Despite fears of a downturn in the market during the Covid-19 crisis, the price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house in County Wexford remained unchanged over the past three months, according to a national survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance.

Agents in the county are reporting a large annual increase in enquiries since they reopened their doors after lockdown.

The price of the average three-bed semi in the county fell by 1.3% to €192,500 in the past year, the REA Average House Price Survey found.

“We have seen a noticeable increase in enquiries from people in larger urban areas looking to relocate to the area as they have more flexible working practices,” said Winston Halnon of REA Halnon McKenna, Gorey, where prices rose over the past year by 2.5% to €210,000.

“The market has remained strong in North Wexford. All our sales that were agreed in the run up to lockdown have remained intact and without reduction, and we agreed a number of sales by virtual viewings during lockdown.

“In the short period that we have been back fully open we have seen exceptional interest from buyers of all types and a number of sales have been agreed above asking price.

“Lack of supply, which was the topic on everyone’s agenda just three months ago, will have worsened due to construction sites being closed.”

“There is no evidence of price decreases as yet, and the phones have been busy since we reopened the offices, with plenty of viewings taking place,” said Robert McCormack of REA McCormack Corish, Wexford town, where average prices fell by 5.4% over the past year to €175,000.

Prices in both Gorey and Wexford town remained static this quarter, and the average time taken to sell rose from eight to nine weeks in Wexford town and remained at ten weeks in Gorey.

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.

Across the country, despite fears of a downturn in the market due to lockdown, the price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house fell by just -0.15% over the past three months to €234,667, an annual decline of -0.56%. 

“Although sales slowed during the lockdown, they did happen and, despite fears, very few fell through or had to be renegotiated,” said REA spokesperson Barry McDonald.

“Changes in the world of work are having an immediate effect on the second-hand housing market with a nationwide trend emerging of buyers looking to move 15 minutes outside of their urban location where they can get more space for the same money.

“We are finding that people are looking for three things – more space, gardens and a guarantee of better broadband, where transport was previously the highest priority.

“While the current outlook is positive, and there seems to be a lot of pent-up demand, it may be Q3 before we see the effect of Covid-19 on the market and on the outcome of mortgage approvals granted before the lockdown.”