The price of the average three-bed semi in County Wicklow is expected to rise by 5% in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Real Estate Alliance.

Prices in the county increased by €10,000 between September and December, a rise of 3.5%, the Q4 REA Average House Price Index shows.

Three-bed semi-detached homes in the county now cost an average of €293,000, up 3.1% on the December 2019 average of €284,200.

Average house prices in Bray increased by €15,000 (4.8%) to €350,000 in the last three months of the year, as demand outstripped supply of suitable homes.

The average time taken to sell in the county has fallen from 10 weeks in September to six weeks at the end of Q4 2020.

The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide.

Wicklow Town prices rose by €10,000 to €320,000 in Q4 – and increase of 3.23%, while Baltinglass saw a rise of 5.71% from €175,000 to €185,000.

In North East Wicklow, prices rose by an average of €4,000 to €310,000 between Q4 2019 and Q4 2020.

In Blessington, prices remained steady at €295,000 between December 2019 and September 2020, but in Q4 of last year, rose to €300,000.

“We have seen unprecedented activity in the market for this time of year,” said Matt Forkin of REA Forkin in, Bray, North East Wicklow and Wicklow Town.

“We have not seen this level of activity for this time of year since 2009. There is a huge level of demand with people moving out of Dublin to the suburbs.

“Demand will continue and we are hopeful that stock levels will replenish early in the new year.”

Simon Murphy of REA Murphy in Baltinglass and Blessington says that the reduced selling period mirrors the focus of loan-approved buyers to secure decisions.

“There is an increase of ‘subject to sale’ buyers as a percentage of the overall market,” he said.

“This could be interpreted as a by-product of people electing to move to larger homes and Covid-friendly locations, where these people may otherwise have remained in their current location because of proximity to their workplace.”

REA agents now expect price rises of 5% in three-bed semis across Wicklow in 2021.

Nationally, average house prices rose by almost 1.5% over the past three months in a market fuelled by a combination of record mortgage approvals and an unprecedented lack of supply, the Q4 REA Average House Price Index found.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house across the country rose by more than €3,000 over the past three months to €239,194 – an annual increase of 1.9%.

The biggest rises in Q4 came in Ireland’s secondary cities and the commuter counties – both of which had experienced the least movement in prices over the preceding 18 months.

The price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house in Dublin City rose by 0.6% to €431,833 during the past three months, an annual increase of 1.41%.

Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford cities shared a combined increase of 2.4% in the past 12 weeks with prices rising by €6,000 to an average of €262,500.

Commuter counties are now feeling the benefit of the migration towards space and home working potential, with three bed semis rising 2.2% by almost €6,000 on the Q3 figure to an average of €253,111.

Reflecting the flight to rural locations, prices in the rest of the country’s towns rose by 1.2% in 12 weeks to €165,397.