The pandemic has fundamentally changed the property market. One of the few positives of the Covid-19 virus is that it has brought the idea of working from home from the fringes of employment activity into the mainstream.
The romantic notion of spending only seconds getting to your desk – rather than being stuck in traffic – and getting close to nature is making properties popular in areas such as on the Border and in the midlands.
Add the fact you can buy a large home in Co Monaghan for €100,000 less than the typical price across the country and you can see why prices in the Border area jumped 14pc in the past year.
A chronic shortage of properties to buy nationwide is sending the market into dangerous price-surging territory.
There is also a scarcity premium at play in regions such as the Border and midlands, which are both experiencing double-digit property price growth.
The pandemic-induced work from home phenomenon also means many of those currently working from their spare rooms room have built up savings as they are spending less on commuting, lunches at work and childcare.
This is prompting them to sell their cramped homes in an urban location and head for the hills of Cavan or Leitrim.
Homes in Longford and Leitrim are typically priced at €120,000, according to the CSO.
Compare this with the median price of €555,000 in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and you can see the attraction.
Double-digit price rises point to a dysfunctional housing market.
But there is one positive. The prospect of people moving out of urban areas into rural towns and villages might help to revive them.
It is depressing to drive around Ireland and see so many towns with boarded-up shops and homes, even on the main streets.
The pity of it is there is little likelihood of significant new housing being built in these areas, which means that any property that comes up for sale has dozens of prospective buyers chasing it.
But that is the case across the State, not just in the new property price hotspots of the Border and the midlands.
This is leading to an element of panic buying.
A chronic shortage of supply combined with exceptionally strong demand are creating a situation where prices are likely to continue rising, no matter what new policies the Government comes up with in its Housing For All strategy document.
Demand is so strong that around 50,000 homes will have to be built each year until at least 2050, according to a report from industry group Irish Institutional Property.
It says this level of building will be needed if “housing stock is to reflect the country’s demographics”.
To build so many homes, funding of close to €16bn annually will be required, said the report, which was written by economist Ronan Lyons.
We do not have the capability as a country to build homes on that scale, so you can expect prices to keep rising in all parts of the State.