Westmeath’s population stands at just under 90,000 and it is increasing at a faster rate than the national average. However, its rural population is still falling, according to the Central Statistics Office.
Unlike other counties in the region it does not seem to have witnessed any significant influx of buyers from the cities during the pandemic, but nonetheless, the residential property market is seeing a good deal of movement.
Values are up 5pc year-on-year and the average house price in the county is now €235,000.
Three-bed semi-detached houses are much sought after in a market driven by demand from first-time buyers.
Many of these are in their 30s and would have been commuters, but now are working from home.
Eighty per cent of them want a new home, but the current supply shortage has been holding them back, according to Aidan Davitt of Sherry FitzGerald Davitt & Davitt.
|3-BED SEMI IN TOWN||€225,000||€250,000||€260,000|
|3-bed Semi Out Of Town||€185,000||€200,000||€210,000|
|4-BED SEMI IN TOWN||€260,000||€265,000||€270,000|
|4-bed Detached In Town||€350,000||€360,000||€375,000|
|4-bed Detached Out Of Town||€290,000||€290,000||€310,000|
|3-bed Bungalow In Town||€260,000||€270,000||€275,000|
|3-bed Bungalow Outside Town||€230,000||€250,000||€260,000|
|4-bed Bungalow In Town||€270,000||€275,000||€285,000|
|4-bed Bungalow Outside Town||€255,000||€275,000||€280,000|
|Detached 2000+ Sq Ft||€420,000||€425,000||€450,000|
“New three-beds in town are making about €300,000 and new four-beds roughly €350,000 or €360,000,” Davitt says.
Three-bedroom bungalows are changing hands for on average €250,000 depending on condition, location and site size, while larger detached houses of more than 2,500sq ft are averaging €425,000.
In a county with a lot of lakes, there are quite a few of this type of home with either lake views or lake frontage and these command a hefty premium.
Three-bedroom rural bungalows are averaging €250,000, while those closer to town are averaging €270,000.
A brand new modern-looking development in the heart of the town is much anticipated this year.
Four-bedroom bungalows in the vicinity of a town are averaging €275,000 and go for more or less the same price in a more rural setting.
Former local authority three-beds are selling for €140,000 on average, while rural cottages will set you back around €125,000 for a one-bed or €135,000 if you want a two bed.
Athlone is set for a whopping 1,000 new homes either side of the Ballymahon Road with one scheme approved for 426 homes at Coosan, while another scheme of 576 homes is pending at Lissywollen.
In Mullingar, a pre-planning application for 213 residential units by DSPL at Rathgowan (including 146 houses) has just been submitted to An Bord Pleanála.
Davitt is confident these sort of schemes will help ease inflation. But as it might be a while before they are completed, he is predicting a 4pc rise in 2022.