The average price of a house in Westmeath in the final quarter of 2017 rose to €183,000 - 13 per cent higher than a year previously - according to a report published recently by property website Daft.ie
While the average price of a house in Westmeath is up 55 per cent from its lowest point in 2013, prices in the county remain below the national average of €241,000.
In Roscommon, prices rose by a more modest three per cent since last year, with a house in the county costing an average of €129,000. Roscommon is tied with Longford as the second least expensive county in Ireland for property, with Leitrim the cheapest.
Nationally, prices rose by an average of 8.8 per cent, with Dublin and the rest of Leinster seeing the biggest increases regionally.
The number of properties available to buy on the market nationwide continues to fall. There were just over 21,000 properties on the market on December 1, 2.6 per cent lower than the same date a year previously. The total number of properties available has now fallen year-on-year for 100 months, having been above 62,000 in late 2009.
Commenting on the figures, Ronan Lyons, economist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the Daft.ie Report, said: “The main feature of the property market in 2017 was just how different the second half was from the first. The first half of the year saw prices jump by nine per cent in six months, as the relaxation of Central Bank rules for first-time buyers was factored into prices. But the second half of the year saw almost no change in prices, as those very same rules linking mortgages to the real economy placed a brake on prices.
“The overall picture of the market remains one of strong demand but very tight supply, in particular of new homes. As we enter 2018, increasing supply – especially of apartments in Ireland’s major cities – must become the key success metric for policymakers when it comes to the housing market.”