Limerick is one of the few county areas in Ireland in which prices have remained stagnant, despite a growing lack of supply. Some experts are even referring to a particular Limerick trait that sees buyers retire from the pursuit of a property if they believe the price has reached an unreasonable level. But worsening supply means the tipping point may have been reached.
"In the 12 months there's been a huge shortage of residential units," says local agent Geoff de Courcy. "Rents have gone ridiculously high as a consequence. A three-bed semi is hitting €1,000 a month in rent. I've never seen such low volumes of property for sale."
The market is now relying on repossessed and NAMA properties to satisfy a small amount of the demand. "Building won't happen in Limerick county until the bank properties are done and dusted, and that's still a long way off," says de Courcy. "A lot have been sold, but there's still more to come - which is no harm really because there is nothing else available."
Areas like Adare or those close to the city like Patrickswell are still the most popular with buyers. But rural properties are still difficult to dispose of, with the holiday-home market in the county being particularly slow in 2016.
With supply currently so short, de Courcy believes the prices can at last only go up. He is predicting a jump of 10pc on average, with one of the biggest increases of 19pc expected in three-bed semis, which would take them from €130,000 to €155,000. Two-bed cottages should also rise more steeply in 2017 because they are coming from such a low base to start with. These could go from €70,000 to €85,000 - an increase of 21pc.