Property sales in Westmeath increased by 30 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
A similar story can be seen across the country at large, with an increase of 4.9 per cent recorded.
According to an analysis of the Property Price Register carried out by property website MyHome.ie, a little more than 10,000 properties changed hands in the first three months of the year countrywide.
Sales in Dublin comprised more than a third of this total at 3,407 - an increase of 5.7 per cent on the same period last year.
Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie, said one of the most notable trends was the upswing in sales in the capital’s commuter belt.
“Sales in Meath are up 32 per cent, Kildare is up 26 per cent, Wicklow is up 17 per cent, while Louth is up 9 per cent,” she said. “We’re all aware of the shortage of properties in Dublin and the resulting higher prices, so it’s clear buyers have decided, or have been forced, to opt for more affordable properties in neighbouring counties.
“While often the properties outside Dublin are bigger and newer, the downside is the commute. Interestingly, the border region delivered the two counties with the biggest increase and decrease in sales; Cavan recorded a 35.4 per cent increase, while Donegal saw sales fall by 21 per cent.
“While sales may be up in the commuter belt and most other parts of Leinster, it’s a very different story in the west and south. Sales in Donegal are down 21 per cent, in Sligo it’s 8 per cent, and in Mayo it’s 17 per cent.
Further south they are down 16 per cent in Limerick and 8 per cent in Kerry. Interestingly, Clare is up 35 per cent, while Galway is up 9 per cent and Westmeath is up 30 per cent.”
Ms Keegan says these figures show that the Irish property market is no longer just Dublin and the rest of the country, but has fragmented into a number of micro markets which move in response to a variety of local and national factors.