Almost one thousand new homes were sold in Kildare last year with a combined value of €185.5 million. This works out at an average of €192,053 for the 966 house sales registered with the Revenue Commissioners and the Government's Property Price Register over the 12 months of the year.
The average sales price is higher than the average asking price recorded on Daft's house price survey for the county which reckoned that the average asking price recorded in the last quarter of the year was €177,642.
This difference may seem surprising considering that traditionally sellers asked more than they are usually willing to sell for.
However, it may be partly explained by Daft research which shows that average asking prices in the county fell 8.9pc over the course of the year as those vendors who are serious about selling dropped their asking prices and this may have been especially the case for less sought-after areas of the county. In contrast, those sales recorded on the register are more likely to have been in the more sought-after areas and a number of those appear to have achieved above their asking prices.
Further analysis of the property price register shows Kildare's average prices are more than €41,000 ahead of the national average of €151,000.
Both surveys show that Kildare house prices are among the highest in country. Comparing Daft's asking prices for each county shows Kildare prices are only behind those in Dublin, Wicklow and for some house types in Cork and Galway cities.
At year end Daft estimated average asking prices in Kildare ranged from €77,958 for a one-bedroom apartment to €102,045 for a two-bedroom dwelling, €124,001 for a three- bedroom home, €184,334 for a four-bedroom house and €224,131 for a five-bedroom house.
Anecdotal comments from agents show that some areas of the county are faring better than others.
While it could be expected that the areas closest to Dublin would fare well, it may seem surprising that Maynooth in the north west of the county appears to be faring better than some of those towns nearer to Dublin.
Local agents report a shortage of family houses and attribute this partly to the university status which gives an extra buzz as well as the quality of its restaurants which make it an enjoyable town to visit.
Last year 118 homes were sold in Maynooth for more than €27.6m or an average of €234,313 per house.
Agents also report low levels of supply in towns such as Naas and Newbridge due to the low levels of house building since 2006 which was also constrained by the capacity of the sewage system. Consequently Richard Brophy of Goffs Country said that this shortage will lead to upward pressure on prices in the towns.
Willie Coonan of Coonan Real Estate Alliance, who operates in the northern side of the county, says the improved demand over the last 12 months is reflected in the willingness of buyers to buy off the plans.
He is currently selling new homes at Moyglare Hall, Maynooth at prices ranging from €255,000 for a three-bedroom semi up to €349,000 for a five-bedroom detached house.
Among the top prices achieved in Kildare during the year was the €2.3m which he achieved for Newberry House and Stud Farm, a period residence on 86 acres at Kilcullen, Co Kildare.
Situated in the heart of the country's bloodstock industry with the Curragh, Punchestown and Naas racecourses just a short drive away, the stud is famous for producing winning racehorses including grade one winners Key Change, Winona and Namid, as well as Redstone Dancer, Snaefell and Noelani.
Another strong price was the €1.16m achieved for Blackthorn House, Mullacash, Naas which was sold through Gunnes in November.
In Carton Demesne, Maynooth, where the Irish Open golf competition will be held this year, a strong price of €775,000 was attained for 118 Leinster Wood South, Carton Demesne.
49 Leinster Wood South, Carton Demesne sold for €639,600 in January.
Other deals recorded on the property price register include a Celbridge house, Applecroft, Kilwogan, which sold for €735,000 in July and Belmont House, Ballyhays, Straffan, which achieved €700,000 in August.
At the cheaper end of the market a property at Loughbrown, The Curragh, sold for €17,857 and 14 Dooley's Terrace, Athy, sold for €30,000.
Also keenly priced was an apartment, 7 Patrick's Square, Newbridge which sold for €40,000.