The east county area in Cork is another market in which chronic undersupply is having an impact, making local property observers anxious about recent changes to make things more accessible for the first-time buyer.
Shane Russell of Russell Estate Agents thinks there is no point in making it easier for the first-time buyer to get a mortgage if there are no properties out there to buy. "We're not introducing enough new homes onto the market. In the last few months, we've seen more planning applications go in for new homes but, even at that, it will take two years for these to come to the market. First-time buyers are now getting the mortgage approval but the problem for them is that there are actually no properties out there for them to buy. For years, there were loads of properties and no buyers, and now it's gone the other way," says Russell.
The stock famine is having a serious impact on the rental market, with three-beds in Midleton now renting at up to €1,150-€1,300 a month, when they were only €850-€900 a couple of years ago.
Russell has noticed that builders are buying up sites and then watching market prices closely with an eye on margins because they need to know there's a profit to be made before they start developing. City people are now moving out and will go as far as Mogeely and Castlemartyr, where you can get a three-bed semi for the same price as an apartment in Cork City. Midleton and Whitegate are still the most popular choices with buyers in this market.
East Co Cork prices are up 8pc on a year ago, with property types showing varying performances. Russell is predicting an average growth of 10pc for the next 12 months, which could go as high as 15pc for three-bed semis in towns or as low as 4pc for the detached 2,000sq ft-plus homes.