The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Waterford has risen to €230,000, up 7% from €215,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

The market in Waterford city rose to €285,000, up 1.8% from €280,000 this quarter, the Q2 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Agents reported that properties purchased by first time buyers accounted for 50% of sales in the county and 65% of properties in the city.

Buyers from outside of the county made up 20% of sales in the county and 30% of sales in the city.

And agents found that 20% of sales in the city and 40% in the county this quarter are directly linked to landlords leaving the market. 

“There is a lot of uncertainty among the general public about the property market, with many fearful that values are going to fall due to increased interest rates, tech job losses and other macro-economic factors,” said Barry McDonald of REA O’Shea O’Toole, Waterford city.

“However it doesn’t appear to be stopping first time buyers from driving forward. Housing demand remains very strong.”

Across the county, the average time taken to sell is eight weeks, while time to sell in the city this quarter is six weeks.

“Demand is exceeding supply in the stronger urban centres, which is impacting prices,” said Eamonn Spratt of REA Spratt, Dungarvan.

“We are seeing strong evidence of competitive bidding.”

The REA Average House Price Index concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an accurate picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide.

The actual selling price of a three-bedroom, semi-detached house across the country rose by 1.3% over the quarter to €297,056 – representing an annual increase of 6.6%.

The price of a three-bed semi in Dublin city has hit €500,000 for the first time, rising by by 0.3% in the past three months. They are now 14% ahead of their €431,000 Celtic Tiger peak level, with demand being largely driven by first-time buyers in an otherwise cautious market.

Time taken to reach sale agreed nationally has risen to six weeks as REA agents reporting that pricing levels are key in a sensitive market.

Cities outside Dublin experienced a 1.53% rise to an average selling price of €315,000 – an increase of 8.9% in the past 12 months.

Commuter areas rose by 0.4% to €315,389, with 41% of buyers coming from outside the county, a large proportion of them from the capital, with 72% of sales to first-time buyers.

The highest three-bed semi price rises came in the country’s main towns which rose by 2.24% in the past three months to an average of €216,517, with time taken to sell at five weeks.

Areas that attract holiday home buyers have noted an increase in UK or cross border interest with examples such as Bantry and Bundoran both recording €5,000 average increases in the past three months.