The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in Waterford city has risen by 4.2% to €250,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

The market across the county rose 2.6% this quarter to €200,000, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows.

“The demand is coming from young people who are happy to live here and possibly do some commuting,” said Des O’Shea of REA O’Shea O’Toole, Waterford city.

“Waterford is a wonderful place to live with so many facilities.

“There is great value still in Waterford county and city, and the holiday home market was strong this summer with an increase of over 20% on coastal locations.”

Across the county, the average time taken to sell has fallen from six weeks to four. Time to sell in the city this quarter rose from four weeks to five.

“There is significant evidence of landlords vacating the rental market by reason of two influencing factors — prices are now at a high level in contrast to previous years, and the landlord properties are now potentially clear of any loans,” said Eamonn Spratt of REA Spratt, Dungarvan.

Average house prices nationally have risen by €3,500 per month since the end of June, with selling prices in commuter areas and small towns increasing by over double the growth experienced in the major cities.

The 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 price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by 4.1% over the past three months to €264,056 – representing an annual increase of 12%.

The biggest rises in Q3 came in commuter counties (4.6%) and the country’s large towns (4.9%) as buyers continue to move out further from the capital in anticipation of long-term remote and hybrid working situations.

They are being joined by a surge of interest from ex-pats, anxious to return to Ireland after the pandemic, with more set to return when family homes become available.

The rural and commuter area increases are double those being experienced in Ireland’s major cities, with Dublin increasing by 2.3% to €467,000 and Cork, Limerick and Galway by an average of 2.4% to €281,750.

“The survey’s average of four weeks to sell should be even lower because, while bidding is fast and furious, vendors are not rushing to accept offers,” said REA spokesperson, Barry McDonald.

“With an exceptional shortage of stock, demand is being fuelled by an increase in mortgage-approved buyers on the market.

“The rural flight, which began during lockdown, shows no signs of letting up, even in the face of a return to office working.”