The price of the average three-bed semi in Louth rose by 8.1% to €200,000 in the last 12 months, according to a national survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance.
And after prices increased by 2.6% between September and December 2017, local agents are predicting that property values will rise by 7% in the county in the coming year.
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 property market in towns and cities countrywide.
“The three-bed semi is in short supply with demand resulting in bidding and properties achieving over the market value,” according to Darina Collins of REA O’Brien Collins in Drogheda, where prices rose by 2.3% in Q4 to €220,000.
“We believe the shortage of suitable family homes will continue to drive property values up,” said Michael Gunne, REA Gunne Property in Dundalk where prices rose by 2.9% in Q4 to €180,000.
“Demand is coming from first-time buyers who are priced out of new homes.”
The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €225,806, the Q4 REA Average House Price Survey found – a rise of 1.8% on the Q3 figure of €221,861.
Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 11.3% over the past 12 months – compared to 7.7% nationally in 2016.
The survey also found that agents throughout the country expect prices to rise by 7.5% on average in the next 12 months.
“The heated market that we saw throughout much of 2017 has cooled somewhat and we are now in a period of more certainty,” said REA spokesperson Healy Hynes.
“A lack of supply is still the main driver of the market, with listings of second hand properties at a low level around the country.
“Anything that does go on sale is reaching sale agreed in a short period of time – five weeks on average and four weeks in Dublin city.
“However, this is not normal in a properly functioning market, where time periods of eight weeks to sale agreed are more common.”
The rate of increase in three-bed semi-detached home prices in Dublin slowed to 1.5% in the fourth quarter of the year as buyers look to new homes on the horizon.
The commuter counties also returned a restricted growth of 1.5% in Q4, and 10% overall for the year, following a relatively static 2016, with the average house now selling for €229,300.
The lowest increase in Q4 was reflected in the country’s cities outside of Dublin, where the grouping of Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway returned 1% growth, with average prices increasing by €2,375 to €238,625.
Towns throughout the rest of the country saw rises of 2.6% in the fourth quarter with the average three-bed semi now costing €146,633, up 12.3% from €130,600 in December 2016.
An increase in mortgage-approved buyers and the Help To Buy Scheme saw first-time buyers return to viewings in force over the past 12 months.
However, a shortage of suitable supply caused prices to appreciate, and REA agents in the capital are predicting that new homes will drive a bright outlook for the new year, freeing up some supply of second hand stock in the market.