6% to €431,833 during the past three months, an annual increase of 1.41%.

Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford cities shared a combined increase of 2.4% in the past 12 weeks with prices rising by €6,000 to an average of €262,500.

Commuter counties are now feeling the benefit of the migration towards space and home working potential, with three bed semis rising 2.2% by almost €6,000 on the Q3 figure to an average of €253,111.

Reflecting the flight to rural locations, prices in the rest of the country’s towns rose by 1.2% in 12 weeks to €165,397.