The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Waterford has increased to €240,000, up 4.3% from €230,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance.

The market in Waterford city this quarter was unchanged, with prices currently averaging at €285,000, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows.

“The condition of the property and BER is all-important, possibly now more than ever,” said Barry McDonald of REA O’Shea O’Toole, Waterford city.

The survey shows that 60% of purchasers in the city and 50% across the county were first-time buyers, and 35% of purchasers in the city and 20% in the county were from outside of the county.

A total of 30% of sales in the city and 20% in the county this quarter were attributed to landlords leaving the market.

Across both the county and city, the average time taken to sell is currently averaging at six weeks.

“The market is influenced by limited new stock coming to the market, which is adding to competitive bidding,” said Eamonn Spratt of REA Spratt, Dungarvan.

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-bed, semi-detached house across the country rose by 1.4% over the quarter to €301,370 breaching the €300,000 mark for the first time since 2007.

House prices in Ireland’s large towns rose by 2% in the past three months and are increasing at twice the rate of Dublin and the major cities as mortgage approved buyers chase properties within their price ceiling.

Time taken to reach sale agreed nationally fell from six to five weeks as low supply continues to drive sales in an increasing interest rate environment.

Prices in Dublin city rose by 0.8% in the last three months, meaning that the average three-bed semi in the capital is now selling at €504,167 – an increase of 1.3% in the last year.

Nationally, 57% of sales are to first-timers, a figure that rises dramatically to 85% in Wicklow, Meath and North County Dublin as mortgage-approved buyers hunt suitably priced property.

Cities outside Dublin experienced a 0.73% rise to an average selling price of €317,500 – with the annual rate of increase halving to 4.5% from the previous survey.

Prices rose in Cork (1.4% to €365,000) and Limerick (1.8% to €285,000) while Waterford city and Galway remained static.

Commuter areas rose by 1.1% to €318,889, with 39% of buyers in areas such as Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow coming from outside the county, a large proportion of them from the capital, with 73% of sales to first-time buyers.