The price of an average three-bed semi in Westmeath rose by 33.33 per cent in 2014, according to a national survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance.
The Real Estate Alliance Average House Index concentrates on Ireland’s typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an accurate picture of the property market in towns and cities countrywide.
The average three-bed semi-detached house in Westmeath now costs €120,000, with the market seeing a 4.3 per cent rise in Q4 from September to December, and houses now taking four weeks to sell, down from 12 weeks in June 2014.
REA agents in Westmeath are predicting a rise of 20 per cent in prices in 2015, following the ending of the uncertainty over the Central Bank’s mortgage deposit rules.
Nationally, the average three-bed semi now costs €184,713, the latest REA survey has found - a rise of 2.63 per cent on the Q4 figure of €179,981.
While every county in the State showed an increase in three-bed semi prices, the market slowed down in the Dublin area between September and December 2014 (Q4 ) with one area registering a 6.67 per cent drop in prices.
While semis in Dublin recorded a 21.66 per cent increase over the year, the biggest rise was in the commuter counties and large cities such as Cork and Galway.
Property in what is now termed Tier Two rose by 26.24 per cent from €157,824 to €199,235.
And while the Dublin market slowed to just an 0.89 per cent increase in Q4, and the commuter counties rose by 3.42 per cent, the biggest upswing came in the rest of the country (or Tier Three ), which saw a rise of 3.92 per cent - the first time that rural Ireland had surged ahead in the figures all year.
“Our survey shows that in all areas of Dublin, parts of Cork City, Galway City, North Wicklow, and Kildare, the price of the average semi detached house exceeds the Central Bank’s new threshold of €220,000 at which banks can lend 90 per cent of the value,” said Real Estate Alliance CEO Philip Farrell.
“However, other parts of Wicklow, Kildare, Louth, and Meath all offer average housing under that limit for those looking to buy in the commuter belt with accessibility to Dublin.”
The biggest change in buying habits in 2014 has been the return of the banks to the marketplace with the amount of cash transactions dropping from an average of 66 per cent in December 13 to 44 per cent in December 2014.
Real Estate Alliance (REA ) is Ireland’s leading property group of chartered surveyors with over 50 branches nationwide, comprising many of the country’s longest-established auctioneers and estate agents.