The price of the average three-bed semi in both Waterford City and county is expected to rise by 5% in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Three-bed semi-detached homes in the city now cost an average of €250,000, up 9% on the December 2020 average of €230,000, the REA Average House Price Index shows.

Prices across the county have risen to an average of €205,000, up 2.5% in the final quarter of the year and an annual increase of 12% from €182,500.

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.

Landlords exiting the market have accounted for almost one in four home sales over the past three months, the data shows.

“Price continues to be influenced by low levels of new stock coming to the market for sale,” said Eamonn Spratt of REA Spratt, Dungarvan.

“There is significant evidence of landlords vacating the rental market by reason of two influencing factors.

“Firstly, prices are now at a high level in contrast to previous years and landlords’ properties are now potentially clear of any loans.

“In addition, the changing legislation associated with the residential rental market is becoming a deterrent to the non-institutional landlords.”

In the last three months of 2021, prices in Waterford county increased by 2.5%, and city prices remained unchanged.

“We are currently seeing a strong demand on the market, with scarcity of supply resulting in competitive bidding and a shorter selling period,” said Des O’Shea of REA O’Shea O’Toole, Waterford city.

“The purchasers we are seeing are mostly owner occupier.”

Average house prices rose by 2.24% nationally in the last three months of 2021, half the rise experienced between June and September as demand eased and the market calmed.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by €5,900 over the past three months to €269,963 – representing an annual increase of 13%.

Selling prices rose in commuter areas (3.34%) and the country’s large towns (2.57%) as buyers continue to move out further from the capital in anticipation of long-term remote and hybrid working situations.

The commuter area increases are treble those in Ireland’s major cities, with Dublin increasing by 1% and Cork Limerick and Galway by an average of 0.8% as agents reported a quieter quarter.

In Dublin city, house prices rose by over €4,000 in Q4, compared to more than €10,000 in Q3, increasing from €467,000 in September to a present rate of €471,667.

Three bed semis in commuter counties rose 3.34% by over €9,000 in the past three months to an average of €291,944 – with the average home selling in just three weeks.

As the flight to rural locations continues, prices in the rest of the country’s towns rose by 2.6% in Q3 to €190,138.

Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford cities shared a combined increase of 0.8% in the past 12 weeks with the average three bed semi now costing €283,000.

While Cork (€335,000), Galway (€302,000) and Waterford (€250,000) were relatively static, prices in Limerick rose by 2.1% to €245,000.