UK interest in houses in West Cork has driven a substantial increase in property prices in just the last year, according to the latest survey from the Real Estate Alliance.
The average price of a second-hand, three-bed semi in Co Cork rose by 6% in the last 12 months, REA found.
Michael O’Donoghue of REA O’Donoghue & Clarke in Bantry said demand for new and second-hand homes in the West Cork area continues to be good, “with continuing UK interest since the start of the year".
Mr O’Donoghue said while bidding has somewhat slowed, overall demand, with a “good mixture” of cash buyers and mortgage-approved buyers, remains strong.
The time taken to reach sale agreed nationally has stayed steady at five weeks while REA is reporting that properties in need of modernisation are becoming more difficult to sell, with buyers conscious of renovation costs and home improvement loans. First-time purchasers make up 60% of the market.
The post-covid trend of leaving cities to avail of remote working has also dampened down, with just 11% of sellers leaving cities.
First-time buyers in Co Cork made up 20% of the market in the first quarter of this year, with 5% of buyers moving out of the cities.
The average cost of three-bed homes in the county remained at €217,500 while similar properties in Cork City remained at €355,000.
Average prices in Limerick City have risen by 0.7% in the last quarter to €272,000 while prices in Kerry jumped 2.6% to €300,000.
Across the rest of Ireland, the actual selling price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached rose by 0.6% over the past three months to €293,343, representing an annual increase of 5.3%.
House prices in Dublin rose by 3.5% in the past year to an average of €498,333 while cities outside of Dublin have an average selling price of €310,250.
The biggest city rise was in Galway City, where prices increased by 0.9% to €334,000.
The lowest percentage increases were in commuter counties where average prices went from €312,778 to €313,056, an increase of just 0.1%.
In traditional commuter towns such as Ashbourne, Co Meath, where prices fell by 1.32% in the quarter, mortgage interest rate rises and cost-of-living concerns are foremost in purchasers’ thoughts.
“Stock levels are improving but we are finding purchasers continue to be cautious in Q1, and energy efficiencies and BER ratings are playing a bigger part in property sales,” said Paul Grimes of REA Grimes, Ashbourne.
The country’s large towns saw the largest quarterly increase at 1%, with prices now averaging €211,776 and properties selling faster than in cities or commuter areas.
Monaghan was the only county where the price of a three-bed semi-detached decreased. The average price decreased by 2.4% during the first quarter of 2023 to €200,000.
Donegal saw the highest increase at 3.4% but remained the cheapest at €150,000.
REA agents have reported a less “frenzied” approach to viewing and bidding.
REA spokesman Barry McDonald said: “The number of houses on the market this quarter has been less than expected.
“However, after a slow start, late February and March viewings have been much more active, with homes in my own area of Lucan in Dublin selling within five weeks. As prices increase, there are fewer buyers, and we are seeing less competitive bidding and more one-bidder, one-buyer scenarios.”