Three-bed semis top €200k for first time post-crash

The price of the average three-bed semi has risen above €200,000 for the first time since the property crash,the latest national house price survey shows.

Buyers can expect to fork out an average of €295,000 for a three-bedroom home in Cork City, with price increases in the city in the region of 1.72%.

Prices in Co Cork rose by just 0.6% over the last three months, with the average price of a three-bed home coming in at €126,750.

However, estate agents in the West Cork region who saw, in some cases, deposits on property taken back after the Brexit vote, report that sales are now back on track with Dutch and German buyers and returning Irish looking to buy.

According to the Real Estate Alliance Average House Price Survey, the average three-bed semi nationally now costs €200,093, an increase of €4,732 since the end of June and indicates an increase of 6.3% against the same time last year.

Prices in Dublin City grew by 2.75% to €373,000 since June, which is almost twice the growth experienced in the second quarter of the year as buyers chase a scarce supply of suitable housing.

Longford, where the average house price is €68,000, showed the biggest increase in house prices in the last three months at 9.68% with the commuter towns serving the capital also showing hikes in prices ranging from 6% to 7%.

The average amount of cash buyers according to the survey has fallen to 33% nationwide, but in Dublin City that figure fell by 7%, with nearly three quarters of all transactions now mortgage funded.

Real Estate Alliance chairman Michael O’Connor said prices in the tier containing commuter counties and the main cities of Cork and Galway have risen by an average of just under €3,000 while those in the rest of the country have increased by nearly €5,000.

“We are seeing little or no increase in supply nationally, with an increase in funded buyers fuelling the market in the short term,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Many of our agents are now reporting some buyers are returning to the market, having achieved a level of savings and that there is an increase in mortgage funded purchases.”

Mr O’Connor said that while the early effects of the Central Bank restrictions had previously seen prices decline in the capital up to the first quarter of this year, a combination of a longer time period to save and pressure on supply has manifested itself in price growth.

“The Central Bank’s mortgage deposit rules are still being keenly felt in the commuter areas, with most rises occurring in towns where three-bed semis are available for under the deposit threshold of €220,000,” said Mr O’Connor. “The immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote has had an effect in the north west where Donegal is the only county to register a three-month fall of 1.73%.

“This has been most keenly felt in traditional holiday home spots such as Bundoran where the average three-bed semi has dropped by -3.41% in three months from €88,000 to €85,000.”

Estate agent John O’Neill of Celtic Properties, Bantry, West Cork, said in the uncertainty in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, a number of deposits put on property in the area by those looking to come here from the UK were removed.

However, he said that, since then, people from the UK have been returning to view properties. They have been joined by Irish people looking to move from Britain, he said.

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