The time taken to sell the average house in Waterford county has fallen by two weeks in the past quarter, a national property survey has found.

The REA Average House Price Survey found that the average time taken to sell across the county fell over the past three months from 12 weeks to 10.

As people move to incorporate new working-from-home lifestyles, the price of the average three-bed semi-detached house in the county rose by 1.1% to €180,000 this quarter.

“We are seeing a strong demand, driven by short supply,” said Des O’Shea of REA O’Shea O’Toole, Waterford City.

Waterford city prices remained unchanged over the past 12 months at €215,000, and time taken to sell fell from 13 weeks to 12 in the city.

“The market in Q3 locally was impacted by external purchasers now sourcing holiday homes in a coastal setting within easy reach of the larger urban centres,” said Eamonn Spratt of REA Spratt, Dungarvan.

“This demand was accelerated by the Covid-19 travel restrictions on international holiday destinations.”

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.

The average three bed semi nationally is now reaching sale agreed after seven weeks across the country – a significant fall from the ten-week average in June.

Despite fears of a downturn in the market during the Covid-19 crisis, the price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by 0.6% over the past three months to €236,046, an annual increase of 0.4%.

Reflecting the beginnings of a flight to rural locations, prices in the rest of the country’s towns rose by almost 1% in 12 weeks to €163,345.

“Houses are taking an average three weeks less to sell across the country, driven by a combination of low supply and highly-motivated buyers,” said REA spokesperson, Barry McDonald.

“This is a huge shift in market behaviour, and one that we have not experienced in the last decade with almost every agent reporting a substantial drop in the time to reach sale agreed.

“Buyers are more focused, with a higher percentage of bids being made, and in many cases are looking to secure homes before their current mortgage approval runs out.”