By James Ward, PA
The price of an average home in Dublin has risen by €1,500 a week since the end of March, a survey by the Real Estate Alliance (REA) has found.
House prices in the capital rose dramatically in the second quarter of the year, increasing from €438,500 in March to a present rate of €456,667.
The startling increases echo the Celtic Tiger-era, with a rise of 4.1 per cent over three months in the second quarter of 2021, compared to an annual increase of 1.4 per cent in the whole of 2020.
The REA said the increases are fuelled by pent-up demand and the return of physical viewings post-lockdown, combined with scarcity of supply and some of the shortest selling times in recent history.
Spokesman Barry McDonald said: “While the market operated steadily through lockdown, the ability to view homes and the reopening of estate agents has seen a further flood of mortgage-approved buyers emerge.
“Many people were not comfortable with the idea of buying houses without the traditional viewing, and they have now joined the ranks of those chasing a limited supply.
“Buyers are motivated and have financial firepower, and our agents are seeing far more multiple bidders forcing prices up.
“Lockdown has caused severe disruption to the new homes sector, forcing many people to concentrate on the scarce stock levels available in the second-hand residential market.
“However, we are starting to see a moderate increase in homes coming to market, both second-hand and new, which may improve the situation.”
With multiple buyers now competing for a small number of properties, the average three-bed semi now takes an average of just four weeks to reach sale agreed status, compared to a 10-week average this time last year.
Commuter counties saw the largest increases in Q2, as buyers continue to move out further from cities in preparation for long-term remote working situations.
Three-bed semis in commuter counties rose 4.33 per cent by over €11,000 in the past three months to an average of 270,111 euro.
The average home is selling in just three weeks, down from a high of 11 weeks a year ago.
The country’s largest rise came in Drogheda where prices increased by €30,000 to €250,000 in 12 weeks – an increase of 13.5 per cent in the quarter and 19 per cent annually.
With many buyers using lockdown to save for their deposit, the large number of house-hunters battling for low levels of stock has seen sales agreed quicker than ever before.
Mr McDonald said: “In Kilkenny city, properties are now reaching sale agreed after just two weeks and agent REA Boyd’s reported 70 mortgage-approved parties ringing to view one particular property in three days.
“Multiple bidders are a factor in most transactions, with agents stressing the importance of ensuring that buyers are committed.
“REA Southern in Carlow report that they have converted a number of sales to auction when they have a significant amount of bidders, so the process is more transparent for those involved.”
Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford cities shared a combined increase of 3.5 per cent in the past 12 weeks with prices rising by €10,000 to an average of €275,000.
While Cork and Galway saw steady rises, the post-lockdown effect was more pronounced in Limerick and Waterford.
In Limerick City, prices rose by €20,000 over the last three months, up 9.3 per cent to €235,000, with a large cohort of first-time buyers continuously bidding on a record low supply, according to the REA.
This is having a knock-on effect in surrounding areas, with prices in Co Limerick increasing by 10 per cent in the same period, up by €18,000 to €196,000.
Waterford City saw prices rise by 4.3 per cent or €10,000, to €240,000, with the time taken to sell halving in three months to four weeks.
Increases were less pronounced in Cork City, up 1.5 per cent to €330,000, and Galway City, up 1 per cent to €295,000.
The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland’s typical stock home, the three-bed semi.
The average price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached house nationwide rose by €10,000 over the past three months to €253,685, representing an annual increase of 8 per cent.