More house price rises
The price of the average three-bed semi in Carlow is expected to rise by 5.5% in the next 12 months, according to a survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance.
Prices in the county rose by 5.7% to €171,000 in 2018 – with a rise of 2.1% between September and December.
The REA Average House Price Survey concentrates on the actual sale price of Ireland's typical stock home, the three-bed semi, giving an up-to-date picture of the second-hand property market in towns and cities countrywide.
"Enquiry levels were down towards the end of quarter four," said Harry Sothern of REA Sothern in Carlow Town.
"There seems to be a correlation between enquiry levels and the difficulty in obtaining finance.
"It appears lending institutions had used their quotas for the year and were stringing-out loan application processes.
"Sales have fallen through when pre-approved purchasers failed to obtain their mortgages.
"Town and close-to-town properties continue to attract strong interest, whereas large country houses are proving a challenge.
"This trend has emerged over the last number of years, possibly in response to young families preferring to be close to amenities."
John Dawson of REA Dawson in Tullow described the market as stable.
"Stock is still in short supply, leading to a slight increase in prices for good quality starter homes," he said.
"Things should remain stable unless other factors such as Brexit have a negative impact."
The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €236,287, the Q4 REA Average House Price Survey has found – a rise of 0.6% on the Q3 2018 figure of €234,284.
Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 4.6% in 2018 – a decrease on the 5.4% recorded to September and indicating that the market is continuing to steady after an 11.3% overall rise in 2017.
Growth in the commuter counties also slowed to 0.38% in the last three months – an annual rise of 4.18% – with the average house now selling for €249,472.
This is an annual rise of €10,000 and growth of €2,000 in the last three months.
The country’s major cities outside Dublin recorded the biggest rise of the quarter at 1.25%, an annual increase of 5.81%, with an average three-bed semi costing €252,500.
The biggest urban rise was seen in Galway City, where selling prices rose by 2.7% in the quarter to €282,500 – a yearly increase of 9.7%.
The highest annual increases (7.7%) were once again seen in the rest of the country’s towns which rose in selling price by an average of €10,000 in 2018 and which experienced a 0.85% rise in Q4 to an average of €157,717.
"In these areas, you largely have the perfect storm of affordability within the 10% deposit range, and no new homes as it is still uneconomical to build in many places," said REA Spokesperson Barry McDonald.