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A three-bed semi-detached house now costs an average of €229,111

The highest increases in prices to date in 2018 have occurred in towns.

houses Source: REA Average House Price Index

Updated at 12.20pm

THE AVERAGE COST of a three-bedroom semi-detached house in Ireland is €229,111, according to the Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average House Price Index for the first three months of 2018.

This marks a rise of 1.5% on the figure of €225,806 recorded in the last quarter of 2017.

The rate of increase in the cost of a three-bed semi-detached house in Dublin slowed to 0.5% in the first quarter of this year.

After rising by 12.5% in 2017, the average price in the capital has increased by just €2,000 in the opening quarter and now stands at €440,000 – exactly twice the Central Bank’s €220,000 mortgage deposit threshold.

The index concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland’s typical stock home (a three-bed semi), giving an up-to-date picture of the property market in towns and cities nationwide to the close of last week.

The rate of increase in three-bed semi-detached home prices in Dublin has now slowed to 2% over the past six months, compared to an increase of 4.5% in the opening three months of 2017.

Most REA agents in the capital reported that prices in Dublin’s postcode zones have been static in the first three months of the year. The only reported rises were in areas such as Dublin 24 (+2% to €260,000) and Lucan (+2% to €352,000).

Commenting on the figures, REA spokesperson Barry McDonald said: “What we may be seeing, after the rapid increases of recent years, are the Central Bank mortgage lending restrictions imposing an upper level on purchasing power for some buyers.

There has been a 3% reduction in cash buyers in the market, with mortgage-approved house hunters now making up 74% of purchasers, increasing the effect of the Central Bank rules on the market.

McDonald said many Dublin homes are reaching the ‘sale agreed’ stage within four weeks.

Combined prices in Dublin city and county rose by 0.7% to €408,500, driven by increases in north county areas such as Skerries (+2.8% to €365,000) and Balbriggan (+1.9% to €265,000).

Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 9.1% over the past 12 months, compared with an 11.3% overall rise in 2017.

The commuter counties continued their recent steady growth with a 1.4% increase in the first three months of 2018 – the average house is now selling for €235,900, a rise of €3,000.

Other cities and towns

The country’s major cities outside Dublin recorded a combined rise of 2.1% in the first quarter of the year, with an average three-bed semi-detached house costing €243,750.

Limerick city saw a 4.2% rise, with prices increasing from €192,000 to €2000,000 since December. Selling prices in Galway city rose by 2.9%, where the typical semi-detached house is now fetching €265,000 and there are about 10 buyers for every property on the market.

Cork city registered a €5,000 (1.6%) increase during the same period, bringing levels to €315,000. Prices remained static at €195,000 in Waterford city.

The highest increases were seen in the rest of the country’s towns, which experienced a 2.9% rise to €150,050.

The highest annual rate of increase in the country came in Cavan town, where prices rose by €10,000 to €150,000 – a change of 33.9% on the March 2017 figure of €112,000.

McDonald said the demand there is “being driven by limited supply and competition between owner occupiers and buy-to-let investors in what is a rising rental market”.

“In Laois, we have seen rises of 6% in the opening quarter based on lack of supply and prices at €175,000 which are attracting the commuter market.

“In commuter counties such as Kildare, the biggest percentage rises are coming in towns such as Newbridge (2.3%) which recorded double the increase of Naas (1.1%) because at €225,000, property is nearer to the Central Bank’s deposit threshold,” he added.

House sales 

Meanwhile, the number of house sales rose from 15,058 in 2016 to 17,491 in 2017, an increase of 16%, according to a new study carried out by MyHome.ie based on the analysis of the Property Price Register.

The total value of transactions for the year was also up, rising by 21% to €7.4 billion.

Dublin 15 was the postal district with the largest number of sales during the year at 1,640, followed by Dublin 18 with 1,029 and Dublin 24 with 939.

The postal codes with the biggest increases were Dublin 17 which rose 88%; Dublin 24 which rose 71% and Dublin 13, up 55%.

At the other end of the scale, the four postal codes with recorded falls were Dublin 20 which fell 47%,; Dublin 4, down 28%, Dublin 9; down 16% and Dublin 7 which fell 3%.

Angela Keegan, Managing Director of MyHome.ie, said the postal codes recording the largest number of sales and the biggest increases were generally found along the M50.

She said this highlighted the issue of urban sprawl and the need for an enhanced public transport network for the city.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

Read: There are four counties where the average rent exceeds €1,000 per month

Read: Irish homeowners have spent €1.7 billion via renovation scheme

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Órla Ryan

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