The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in Waterford City has risen by 6% to €265,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

And the survey has shown that 60% of sales in the city are to first-time buyers, with 20% of all purchasers coming from outside the area.

“There is a continued low levels of stock at all price ranges,” said Des O’Shea of REA O’Shea O’Toole, Waterford city.

“We are seeing high demand, especially in people looking to move to Waterford from outside of the county, and particularly from Dublin.”

Across the county, prices rose 2.4% this quarter to €210,000, with the average time taken to sell at four weeks, the Q1 REA Average House Price Index has shown.

50% of purchasers throughout the county are first-time buyers, the survey shows, and similarly to the city, 20% of buyers are from outside the county.

“Market activity has remained strong primarily by reason of demand exceeding supply,” said Eamonn Spratt of REA Spratt, Dungarvan.

“There is further evidence of private landlords deciding to vacate the market.”

The REA Average House Price Survey 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.

Nationally, house prices are increasing at an average of almost €100 a day as the market shows no signs of slowing up in the early months of 2022, the survey has found.

Average house prices rose by 3.16% nationally in the first three months of year, matching the 1% a month increases experienced during the Celtic Tiger days.

And illustrating the two-tier nature of the market, 59% of all purchasers were first-time buyers, that figure rising to 76% in Dublin as people with mortgage approval scramble to get on the housing ladder.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by almost €9,000 over the past three months to €278,500 – representing an annual increase of over 14%.

The average three bed in Dublin is fast approaching the €500,000 mark, with actual selling prices rising by 2.2% since the new year, to an average of €481,250.

Commuter counties saw prices increase 4.47% – a jump of €13,000 to €305,000 – and double the rate of increase seen in the capital.

In the rest of the country, where prices rose 3.4% to €196,569, the survey found that one in every three buyers were from outside the county as new working conditions enable a rethink on home bases.